November 28, 2008

SINCE IT WON'T BE ON MYSTERY OR DVD FOR YEARS....:

Henning Mankell: Hot and cold: He is revered as a crime writer in Sweden – and as a theatre director in Mozambique. Now his greatest creation is about to hit our TV screens (Gerard Gilbert, 29 November 2008, Independent)

There's a grumpy new divorced, middle-aged and opera-loving detective on the box this weekend. So far, so predictably Morse-like, but what's distinctive about Inspector Kurt Wallander, the eponymous policeman in BBC1's new Sunday-night crime drama Wallander, is not that he's being played by Kenneth Branagh (although that's eye-catching enough), but that the character and setting are Swedish. Agatha Christie's superannuated Belgian moustache-waxer Hercule Poirot aside, we haven't had a non-Anglo-Saxon sleuth on our TV screens since Barry Foster trod the mean canal-sides of 1970s Amsterdam as Piet Van Der Valk.

But Wallander is in a different league to Van Der Valk – or at least its source novels are. Indeed, Inspector Wallander is Sweden's most successful literary export – outgrossing Harry Potter in Germany (greatly to that nation's credit) and selling more than 25 million copies worldwide – and they have made a star of the detective's creator.


...this is another reason to be thankful for The Box.


Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2008 10:17 PM
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