Sunday, 9 June 2013
NO MORE ARNE DAHL NIGHT
Saturday nights just won't be the same now that crime noir drama Arne Dahl has ended. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as the other excellent Scandinavian dramas The Killing or Borgen but it managed to keep me hooked as the series just got better and better each episode as it hurtled towards the end of it's 10 parts.
Named after it's author, the series has been edgy, fast-paced, intriguing and engaging. I've really got into the characters' lives but so much has been left unresolved there surely has to be another series in future - perhaps next year?
I want to know if Cilla really is going to divorce Paul? Will Chavez be able to persuade new wife, and former online child porn detective, Sara to have children that he so desperately wants? Will Kerstin cope now that she has been given custody of her son and will Viggo, the Viking Battle Man, have good news regarding his baby daughter's health? How will Aarto's wife react to her husband returning his £3 million Kroner inheritance from a Nazi uncle who made it killing and torturing Jews? And who will boss Jenny get rid of after being told by her superiors that she must cut three from the team?
And what role, exactly, does that weird cleaner have in the series? His occasional magic trick and omniscient knowledge of all that is going on in the characters' minds and lives made me wonder if I really saw what I had seen. In the first episode he wipes the detectives board clean, and then with the swipe of a cloth reinstates it, he spat in a bin and from that a helium balloon rose and put a smile on Viggo's face at a time he had been rejected by his girlfriend who wouldn't let him see his baby, he easily removed the troublesome ring stuck on Kerstin's finger, even though sheer bloody determination and grease wouldn't shift it, and he knew all about the trouble Aarto had in trying to decide if he should buy a outrageously priced property to keep his wife happy.
I thought for a while back there that it was going to be a sort Life On Mars/Ashes to Ashes scenario where maybe they were all dead in reality and the cleaner was the clue that all is not as it seems. After all, they have all been close to death - Viggo crucified, Aarto shot, Chavez shot, Gunnar shot, Kerstin beaten, Paul trying to disarm an asylum seeker in the very first episode, and then later blown up within an inch of his life. However, if such a twist was planned there is no sign of it yet.
It also reminded me slightly of New Tricks due to the way the team was brought together for it's special skills and individual instinct among the Swedish detectives. A couple of them could be the old-school type brought out of retirement, as portrayed by Dennis Waterman and his co-stars in the English cop show, but the others are too young, too sharp, too energetic, and still serving officers at the time of their transfer.
For sure Arne Dahl is a very European drama shown in the various languages used and portraying English as the common speak between various nation states. As the elderly Italian Mafia man tells Aarto, who is sent to Tuscany to investigate links to the murder of a former Jewish concentration camp inmate, five Eastern European prostitutes and one pimp : "Let's speak English, Your Italian isn't that good."
The show is the latest in a series of foreign language dramas on BBC Four on Saturday evenings at 9pm which I first started watching when I stumbled upon Inspector Montalbano. There's no news on whether that is set to return, or to be repeated, but I wait to see what is on next week in place of Arne Dahl.
Meanwhile, I am avidly watching The Fall on BBC 2 on Mondays at 9pm which I've written reviews on so far for Robin Jarossi's Crime Time Preview blog.
UPDATE - 11/06/13
My review of the final episode of The Fall can be read HERE. Suffice to say great series - great shame about the ending.