With a debut in Scandinavia that did gangbusters in the ratings, Norwegian mystery series Wisting makes its US premieres tomorrow.
Wisting is adapted from the novels The Hunting Dogs and The Cave Man, the eighth and ninth titles in best-selling author Jørn Lier Horst‘s “William Wisting Mystery” series.
Sven Nordin (Valkyrien, Blue Eyes) stars as William Wisting, a recently-widowed detective with the Norwegian police in the coastal town of Larvik. While attending a meeting of a weight loss group, he gets called to the scene where a tree farmer has found a skeleton buried in the snow. Clues indicate the victim was an American man.
More troubling is the evidence linked to Robert Godwin, a serial killer on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted Fugitives” list — the one who got away from FBI Special Agent Maggie Griffin (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix trilogy) twenty years ago. She isn’t going to let the same thing happen again, so she and another special agent from New York go to Larvik to join the investigation.
While Wisting, Griffin, his team, and her partner try to track down Godwin, Wisting’s journalist daughter, Line (Thea Green Lundberg, Occupied), is working on a story about a man who had died four months earlier without anyone knowing. But the more Line delves into the deceased man’s life, the more she thinks he was the victim of foul play. And her inquiries put her directly in the path of the serial killer.
Lurking and stalking throughout the criminal and journalistic investigations is Frank Robekk (Gard B. Eidsvold, Goodnight Darling), a former cop obsessed with finding his niece, who disappeared without a trace nearly two decades ago. Vidar Haglund, the man Robekk is convinced took his niece, has just been released from prison after serving a seventeen-year sentence for killing a girl with similar traits.
But with Haglund’s release comes new evidence that his imprisonment was a miscarriage of justice, and Wisting is on the hook for it — both with the Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs and in the eyes of the Norwegian public. As Wisting conducts his own unofficial investigation to save his reputation and career, his colleagues launch a desperate search for yet another girl who has gone missing.
Filmed in Larvik in southeastern Norway amongst other locations, the series is beautifully shot and gives viewers a solid sense of place as the story unfolds amidst snow-covered fields and lonely, winding roads.
Nordin delivers another fine performance in his portrayal of Wisting, a man who loves his twins yet seems more devoted to his work as a cop than as a father to them. (Wisting’s son delivers a scathing, heartbreaking statement that should give pause to every working parent who’s missed many a meal and meet-up with their child[ren].)
In addition to creating that bit of dialogue, the writers on Wisting did a brilliant job of weaving together the plots from The Cave Man and The Hunting Dogs, and then segueing from one to the other, making the transition seamless.
And although their roles are small and their screen time limited, it was great to see Jon Øigarden (Mammon) and Shanti Roney (Arne Dahl) in Wisting.
Do give it a watch. Its ten, red herring-filled episodes will keep you glued to the telly.
The multilingual (Norwegian, English, Swedish) series costars Mads Ousdal (Codename Hunter), Lars Berge (Magnus), Kjersti Sandal (Struggle for Life), Irina Eidsvold Tøien (Borderliner), Ulrikke Hansen Døvigen (22 July), and Heidi Goldmann (Monster). Additional cast members include Richie Campbell (The Frankenstein Chronicles), Thea Sofie Loch Næss (The Last Kingdom), and Jonas Strand Gravli (Ragnarok).
Wisting premieres in the US with its first episode tomorrow, Wednesday, December 18, exclusively on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon. New episodes will be added every Wednesday.
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