I don’t normally comment or review television dramas but I had to make an exception for this.
I stumbled across this drama on the recommendation of a friend who made a passing comment about this police drama they were watching. So my partner and I sat down one night to catch it on the iplayer. After watching the first 2 episodes we were hooked.
It became a kind of addiction as we had 10 episodes to catch up on, and we watched them one after the other through the week. It became highly frustrating after watching the first 10 episodes and having to wait until the weekend to see the next 2 episodes.
It felt like a quiet secret that only ourselves and BBC4 kept, watching the twists and turns of the plot over the 20 episodes.
This Danish production was a revelation for UK tv. Rather than have the run of the mill formulaic police series, where you may get 3 or 4 hours of a drama at best, where the signposting of the plot is so clunky and pedestrian you can easily go out for half an hour and come back and pick it up quite easily.
With the Killing you get 20 hours of non stop intrigue. As black adder would say, more twist and turns than a twisty turny thing.
It is remarkable that a series that was so long kept the pace and intrigue going so successfully, always making the viewer wanting more. One of it’s charms is it’s down to earth nature, without the ridiculous glitzy nonsense of other crime dramas.
The idiosyncrasies of the series were intriguing. Almost every scene no matter where it was staged, people were smoking. I had not really thought about it before, but this is just how it was in the UK just a few years ago. It seems bizarre now. It was also strange to see the comedic remarks over their Danish neighbours Sweden. Good to see a bit of inter regional rivalry!
The acting was also superb. Sofie Grabol as the lead character Sarah Lund was superb. The drama was dark and brooding but not overbearing. All the acting was superb without a weak link.
The only police drama that springs to mind in this vein was the Prime Suspect thrillers, yet although these were excellent at the time, here you get 20 hours of drama that, other than the first series, knocks Prime Suspect into a poor second rate drama.
I am not one for dramas generally, they often leave me cold and disappointed, yet this Danish effort shows what can be done.
While those addicted to the Killing’s murder plot will be in a bereavement state at the moment, we were treated to the prospect of The Killing II later in the year. Like many, I will be looking forward to this, and will be light relief after trying to avoid the next few series of so called “reality television”. It is just a shame we have to go to Denmark to get this amount of quality.