Observations: The BBC transplants Scandi-crime


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The Independent Culture

A bleak cityscape at night, set to a pulsating musical score. In the corner of the screen the words “Day 1” appear before we cut to a murder scene. It could be an archetypal out take from the hit Danish drama Forbrydelsen, or The Killing, except that the city is Nottingham and this is a BBC drama with a British cast.

The director of this BBC2 production, which is simply called Murder (another nod to The Killing), is Danish, and he was responsible for several episodes of the Copenhagen crime drama that gave us Sarah Lund. Birger Larsen has also directed episodes of the Swedish Wallander – but Murder is his British debut. He's the latest practitioner of the Nordic crime wave to land on these shores, following the Lund-star Sofie Grabol's cameo in Absolutely Fabulous and The Killing/Borgen actor Soren Malling's role in the latest series of BBC1's Wallander.

“It was the best script I have seen since The Killing,” says the 51-year-old director. “It's written in such a way that the actors talk direct to camera. It feels original and intimate. You see it through their eyes.”

'Murder' is on BBC2 on Sunday