It’s extraordinary how much Scandinavia has contributed to the crime canon, whether the written book or televised drama. No one has really given a proper explanation and perhaps there is not one.
I am just working through the first series of The Bridge, a new one starts tonight. One of the common features of Nordic noir is the emotionally abnormal female detective. In The Bridge, Sofia Helin plays Saga Loren, a good looking slim blonde woman with no small talk nor personal life, but strong powers of detection. Another feature is the bleakness of Scandinavian life. In the first series, the serial killer was preying on the homeless. No Agatha Christie country houses, classic cars and handsome public school rotters in fair isle sweaters here. In Nordic Noir the viewer is not spared the gruesome autopsies either.
In the first series, as the first body was found on the bridge between Denamrk and Sweden, it brought together the two central characters, Saga Loren from the Malmo County Police and Martin Rohde ( Kim Bofnia), a more affable character in Copenhagen police. Partnerships are often at the heart of fictionalised detective novels (Holmes and Watson, Poirot and Hastings). These make for some excellent televised drama but I do wonder with all the collective talent and resources why British television cannot produce something more contemporary like a Killing, Spiral or Bridge.