Saturday, June 19, 2010


I do hope that after the success of the Swedish Wallander programs someone at the BBC takes a look at some other Yellowbird series.

They include the first Detective Inspector Irene Huss series starring Angela Kovacs based on the books by former dentist Helene Tursten, with a second series planned, as well as a series featuring Liza Marklund's crime reporter Annika Bengtzon in development.

A chance for these female authors to get more publicity might help the main stream media finally get the notion that there is more to Scandinavian crime fiction than just Henning Mankell, and Stieg Larsson.
Irene Huss and Annika Bengtzon are the sort of capable female protagonists that might also convince our television program producers to come up with something new and different from their usual fare of middle aged morose male detectives with personal problems.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - Thanks for these thoughts. I agree completely, even though I confess I'm not nearly as knowledgeable about Scandinavian crime fiction as you are.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Margot- as you are so knowledgeable about most aspects of crime fiction I doubt that.
But I do admit having downloaded more photos of Liza Marklund than most people. ;o)
Seriously I was so disappointed with the BBC Branagh Wallanders which were poor stuff compared with the Swedish version that I think we need more of these crime series from continental Europe. The French series Spiral One and Two and the two Italian episodes of Montalbano televised on BBC 4 were excellent and I don't mind subtitles as they stop my concentration wandering.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I don't know that it's television's job to prove that books are good or that there's a variety of them...I'd simply like to see a broader range of views and ideas on TV, and if they encourage reading etc all the better. (I don't really like the idea that books need a film to be a success or to prove a point!)

On the topic of TV versions:

There are German films of Leon's Brunetti novels and Mari Jungstedt's series - the former I wouldn't really recommend but the latter aren't half bad. German crime fiction may not attract the headlines, but there's a lot of good television material. (They did Mankell's Kennedy's Brain as a co-production recently.) And that's before we start talking about famous dog detectives...)

Plus Hakan Nesser's other series, which isn't even available in English, also has at least one telemovie adaption!

I think there's also a couple of telemovies of Unni Lindell's Inspector Isaksen series (also untranslated from the Norwegian), though that's another morose middle aged male detective.

The entire Huss series aired here the month before I moved to Germany - hopefully I'll catch it eventually.

Incidentally, let's not forget the other Wallander versions - much closer to the books, and also very good, but not nearly as widely screened.

Finally, there are also some brilliant Danish series (not based on books) of which SBS in Australia has shown at least some - but it shouldn't take a channel with a specialist 'ethnic' committment to get this material aired more widely.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Why donĀ“t they send US some Irene Huss? Mankell is good, but rather sinister. I like a bit of escapism, and in that respect some of the female writers are better.

12:52 PM  
Blogger JournoMich said...

You have certainly opened me up to female Scandinavian writers right here...Thanks for the education!


7:29 PM  
Anonymous Philip said...

I have three of the Irene Huss DVDs and they are enjoyable, but not a patch on Martin Beck, which mixes good plots with some genuinely funny subplots (often Martin Beck standing on balcony outside his apartment, chatting with his neighbour). As far as I know, only Series 3 and 4 have English subtitles.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

The Martin Beck episodes always seem to be on here at completely unsociable hours (I don't like crime fiction enough to start watching a film at 11pm on a weeknight!), but the ones I've caught have been genuinely entertaining - possibly even more so than the books. (The one where he's buried alive is some of the most scary TV I've ever seen.)

I just wish the Germans didn't dub everything! (It's easier than me trying to decipher Swedish subtitles, but it's not great for the quality overall.)

6:36 AM  

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