TGIF. For more reasons than the weekend. Such as the Season 2 premieres of Swedish crime drama Arne Dahl and French supernatural drama The Returned in the UK.
Euro TV fans in the UK have not one but two premieres to look forward to this weekend, starting with…
The Returned: Season 2
Yes, the living and the walking dead of France’s The Returned (Les Revenants) are returning to the UK ce soir, and not a moment too soon, either, because fans of the award-winning and massively-popular ultra-creepy zombie drama have been chomping at the bit, as it were, for the second series. (I wonder if the undead are as hungry this season as they were in the first.)
Season 2 of The Returned opens with the episode “L’enfant” (“The Child”).
It’s been six months since the horde descended on the Helping Hands shelter, and took with them the boy Victor (Swann Nambotin), his angel Julie (Céline Sallette), teen Camille (Yara Pilartz), her mother Claire (Anne Consigny), and Simon (Pierre Perrier), the former (living and then undead) lover of Adèle (Clotide Hesme). His return prompted more than a mere reunion between them, and her refusal to go with the horde could spell trouble.
The now-pregnant Adèle is taken to hospital after a fainting spell, and the medical staff decide to induce labor. It’s a wonder anyone is even at the hospital, since most of the town’s population left after the valley was flooded. Those who stayed did so in the hope of finding their loved ones, including Camille’s sister Léna (Jenna Thiam) and father Jérôme (Frédéric Pierrot).
Then a mysterious stranger arrives in town, one named Richard Berg (Laurent Lucas). He’s an expert tasked with discovering the cause of the flood. What, or rather whom, Berg does find is Toni (Grégory Gadebois), returned after having died on the makeshift operating table at the shelter from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. To the survivors still in town, Toni’s resurrection brings newfound hope.
Shown in French with English subtitles, The Returned: Season 2 premieres in the UK tonight, Friday, 16 October 2015, at 9 PM BST, on Channel 4.
For viewers in the US, the wait for the second season of The Returned is nearly over, as it debuts in two weeks on SundanceTV, which is airing a marathon of back-to-back Season 1 episodes this Sunday, 18 October, starting at 6 AM ET/PT.
Arne Dahl: Series 2
For the dead of another sort, as in the corpses of murder victims, there’s the long-awaited UK premiere of the second series of Arne Dahl. Adapted from Books 6-10 of Swedish author Jan Arnald’s (pen name Arne Dahl) “Intercrime” series of crime novels, Series 2 opens with the two-part Arne Dahl: A Midsummer Night”s Dream (En midsommarnattsdröm).
It’s summertime in Sweden, and the living should be easy, given the Midsummer celebrations happening across the country. However, darkening the events marking the Summer Solstice is a killing spree. Polish immigrant women hiding in the country are being found and brutally murdered, and a couple have gone missing, so the National CID reassembles the A Unit, the elite team of special ops cops, two years after it was disbanded.
With the retirement of the previous commander, CID appoints former team member Kerstin Holm (Malin Arvidsson) to lead the reunited A Unit. Re-joining her for this assignment are former Mr. Sweden Gunnar Nyberg (Magnus Samuelsson), strategic thinker Arto Söderstedt (Niklas Åkerfelt), tech wiz Jorge Chavez (now played by Alexander Salzberger, Beck), and Jorge’s wife Sara Svenhagen (Vera Vitali), the team’s paedophilia and trafficking expert.
New to the A Unit is Ida Jankowicz (Natalie Minnevik, Real Humans), the military-trained, multi-lingual recruit who’s struggling to fit in with the close-knit group. And working alongside them is former A Unit member Paul Hjelm (Shanti Roney), whose personal problems are interfering with his work in Internal Affairs.
Shown in Swedish and Polish with English subtitles, Parts 1 and 2 of Arne Dahl: A Midsummer Night”s Dream premiere in the UK tomorrow, Saturday, 17 October, at 9 PM BST, on BBC Four.
For UK-based viewers who are new to, or already fans of, Arne Dahl, you can stream Season 1 on Netflix or download it at iTunes.
In the US, Arne Dahl: Season 2 is one of the new shows that will be premiering on MHz Choice. Season 1 is currently available on DVD (see my review here) but not for streaming, at least not until MHz Choice relaunches (next week!).