BBC Four is bringing some of the most highly-anticipated new Euro TV series to the UK. (No worries, US viewers; chances are better than good that you’ll get these shows, too.)
Coming this fall on BBC Four are three of the best Euro TV series to have crossed the fjords: Arne Dahl, Beck, and The Bridge.
Arne Dahl: Series 2
The first series of Arne Dahl was seriously intense, a thrill ride of a crime drama that warranted the ★★★★1/2 I gave it. Assuming the second is as well crafted by writers Erik Ahrnbom (30 Degrees in February), Linn Gottfridsson (The Fjällbacka Murders), Peter Emanuel Falck (Rederiet), and Fredrik Agetoft (Sjätte dagen), producer Filmlance International AB, and coproducers Sveriges Television (SVT) and ZDF Germany (ZDF), then we have more gripping stories to look forward to.
Arne Dahl: Series 2 series will consist of five new stories adapted from books 6-10 of the “Intercrime” series by bestselling Swedish author Arne Dahl (pen name of Jan Arnald) — A Midsummer Night”s Dream (En midsommarnattsdröm), Requiem (Dödsmässa), Hidden Numbers (Mörkertal), Afterquake (Efterskalv), and Eye in the Sky (Himmelsöga).
In the Series 2 opener, it’s been two years since A Unit was disbanded. Polish women in Sweden are being killed off one by one in a series of brutal murders, and a few have also gone missing, so the National Police see their chance to reinstate A Unit, with former team member Kerstin Holm (Malin Arvidsson, Mouth to Mouth) leading it.
Is this new effort a misguided attempt by a paranoid police force? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The bigger question is, will the semi-reunited A Unit and new recruit Ida Jankowicz (Natalie Minnevik, Real Humans) be able to get the job done? For those who worked in A Unit before, the all-consuming nature of their police work ate away at their private lives, and now the demands and expectations are even higher.
Beck: Series 5
Be still, my beating everything. More Beck is on the way.
More specifically, the last four Beck films that feature Mikael Persbrandt (Jadotville, Medicine Man, The Hobbit films) as Gunvald Larsson, the politically-incorrect and irascible sidekick to Peter Haber’s (Enemy’s Enemy, The Inspector and the Sea, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) methodical, by-the-book Detective Martin Beck.
Based on the characters from the hugely popular “Martin Beck” series of detective novels by Swedish husband-and-wife writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, the four new Beck films are intricate webs of characters and lies, and the killers aren’t who you expect them to be.
Room 302 (Rum 302), The Family (Familjen), The Invasion (Invasionen), and The Hospital Murders (Sjukhusmorden) find Martin and Gunvald investigating the shocking death of a young woman found strangled in a hotel room, a gangster kingpin executed by a sniper in front of his family, a terrorist attack, and a suspicious hospital death that turns out to be premeditated murder.
Produced by Filmlance International AB, Beck‘s combination of complex woven details of police work and realistic characters blend with twisting, masterful storylines that have won the series multiple awards, international acclaim, and die-hard fans the world over.
The Bridge III (Bron III/Broen III)
As noted in this post, Sofia Helin is soon to return as Swedish Detective Saga Norén when The Bridge III begins premiering next month in the Nordic countries.
The third series of The Bridge finds Saga and her team at the Malmö Police joining forces with the Copenhagen Police once more, after Helle Anker, the founder of the first gender-neutral kindergarten in Copenhagen and a high-profile debater on gender issues, is found murdered in Sweden. The brutal killing turns out to be just the first in a series of gruesome crimes, strung together in a case that will change Saga forever.
A powerful, intriguing, and unpredictable tale of crime, played out by fascinating and complex characters, The Bridge III revolves around the ideas and structures of family — new, old, deviant, classical, constructive, and destructive — as well as the central theme of personal responsibility and its consequences.
The series is produced by Filmlance International AB, with coproducers Nimbus Film Productions, SVT, Film i Väst, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, Danmarks Radio (DR), Film i Skåne, and Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK).
The Sleigh Ride (w/t)
And coming this winter, BBC Four follows up its successful “Slow Week” in May by bringing viewers a special Slow Christmas treat: a silent, majestic journey on a reindeer sleigh ride through Lapland’s frozen wilderness for viewers to experience an ancient part of the indigenous Sami culture.
In a TV first, BBC Four will rig a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera to capture the unique point of view of a Sami reindeer herder traveling across the terrain in real time.
Deliberately unhurried and unrushed, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer will guide viewers along an epic two-hour journey that takes in the awe-inspiring beauty of a white wonderland not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami people. The changing Arctic scenery will cover undulating snowy hills, silver birch forests, frozen rivers, and traditional villages. And if we’re fortunate enough, maybe we’ll spot the occasional wild moose or reindeer herd roaming across the landscape.
As with other Slow TV programs, there will be no commentary, music, or presenter in The Sleigh Ride, just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell during a unique and enchanting television experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
The premiere dates for these programs haven’t been announced yet, so stay tuned.