“Police work wouldn’t be possible without coffee,” Wallander said.
“No work would be possible without coffee.”
They pondered the importance of coffee in silence.”
– Henning Mankell, One Step Behind
“Not having time for a person, not being able to sit in silence together with somebody, that’s the same as rejecting them, as being scornful about them.”
– Henning Mankell, The White Lioness
I have been watching the Wallander series for several years now. I recall, whilst on a British crime drama bent, finding this series, and becoming so enraptured with Kenneth Branagh’s performance as a middle-aged (+) Swedish detective, with whom I could do easily relate. After the first couple of shows, I looked up the writer, and started reading, voraciously I might add, all of his work. Well, the Wallander work. I was not disappointed by either the novels, nor the BBC’s depictions of the the novels.
One funny thing about the BBC production I noticed is that instead of trying to adapt the production to Sweden, or the setting of the stories to Britain, the production simply compromised: Set in Sweden, but totally in a British language and accent. Yet the signs, newspapers, and documents are in Swedish. I kind of like that.
When I first started the series, it was after I had watched Marvel’s Thor movies, and Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Thor movies, is in the first few series of this show. As a fan of Loki/Hiddleston, that did help to draw me in. Another thing is that since this is a BBC production, there are several British actors whom I see in this. Such as Nicholas Hoult, and more. Much fun to see them in this series.
But to the point, Wallander is a character I can relate to. He is at a point in his life where he has achieved some modicum of success. But he is keenly aware of his faults. His failures. He’s aging, and feeling it, yet he still has the intuition which has guided him in his life. He’s no spring chicken, but he’s certainly not out of the game. An interesting thing with the show is Wallander’s ring tone on his “flip phone”. In the internet age, it’s a definite throwback. A man struggling to embrace the future, but hanging on the past. In one episode his daughter creates an online dating profile for him, but it seems the best he can do is check the email that comes in. Wallander is a force of nature, yet an anachronism. But, in true dramatic fashion, Wallander finds the way. Wallander solves the crime. Often haltingly, and definitely not in an elegant fashion, but he does solve the crime. And that… I like.
Series one through three are amazing. I’ve just started series four, and the one episode I’ve seen was good, but I believe there is something missing. I’ll report back my later findings.
Peace and love.