Euro TV fans in North America will be able to watch even more shows from Europe (and elsewhere) when Topic, a new SVOD service, launches tomorrow.
A part of First Look Media, the media company founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Topic is a new niche subscription video-on-demand service for viewers in the United States and Canada.
The TV series and miniseries that will be available to stream at Topic’s launch tomorrow include the following:
Honour (Heder) (Sweden)
Honour is a crime drama that follows the four partners of the Heder law firm, which specializes in helping vulnerable women, notably victims of sex crimes. Playing the attorneys are Julia Dufvenius (Missing, The Inspector and the Sea, Modus) as Elin, Anja Lundqvist (Gåsmamman, Alex, Modus) as Janni, Alexandra Rapaport (The Sandhamn Murders, Gåsmamman, Spring Tide) as Nour, and Eva Röse (Helt Perfekt, Maria Wern, Real Humans) as Karin.
Getting threatening messages is nothing new at Heder, but when a journalist — one the lawyers have been working with to uncover a potential sex scandal — is murdered, the threats start to feel very real and very close. Now scared for their lives, the four women must face their dark past and deal with what they did before their secret is revealed and their careers are finished.
But as they investigate both the murder and the sex scandal that their informant had been working on, Elin, Janni, Karin, and Nour realize they will have to defend the journalist’s killer in order to get to the bottom of this case.
Co-written and co-executive produced by Sofia Helin (The Bridge) (along with Dufvenius, Lundqvist, and Rapaport), the eight-episode Honour costars Peter Eggers (Anno 1790), Jakob Eklund (Johan Falk), Björn Kjellman (Fallet), and Wilma Lidén (Triggermen).
Invisible Heroes (Finland-Chile)
Invisible Heroes is a biopic and historical drama that follows how a small group of Finnish diplomats and their intimates risked everything to help Chilean citizens escape their country after General Augusto Pinochet launched a military coup in September 1973.
Pelle Heikkilä (Jägarna, Jordskott, Midnight Sun) stars as Tapani Brotherus, the son of a Finnish diplomat who becomes one himself at the embassy in Chile. But his life of golf and parties alongside trade deals and lost travelers gets turned upside on 11 September 1973, when Pinochet overthrows the president of Chile, chaos erupts across the capital of Santiago, and people fearing for their lives climb the walls of Tapani’s home, begging for help.
Despite the official Finnish policy to stay neutral and out of conflicts and not to help refugees, Brotherus starts a secret effort that ultimately ensures safe passage to asylum in Europe for more than 2,000 Chilean citizens.
The six-part, multi-lingual (Finnish, German, Spanish, Swedish) Invisible Heroes co-stars Sophia Heikkilä (Bordertown), Ilkka Villi (Bordertown), and Mikael Persbrandt (Beck).
The Miracle (Il miracolo) (Italy-France)
The Miracle is a contemporary drama with a central mystery: that of a plastic statue of the Virgin Mary that weeps blood.
The lives of the people who come in contact with it are forever changed. One is Prime Minister Fabrizio Pietromarchi (Guido Caprino, Inspector Manara, 1994, Medici), a young, progressive, and atheist politician who is at once facing the most delicate moment of his career and the possibility that his wife, Sole (Elena Lietti, Murders at Barlume), will soon leave him.
Another is Father Marcello (Tommaso Ragno, Baby, Thou Shalt Not Kill, 1992), an outer city priest who, after years of devout faith and missions in Africa, has been succumbing to the irrepressible urges that are destroying his soul: gambling, sex. and pornography. Could the weeping Madonna be the sign from God that he’s been looking for to defeat the devil?
Elsewhere in Rome, the solitary General Giacomo Votta (Sergio Albelli, Crimes, Good and Evil, Don Matteo) is suffering from a wicked sinus infection, while haematologist Sandra Roversi (Alba Rohrwacher, My Brilliant Friend, Garibaldi’s Lovers, I Am Love) continues to sacrifice her personal life to care for her mother, now in a vegetative state. What will cure Giacomo’s troublesome sinusitis and restore Sandra’s mum to life, if anything?
The eight-episode The Miracle costars Lorenza Indovina (Rocco Schiavone), Denis Fasolo (Anti-Drug Squad), and Javier Cámara (The Young Pope).
Drama-thriller Philharmonia stars Marie-Sophie Ferdane (Savages, I Am Not an Easy Man, Blood on the Docks) as Hélène Barizet, a musician who returns to Paris after a 20-year absence to take over as the conductor of the Philharmonia orchestra. As its first female conductor, Hélène has plenty of admirers and detractors — and just one year to make her mark and save the national orchestra.
That Hélène has her own distinct style is one thing; replacing the first violin with a third-rower is another. Selena Rivière (Lina El Arabi, Family Business, Kabul Kitchen) reminds Hélène of herself; the irony is that Hélène’s attempt to pass down her knowledge and passion to the young violin prodigy requires her to face her past and her old demons.
The six-episode Philharmonia co-stars Jacques Weber (La Mante), Laurent Bateau (A French Village), and Tomer Sisley (Balthazar).
Other international TV programs that will be available on Topic at launch are the Aussie crime-thriller miniseries Sunshine Kings, and British miniseries Capital (drama), Exile (thriller), and Miriam’s Big American Adventure (reality).
Euro TV series that will premiere on Topic in 2020 include Swedish thriller Conspiracy of Silence, Danish comedy-drama Pros and Cons (Friheden), and French drama Vernon Subutex.
Topic launches in the US and Canada tomorrow, November 21, through its channel on Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire, its iOS and Android apps, and on the web at Topic.com. (Update: The Topic on Amazon digital channel became available soon thereafter.) The subscription costs $5.99/month after the 30-day free trial.
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