Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Aloha to Kenneth Branagh in WALLANDER (Another BBC Drama) - TV Review

The hits keep coming from BBC .... my local PBS station is currently broadcasting WALLANDER. From (link),

Sir Kenneth Branagh, screenwriter, director, and one of the UK’s most remarkable actors, portrays the soul-searching Swedish cop Inspector Kurt Wallander in Wallander, based on the international bestsellers by father of the Nordic Noir genre, Henning Mankell. At odds with his family, friends, and fellow police, Wallander is in his element with serial killers and psychopaths, tracking them across the seaside town of Ystad and the stark farm country of southern Sweden.

The twist - the English speaking drama is filmed in Sweden. The landscape is gorgeous but cold. The producers are not afraid to showcase the (fictional) dark side of this Scandinavian country, including clashes with immigrants. Branagh is also not afraid to show his age - gray hair and sagging body - as his character grapples with failed relationships.  Branagh tackles Wallander with the same passion as he performed Shakespeare in the award winning HENRY V (1989) AND HAMLET (1986).

I enjoyed Branagh with his then spouse Emma Thompson in the time traveling film noir DEAD AGAIN in 1991.

WALLANDER requires the viewer to pay attention from the very start.  Even though it is filmed in English, the British actors immerse themselves in Swedish culture ... and find themselves entangled in an ugly murder.  Wallander finds no reprieve off duty as the murders are often connected to his personal life.  Last week's THE WHITE LIONESS (No. 10) offered some hope to Wallander as he came full circle in solving the murder and helping an unexpected victim. 

Like most BBC dramas, just as I found myself mesmerized by the series, I learn that I only have 12 episodes to watch (3 episodes in four series).  The one bright spot in the limited run - Tom Hiddleston starred as Wallander's protege in the first six episodes.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Sweden is home of the Vikings, Ikea, and delicious meatballs. Can you recommend a Viking Romance?  I loved Johanna Lindsey's UNTIL FOREVER with a time traveling Viking. 

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 26, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 27.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



  1. It's been a while since I read a Viking romance. Can't remember the title right now, but it was by Michelle Willingham.

  2. I will have to find UNTIL FOREVER. I like her books. I haven't read many Viking books and those I did, it was a while ago. I have some of Sandra Hill's time travel Viking books on my TBR mountain. They look interesting.

  3. I can't think of any Viking romances, but the TV show VIKINGS is amazing.

  4. I enjoyed Fires of Winter by JOanna lIndsey.

  5. I loved Dead Again and have it on VHS! Too bad my local TV provider doesn't carry BBCA - it used to be our favorite channel!
    I recently listened to A Viking for a Viscountess and really enjoyed it!

  6. Meatballs, huh? I love meatballs.

  7. The Norse King's Daughter by Sandra Hill.

    I love that this is being filmed in Sweden!

  8. I know I've read some, but not in a while.
    I enjoyed Wallender - interesting to see all the outdoor shots of a country I haven't seen much in film.

  9. I don't read a lot of Viking romance. I know Gina Conkle writes some, but I tend to read her other historicals which are more Georgian.

    My high school's mascot was a Viking. The Swedes landed in Delaware in the 1600s. They named the area after Queen Christina, but the spelling was altered to Christiana. Our yearbook was called kronika (dieresis over the o) which is the word for annals or records of the year.


  10. So far I haven't read any Vikings Romance,but I love Vikings TV Show :)

  11. I've got all of Gina Conkle's Viking novels but they are still on my TBR 'pile'. I bet they are just as amazing as her Georgian novels though. I honestly haven't read any Viking novels for a very, very long time which is interesting and maybe a bit sad since I have Viking ancestors according to family lore.

  12. I enjoyed reading Josie Litton's Dream in Me/Believe in Me.

  13. I have not read any.
    Natalie's Mama (Karen T.)