Wallander: Has there ever been a better crime series?

I have only seen the first season of Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander from the BBC and so cannot either comment on the following shows or compare it with the Swedish version but within the first few moments of watching this I was mesmerized by every aspect of the production from the images to the acting. It is simply the most beautiful television fiction show I have ever seen.

I also offer this youtube of some scenes but it is only a hint of what it really looks like. (When I was searching for clips I found that most sidestepped the incredible landscape imagery and focussed obsessively on Branagh -one a homage to his sleeping patterns, another to his eyes, and so forth. Seems to be quite a KB cult out there.)

Branagh is perfectly cast in this role. And the performance is so deep, it is difficult to watch at times. He is a man destroyed by his profession. Broken and depressed by what he sees in his job, he has never desensitized, if anything he has become impossibly fragile and yet he soldiers on toward more inevitable pain.

This man, pale and weakened, moves against an absurdly beautiful landscape. This was shot in high def and has the impression of being vignetted though it is fairly subtle. One really nice touch is that though everyone speaks British English, whenever you see script on his computer screen or on shops, it is Swedish.

What I promise is that you will not only see the best crime series you have ever seen but you will something that looks unlike anything you have every seen.

6 comments on “Wallander: Has there ever been a better crime series?

  1. The Swedish version is even better.

  2. […] Anders Thomas Jensen, Fear Me Not is a beautiful thriller. Beautiful in the same sense that Wallander is beautiful; unsurpassable vistas with the very human story at the heart of […]

  3. I’ve been wanting to see this since I saw the trailer on the BBC’s new “Sherlock” series. I think Sherlock is great, and would be interested to know what you think.

  4. Don’t mind Sherlock but prefer a couple of other Brit shows (MI5 and Peep Show are standouts for me)…just saw the second Wallander Series 2 and it is good but not quite up to the first year.

  5. […] finished the last Case Histories, kind of a Scottish Wallander, with Jason Isaacs perfectly playing yet another world weary detective in a beautifully […]

  6. […] interest, that we are living in the best of all times when it comes to crime television – see Wallander (both the Swedish and British versions) and Case Histories. Or before that the British Prime […]

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