Tuesday, July 21, 2009


On a typical Devon July day, with the rain pouring down outside, I watched a recording of the fourth Swedish Wallander [series one] episode to be shown on British television. For a reason that mystifies me, and I am frequently mystified by the BBC, we were shown episodes one and six previously, these were then repeated and now they have gone on with episodes two and three in the correct order.

The BBC version of Wallander with Kenneth Branagh was a pleasant viewing experience but did not really grab my interest. It was a long time since I had read the Henning Mankell books and Kenneth Branagh was not the Kurt Wallander I had in my head and I found it difficult to identify with him. The BBC production seemed to be all about beautiful settings and the brilliant acting of Kenneth Branagh and just seemed too glossy for me.

The four Swedish Wallander episodes I have watched have been of variable quality, although all are based on plot outlines written by Henning Mankell and scripted by others.
Episode Three, The Brothers, was in my opinion the best so far with excellent acting demonstrating the relationships both personal and professional between the Ystad police team.
This episode features some horrific murders, but also a little low key Scandinavian humour from Kurt in his relationships with his boss Lisa Holgersson, and his colleague Ann-Britt Hoglund. I may be in a minority but I find Krister Henriksson to be more very much like the Wallander I imagined from the books.
The smouldering sexual attraction between Linda Wallander and Stefan Lindman catches fire and their subsequent strained relationship is covered with some insight. These characters play a much bigger part in this series than in the BBC production, and are well acted by Johanna Sallstrom and Ola Rapace.

Ola Rapace is the husband of Noomi Rapace who plays the part of Lisbeth Salander in the Stieg Larsson Millennium film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

It is a bittersweet and sad experience watching this series, and knowing that the brilliant young actress Johanna Sallstrom took her own life in 2007. She was a shining star in Mankell's Wallander and the series is well worth watching.


Blogger Dorte H said...

Danish television also uses that trick of sending series out of order. We quite like the series about Janine Lewis (one of the best we get right now), but it is very difficult to figure out where she is in her life & relationship with her ex. Right now I think they have sent a few in order.

You may remember that I have a third Wallander as my favourite - the Swedish actor Rolf Lassgaard. On the whole I like the new series with Krister Henriksson, however, and I was sad to learn that Sallstrøm had committed suicide.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous TerryH said...

Does anyone know the titles of all the Wallander episodes that have been televised in UK starring Krister Henriksson ?

3:50 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Terry you will find a list of all the Swedish Wallander series 1 and 2 on the Yellow Bird web site http://bit.ly/mBpuII

3:58 AM  

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