Right then, hands up who watched The Killing on BBC4 earlier this year. For those of you like me and Mrs GoneDigging who did, you’ll know what an absolute treat it was. Made and then aired in Denmark during 2007, the first series follows the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Nanna Birk Larsen, and the subsequent familial, social and political fallout.
Detective Inspector Sarah Lund – along with her brilliant Angolan sweaters – is the star of the piece. She’s in her last days with the Copenhagen Police Department, before moving to Sweden with her fiancé. But everything changes when 19-year old Nanna Birk Larsen is found raped and murdered in the boot of a submerged car. Along with her reluctant partner, Jan Meyer, Sarah begins an investigation that throws them on the trail of a very intelligent and dangerous killer.
Over 20 days, suspect after suspect is sought in connection with the murder, as Nanna’s family and friends struggle with their loss. Meanwhile local politician, Troels Hartmann, is in the middle of a hard election campaign to become the new mayor of Copenhagen, when suddenly evidence emerges linking him to the killing…
Now, with the plot out of the way, I can get on with telling you how much it rocked our socks. And rock our socks it did. We see a dingier side to Copenhagen, a city full of warehouses with faulty lights and creepy auras. We see the fragility, vulnerabilities and flaws of not only Nanna’s family, but also their friends and those individuals who now have a shadow of suspicion cast over them.
And the pacing is brilliant, too. It doesn’t always rocket along, but you’re never bored. Not for a moment. It’s thoughtful and doesn’t treat us like idiots – we’re left to deduce, to join the dots and to make our own deductions. Despite the twists and turns, the makers don’t want to hold our hands through every episode. And they don’t.
So why am I telling you this? Two reasons really. One, if you’re in need of a new DVD box set, The Killing (or Forbrydelsen as it’s known in its native Denmark) should be well and truly on your radar. And two, the American version of the very same series has just begun on Channel 4.
We Sky+ed the first two episodes but haven’t watched them yet. I am, however, reliably informed they’re very good TV. At the same time, identical sources reckon it’s not a patch on the Scandinavian original. I don’t doubt the second suggestion for a moment. And it’s because of this that we’re slightly torn about watching the State-side version. Well, that, coupled with the fact we know what happens! Or do we? Apparently the killer isn’t who we Forbrydelsen devotees think he is. Interesting…
But listen, at the end of the day GoneDigging aren’t going to tell you what to do. Instead, we’ve plonked on the two teaser videos below for you. The choice, as they say, is yours…
Or, if you can’t be doing with over four minutes, here’s an abridged version. Enjoy.