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 Posted:   Jun 23, 2013 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I thoroughly enjoyed series one of the BBC Wallander but "Faceless Killers", the first episode of series two gives me those preachy, retrograde blues because of the tired subject matter. I do like the piano motif heard in the episode, though. Does the remainder of the series delve into politically correct subject matter? If so, I'll just stick with latter-season QUINCY, M.E.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2013 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

I thoroughly enjoyed series one of the BBC Wallander but "Faceless Killers", the first episode of series two gives me those preachy, retrograde blues because of the tired subject matter. I do like the piano motif heard in the episode, though. Does the remainder of the series delve into politically correct subject matter? If so, I'll just stick with latter-season QUINCY, M.E.

Yes, the entire series deals with "politically correct" subject matter. Henning Mankell is a very politically engaged man and has said numerous times that he has little interest in detective genre fiction and wrote these novels simply as a way to get people talking about issues like the abuse of women, children, minorities, immigrants, gays.

At the core of all the novels and all the episodes is a strong political conscience. If you were that turned off by that episode, I'm frankly amazed you made it through the first series. But yep, if you didn't like that episode, stop watching because you'll only dislike future episodes even more.

Meanwhile, I think it's among the best shows on television. Precisely because Mankell isn't writing cliched genre pieces, he has created a character of tremendous humanity and complexity. Wallander is easy to admire at times but it's also sadly easy to understand why he alienates everyone around him, even those he loves most, with his single-minded determination. And I find Branagh's performance to be one of the crowning achievements of an already storied career - and numerous awards groups agree.

I also love the degree to which the series (of novels and TV films) is so politically engaged. If you want conventional police procedurals, look elsewhere. But if you want stories seething with anger at the injustices in society and hunting for reasons at the core, always focused on a deeply flawed but deeply introspective lead character, a "poet detective", as the show calls him, watch Wallander.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2013 - 5:36 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Earlier, I was expressing my fresh annoyance with the plot of the series two opener but have since cooled off. lol

I find Kurt Wallander to be a fascinating character and Branagh's performance is what has kept me interested. The killer in "Sidetracked" was apparent to me right away but Wallander's shambles of a life and world-weary face was too fascinating to ignore. I love the dynamic between Kurt and his father as well as his warm but difficult relationship with his daughter. Many times while watching series one, I thought to myself that it's the character that's keeping my interest. Yes, the Phipps scores, beautiful photography, and supporting cast are all tremendous and normally those are the things I focus on in movies and TV anyway. I just felt that the beleaguered immigrant storyline has been done to death--as has the detective genre itself though I don't mind; they're magnetic protagonists--but I will most likely soldier on and complete the entire series, because Wallander himself is that good.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   Simon Morris   (Member)

Much as I like the BBC's version, I still prefer - by far - the Swedish versions. Both Rolf Lassgård and Krister Henriksson. I think Lassgård comes closest to the Wallander of the books, though I suppose Henriksson's is my favourite portrayal.

Branagh overdoes the 'depressive' qualities of the character (which aren't really that evident in the books...) a little bit.

Adam Nordén's music perfectly suits the images that it accompanies (you can almost feel the frozen landscapes through the sparseness of the music). They seemed to go a bit more mainstream in the second Henriksson series (car chases and gun battles) but even then I think the rather different scores by Fläskkvartetten work rather well, even though they are harder edged. The 'electric string quartet with percussion' - style is a little different, but they do provide some fairly memorable cues.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

just watched s.3 of BBc
not impressed by the show or music - which consists of an electronic whine
brm

 
 Posted:   Oct 4, 2014 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Good news on the BBC Wallander front! Series four is scheduled for 2015:

http://tellyspotting.org/2014/02/16/wallander-to-return-for-fourth-and-final-series/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1178618/episodes?season=4

Also, here's a haunting rendition of "Nostalgia" from the opening credits of "The Fifth Woman", that, well, haunts:



Wallander!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 11, 2014 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

Filming has begun on the final series (season):

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=123793

Cannot wait for these, though sad to know it'll be the conclusion.

I hope with Branagh's Wallander finished and all novels filmed, some enterprising label finally releases a score CDsmile

 
 Posted:   Nov 11, 2014 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I hope with Branagh's Wallander finished and all novels filmed, some enterprising label finally releases a score CDsmile

Those scores are atmospheric as hell along with the imagery and would probably create their own atmosphere when heard as a stand-alone listen.

