UK fans of Nordic noir TV programmes are receiving special treatment from Walter Presents this January. Hot on the heels of the Norwegian crime drama Acquitted, Channel 4’s overseas crime curator is to bring us Case, an Icelandic programme that is winning wide acclaim.
Already available on Netflix US and HBO Europe, episode one of Case will air on Channel 4 on 24 January. From that date onwards, the entire box set of nine hour-long episodes will be available via the streaming service More4. With subtitles. It’s worth watching.
Following Trapped, you might be expecting more avalanches, frozen landscapes and 65 types of snow. Case, however, takes us into grey and gritty urban Reykjavik in the height of summer. With the midnight sun of the far north, the characters all seem to have insomnia. Or, perhaps they’re not sleeping because Lara, a beautiful 16-year-old ballerina, has been found hanging on the stage at Iceland’s National Ballet. Here’s the trailer…
An open-and-shut suicide? Most of the cops think so, but not Gabriela, the detective first assigned to the case. The victim’s teenage friends seems to have something to hide. Meanwhile, two very different lawyers also become involved in the investigation. One is Logi, a disgraced attorney and an alcoholic, who has served a sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. Then there’s the more well-to-do Brynhildur, a former colleague of Logi’s who was involved in Lara’s adoption years ago and now feels guilty. The three protagonists work the murder in different ways, never letting up.
Along with a tense atmosphere and characters that rub each other the wrong way, the programme brings all sorts of complex and troubling issues to the surface. Teenagers filming each other having sex, drug dealing, embezzlement, rape, alcoholism, miscarriages of justice and adoption all figure. Director Baldvin Zophoniasson, who previously worked on Trapped, varies fixed and handheld camera work to great effect, switching the tone between different scenes – the autopsy, an interrogation, a threatening visit, and more.
The programme boasts a terrifying perpetrator, and the acting is a revelation. From 24 January onwards, you’ll be able to stream the episodes via the Walter Presents/More4 website or app. Click this link.