I see before me.
I watched all three of the recent series of the BBC version of Wallander, I don’t know why the first series should have given me a clue.
What we have is basically a 90 minute film in which there’s 30 minutes of plot – first 15 minutes setting up the story and the last 15 a mad dash to solve it all as everything falls into place – leaving the remaining middle hour for us to marvel over “Ken luvvie” doing his acting.
An hour of filler so we can see “Kenny darling” not just playing Wallander but being Kurt Wallander. The angst, the anger, the fear, the depression. It’s all there for us to witness by Kenneth “if this doesn’t get me a BAFTA” Branagh, shot through various obscure windows, bushes and tree branches.
Interspersed by those staples of TV crime dramas that need that extra bit of padding – the annoying family members of the main character who you really couldn’t give a shit about. In this case senile dad and moody bint daughter. I haven’t read the books so they are probably part of the original stories but as the TV films are adapted and don’t follow the books exactly couldn’t these boring character be adapted out.
But then that would give Ken so many scenes to do his acting.
Much prefer the Swedish version. Though it has it’s fair share of faults, the fact it has subtitles isn’t one of them but it does mean it isn’t going to get a prime time spot for your average soap / realty crap viewer. Though they could do something about the subtitles, mainly when there’s snow lying about or they’re in a white walled building try giving the words a dark background so they are actually readable.
No the main fault with Swedish version is along the lines of the Brit one, annoying family members. The daughter as a police woman, always around getting in the way with her moody phizog, that character was extremely annoying as was her sidekick the dim Stefan, without them two the first series would have been far better. I assume things have changed for the second series following Johanna Sällström’s death, as the character doesn’t seem to be mentioned in cast list.
But through all of the episodes one question sticks in my mind. Outside doors that open outwards, it’s the one thing I’ve read and heard everyone notices about the programmes. Now it snows in Sweden, snow falls that have got to be worse than those that left this country at a stand still – though maybe their meteorological office doesn’t continually lie to them to keep up the propaganda – how do you get out of the house with a four foot pile of snow outside the door?