Wallander titles via Wikipedia
Wallander titles via Wikipedia

When I heard that Kenneth Branagh was playing Kurt Wallander, I was pretty surprised. I didn’t know much about the novels or the Swedish series, but I knew that it would be interesting.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The new series on BBC follows the investigations of workaholic detective Kurt Wallander, who’s had trouble living a personal life since his separation. His adult daughter Linda is the only reminder of a life that he once lived, other than the wedding ring that he can’t bear to take off.

The series is moody and eerie, filmed on location in Sweden, where the seasons and the day don’t follow what we know, except if you have lived in Scandinavia or Alaska.

Sweden is picturesquely beautiful, filled with green spaces and buildings. I found it very interesting on how the language was portrayed. There are Swedish newspapers and Swedish phones, which show a really keen attention to detail to make us believe that it is taking place in Sweden.

The accents are great as well. They are definitely Swedish, or Swedish-like. They are by no means British. I found the production values really great as well, though the cinematography could get to me at times.


Well, for some reason, the cinematographer worked on keeping only a part of the frame in focus during some shots. The surrounding shots were blurred in post-production, and it gets annoying after a while, since the blurring effects aren’t natural, they are inserted into the movies to add a feeling.

I think that they should have been more careful with that, but otherwise, there are some great shots. I can remember a scene taking place in the fog, or details about Wallander’s personal life that flesh out his character.

I really liked the opening theme by Aussie Emily Barker as well. It’s called Nostalgia. She’s from Bridgetown. You have to be careful because there is also an artist called Emily Baker from Brighton in the UK. It can be confusing because they both play similar music. Notably, this series used the new Red One digital camera for it’s filming.

Series 1 adapted the novels Sidetracked (’95), Firewall (’98) and One Step Behind (’97).

Anyway, I recommend it. I can’t wait for series 2.