This is the story of the urban police officer Salmander who, after somewhat accidentally killing his police horse in front of thousands of children, gets relocated to the location farthest north in Norway: Hellfjord.
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Stig Frode Henriksen
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Pål Sverre Hagen,
Norwegian city police officer Salmander disgraces himself very publicly and his boss wants to sack him on the spot but Human Resources tell him he has to give three months' notice. In frustration he sends Salmander to the most remote outpost he can find, an island off the North coast with a tiny population almost entirely dependent on its fish factory. Salmander tries hard to make a name for himself in the hope of keeping his job, but there seems to be nothing for him to do at all, let alone do well. With the help of the local newspaper reporter, however, he stumbles on the community's secret.Written by
I watched this with no expectations and was hooked by the opening scene but not convinced by the overall project. The comedy swings between slapstick and very, very dark. The violence is mostly comic book stuff but requires a strong stomach at times. The story is uneven and the pacing unconvincing, with a police officer on a 3-month fixed-term posting who seems totally amazed to find it coming to an end.
I suspect that it meant far more to its Norwegian target audience, but jokes about Swedes, Finns and Icelanders don't translate well into English. The main character is of middle / far-Eastern appearance and this might have been another cultural reference that went over my head. I suspect the cast to be a ready-made comedy group, like Monty Python, the Chaser or Saturday Night Live, as two characters are played by woefully unconvincing actors in pound shop make-up, although this might also be Norwegian humour in action. The location, in the far North of Norway, meant the whole show could take place in daylight, but a few long shadows would have been more convincing.
I stayed with it to the end but feel it could have been comfortably fitted into a conventional six episodes rather than a flabby seven. Overall there were enough laugh out loud moments to keep me entertained, but only just.
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