fri 28/10/2016

The Killing II, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

The Killing II, BBC Four

The Killing II, BBC Four

Series two of BAFTA-winning Nordic noir gets off to a flyer

'The Killing II': Sofie Gråbøl as Sarah Lund. Who cares what sweater she's wearing?

People speak to her. It could be her mother. It could be a colleague. But she doesn’t react, continues what she’s doing. Which, usually, is leaving. It’s welcome back to Sarah Lund, whose watchability is in inverse proportion to her demonstrativeness. As recalcitrant detective Lund, in the second series of Denmark’s The Killing, Sofie Gråbøl is as magnetic as the first time around, whatever she’s wearing. Sweaters be damned, these two opening episodes were up there with the BAFTA-winning first series.

After the lash-ups of the first series – the killing of her detective partner, serial insubordination, time spent on the wrong suspects, pissing off politicians, stalling her partner, alienating her son – Lund’s been banished to Gedser, Denmark’s most southerly town. Town is stretching it a bit, as Gedser is little more than a bunch of houses on an island that fan out from a dock. She checks the documentation of vehicles rolling off the ferry from Germany. Not so much sent to Coventry, more like being despatched for sentry duty in the Hebrides. Nice to see her eating off a plate there, rather than from a saucepan.

The Killing IIOf course, Copenhagen can’t do without her. Lund’s old boss, the even more taciturn Lennart Brix (played with magnificent woodenness by Morten Suurballe) wants her to look over a particularly grisly murder, just to see what she thinks (pictured right: from left, Suurballe, Gråbøl and Mikael Birkkjaer). She thinks loads and is soon convinced it’s not the crime of passion it’s painted as. The top brass haven't much patience, but Brix makes them hear her out.

And of course she’s right and we're pitched into a world where Islamic fundamentalism, politics and a furtive army are soon intertwined. At the first briefing on the crimes that she attends, close to the back of a room, she’s unobtrusive. Yet she’s soon in the field issuing orders and haring off on her own to interview an incarcerated colleague of the series’s second victim, an army man.

Sarah Lund’s been banished to Gedser, Denmark’s most southerly town. It's like being despatched for sentry duty in the Hebrides

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DR is funded by a licence fee so there is no need to work out where the advert breaks might be because there aren't any.

Indeed Hazel. But like the BBC, DR must make programes with an eye to selling them abroad. And with that in mind, like the BBC, you'd expect them to pay heed to the needs of commercial broadcasters they might sell to (as the BBC does - you can see where ad breaks would be slotted in). So good on DR.

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