I also wouldn't mind trying that "Wallander Cake" shown in the bonus features of S1. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 11, 2014 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Jim, that cake looks yummy. I'll have a piece please.

Just adding my support to the Branagh Wallander series. I loved the first three seasons and am so glad that a fourth season will be completed.

(I always noticed Tom Hiddleston in the first season. Then he got the part of Loki in the Thor movies, and his movie career took off.)

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2016 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

With the recent broadcasts of series four freshly behind us--though I have yet to see it--I was wondering how the music was for this, the swan song for BBC's Wallander. More of the same? A different apprach?

As for my earlier "troubles" with series two, I will still stick with the program primarily due to my admiration for Branagh (who hails from Belfast but his accent sounds quite "English" to me, a mere Yank. Must be from all that Shakespeare over the years; Branagh, that is. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2016 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I missed series 4? Yikes. I must of missed it on BBC, and I'm hoping it will be shown again. I really like that series.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2016 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

I missed series 4? Yikes. I must have missed it on BBC, and I'm hoping it will be shown again. I really like that series.

Series 4 was a German co-production and, somewhat oddly, had its world premiere there on the network ARD, dubbed into German, over Christmas. It's also airing in Denmark now, in English with Danish subtitles. Neither the BBC nor PBS have announced dates yet for their airings.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2016 - 3:54 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

(I always noticed Tom Hiddleston in the first season. Then he got the part of Loki in the Thor movies, and his movie career took off.)

Hiddleston won the lottery when he got cast in that minor role in Wallander, because presumably that's how Branagh came to know him, and then bring him over to America for THOR. Branagh also brought over his longtime costume designer, Alexandra Byrne, who ended up staying in the US and becoming the go-to Marvel costume designer on almost all their films.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2016 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Thanks for this information, James. Good to know that I haven't missed Season 4.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2016 - 6:28 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Thanks for this information, James. Good to know that I haven't missed Season 4.

I only just saw that series four aired over Christmas weekend and as James pointed out, it has had a curious debut.

Btw, the series one dvd is worth it for the generous bonus features alone. There is minimal repetition of content, but film score geeks love repetition. wink

And man oh man am I craving that "Wallander Cake"!

 
 Posted:   Jan 20, 2016 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Good news for the three of us! The final series of Wallander (and its scores) debuts on PBS May 8, 2016:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/news/5-masterpiece-must-knows-2016/

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 20, 2016 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Yeah!!

 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2016 - 6:13 AM   
 By:   Mark Langdon   (Member)

(I always noticed Tom Hiddleston in the first season. Then he got the part of Loki in the Thor movies, and his movie career took off.)

Hiddleston won the lottery when he got cast in that minor role in Wallander, because presumably that's how Branagh came to know him, and then bring him over to America for THOR. Branagh also brought over his longtime costume designer, Alexandra Byrne, who ended up staying in the US and becoming the go-to Marvel costume designer on almost all their films.


The connection between Branagh and Hiddleston was also cemented when they were in a West End production of Chekhov's IVANOV together in 2008, following the filming of WALLANDER series one earlier that year.

 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2016 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Funny, but I attribute Hiddleston's success with his brief role in Midnight in Paris, which was released just a couple of months after Thor. This being because I didn't even watch the first Thor movie until last year. Still, it looks like someone in the Woody Allen camp had an eye on Hiddleston as well.

P.S. Mark: A generous slice of Wallander cake and unlimited refills of your coffee cup for that info regarding the Branagh-Hiddleston connection. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2016 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   jamesluckard   (Member)

(I always noticed Tom Hiddleston in the first season. Then he got the part of Loki in the Thor movies, and his movie career took off.)

Hiddleston won the lottery when he got cast in that minor role in Wallander, because presumably that's how Branagh came to know him, and then bring him over to America for THOR. Branagh also brought over his longtime costume designer, Alexandra Byrne, who ended up staying in the US and becoming the go-to Marvel costume designer on almost all their films.


The connection between Branagh and Hiddleston was also cemented when they were in a West End production of Chekhov's IVANOV together in 2008, following the filming of WALLANDER series one earlier that year.


Ah, I'd forgotten about that too! Whoever scheduled that Wallander audition for him deserves a case of champagne. smile

 
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