The tradition of TV "Advent calendars" on Danish television dates over 40 years back. Each day in December until Christmas Eve another episode is shown. The main audience has always been children between 8 12, but since 1990 there has also been TV-calendars for more mature audiences.
"The Pact" written by Maya Ilsøe is one of the most well-written of them all, and it could easily be turned into an equally successful children's'/teenage fantasy book. It's a adventurous tale about the magical bond of trust between man and pixie (in the Nordic tradition a pixie is a magical being that is more human than the more gnomish creature in the Anglo-American tradition). But the evil ice witch, Iselin, threatens to break this magical bond, and she gains power from human anger and frustration. Malthe, a circa 12/13-year old boy, who gets bullied at school has the rare ability to see and communicate with pixies. The young pixie, Lyda, puts her faith in Malthe. Their quest: A human and a pixie must re-activate a mysterious "pact" together to prevent the magical bond from being broken.
"The pact" masters the delicate art of balancing social realism with fantasy not least thanks to some brilliant character casting. Rune, the class bully, who becomes the (un)willing tool of the ice witch, Iselin (a truly evil being and the main reason why the show isn't recommended to children under 8), delivers some highly convincing character acting. But also the main characters, Malthe (Benjamin Engell) and Lyda (Karla Løkke) deliver their lines with credible passion. On the whole the acting is way above average, and the story doesn't flatten out in the end. It's not loaded with action, there are no songs, and comic reliefs are only used when they're really needed.
"The Pact" is a truly memorable tale for people of all ages. It comes as no surprise that this show has been exported to other countries - even outside Scandinavia.
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