Kurt and his men tries to find the connection between a horrible murder taken place in Ystad and the kidnapping of one in the police force daughter. It also seems someone has infiltrated the police ...
Eleven-year-old Johannes is found dead in a barn after he has been sexually abused. Lindman is charged with telling the father, whom he knows from a local shooting club, but is taken off the case for...
A suspected jewel robber, his ex-girl-friend and a cop who became more than friends with her are all killed by a sniper, who turns out to be a sixteen-year-old boy. It is assumed that he is carrying ...
Shortly after police discovers the murder of three friends, police inspector Wallander finds his friend and colleague Svedberg dead. At first believing that Svedberg killed himself, ... See full summary »
A lifeboat floats ashore at the coast of Skåne. Inside are two dead men who who've been murdered. Policeman Kurt Wallander is assigned to the case. The men are identified with the help of ... See full summary »
A Kurt Wallander mystery told from the perspectives of police and criminal. A foreign teenage girl burns herself to death under inspector Wallander's eyes. Several homicides take place ... See full summary »
A light plane crashes outside of Mossby strand, and a detonated armour-piercing shell is found in the wreckage. Kurt Wallander is called in to investigate. A few days later, two elderly ... See full summary »
Daniel Lind Lagerlöf
The following refers to the 13 episodes of Season 2.
It sometimes seems as though the world is divided into two groups: those for whom subtitles pose no problem, and those for whom they do. If you fall in the former group, and you enjoy police-procedural dramas, then this series is for you. If you fall in the latter group, or if your comfort level plummets when you venture beyond BBC productions, then try the series with Kenneth Branagh and a supporting cast of English-speaking actors pretending to be Swedes - it's not as good, but it is in English.
I am a big fan of British police-procedural/detective series, and it was only because I was having trouble finding ones I had not seen that I turned to the Swedish-language "Wallander" series with Krister Henriksson in the lead role. I was impressed: it holds its own against the better British series.
Which actor you consider the definitive Kurt Wallander may depend on which version of the series you see first (assuming you see more than one). As much as I like Branagh and admire his work, he runs second to Henriksson in the Wallander Stakes. Indeed, the character of Wallander is not the same in the two series. The focus is much more on Wallander in the British series - a choice perhaps necessary to attract Branagh to the role - and he is portrayed as something of a loner, while in the Swedish version the members of Wallander's squad get significant screen time, and Wallander is portrayed more as an intelligent man with good instincts who is effective as a detective, a leader and a mentor. Branagh's Wallander is a man grappling with emotional issues, while Henriksson's comes across as reflective and world- weary but a man largely at peace with himself. I have not read the books on which the series is based, so I do not know which portrayal is truer to Mankell's character, but I do know I'd rather spend time with Henriksson's Wallander than with Branagh's.
The supporting cast is excellent, and, as indicated above, we are allowed to get to know their characters. The plots of the episodes held my attention, production values are high, and the locations and Swedish-speaking cast added to the verisimilitude. I especially liked how the relationship between Wallander and the prosecutor (an attractive divorcée who is also his neighbor) was handled. They are two adults of middle-age who develop feelings of mutual respect and affection (though they occasionally butt heads on the job), but their attraction is tempered by the baggage each carries from previous relationships. Their mating dance is cautious and restrained - very Scandinavian, one could say - and strikes just the right notes.
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