With his rumpled raincoat, ever-present cigar, bumbling demeanour and Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction, disarmingly polite homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo took on some of the most cunning murderers in Los Angeles, most of whom made one fatal, irrevocable mistake: underestimating his investigative genius.
I've seen both recent episodes on the BBC4 channel, and think the show is simply excellent. The gritty style of Kurt Wallander, played superbly by Krister Henriksson, along with some very skilled direction and scriptwriting, make this a gripping detective series. It's not for the faint-hearted either as some scenes are very graphic. The nasty stuff genuinely sends chills down your spine, something very difficult to achieve. While the general character of the Swedes is one of reserve and ice, the scenes of violence and gore differentiates this from the normal stereotype. The cinematography is excellent, and it is a show I would recommend to many Film Studies students.
The supporting cast is the one possible weakness in this show, and more could be done to bring them into it more. Otherwise a very good show. BBC have unearthed a winning detective series
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