Just caught up with the New Year’s Day showing of Wallander on BBC4, which I’d missed while at my mum’s (we watched the excellent ‘Eric and Ernie’ that night instead). I hadn’t seen this adaptation of ‘Pyramiden’ before, and it was an absolute (and extremely explosive) treat. The storyline reaches back to Wallander’s first days on the Ystad force, and is a poignant exploration of the moral difficulties faced by policemen who become personally caught up in a case. For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance, it’s still available to view for a few days on iplayer.
The film is part of the Wallander series I enjoy most, made for Swedish Television between 1994 and 2007. I particularly like the rather louche depiction of Kurt Wallander by the actor Rolf Lassgård (pictured leaning on the chair).
The other Swedish actor who plays Wallander, Krister Henriksson, is a bit more buttoned-up, and although the latter’s version is probably more faithful to the characterisation in the books, I think Lassgård’s interpretation plays better on TV. Brannagh’s take on Wallander is OK, but give me either of the original Swedish actors and adaptations any day.
Hats off to BBC4 for making the Christmas season such a festive one for crime fans – full of quality murder and mayhem. There were excellent documentaries on Nordic Noir and Italian Noir, as well as lashings of Swedish and Italian crime. It’s so good to see these programmes in their original languages – please keep them coming.
Also a nice little pressure valve when the Xmas family gatherings got too much (probably saved a life or two and Mrs. Peabody a lengthy stretch in jail).
By the way, there’s a post about the evolution of the Swedish ‘deckare’ on the ‘Gone Elsewhere’ blog – well worth a read.