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Alex – the dirty cop crime drama from Sweden

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Love your Scandinavian crime fiction? Head over to Walter Presents and you’ll be able to stream the six-episode series, Alex, complete with English subtitles. Also showing on Channel 4 until 31 October, it’s a Swedish cop show that’s a little bit different. Instead of bringing you a stoic believer in justice like Wallander, Beck or even Harry Hole, what you’ve got here is corrupt cop Alex Leko trying to dig himself out of a very deep hole.

Alex is essentially an antihero. Following his partner’s murder decides that he’s not going to take dirty money from organised crime gangs anymore. The tight plot line will keep you on your toes, and there’s always a gangster waiting around the corner to pop out and threaten Alex or his family. Equally, you’ll be stunned by how brazen Alex himself is. Whether he’s snorting coke, stashing guns and money in his garage or head butting the head of the Stockholm mob during a prison visit, this is a detective on the edge.

The programme has a fascinating genesis too. Alex is played by Dragomir Mrsic, who appeared in the Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow. Mrsic is a taekwondo champion but has also served a three-year sentence for armed robbery. With his criminal experience, he helped create the show working with writers like Mikael Cross and Michael Hjorth, co-author of the Sebastian Bergman novels.

Frida Kanto is observing Alex as he pretends to investigate Martin’s murder.

There’s a lot going on with the characters, with hidden connections between them and split allegiances. You’ll love how it’s not just the bent cop Alex who can be devious, his boss Ragnhild Björkfors (Anna Bjelkerud), his wife Kim (Anja Lundqvist) and his new partner Frida Kanto (Rakel Wärmländer), who is also an ex-lover, can read him better than he thinks.

When a mob bit player is murdered, Alex’s partner Martin tries to track down their contact to find out why. When Alex follows him to the meet, someone opens fire on him and Alex accidentally shoots Martin dead. Having killed his best friend, he wants out but the head of the syndicate that has been paying Alex and Martin off isn’t going to let him go that easily. BG wants Alex to find a leak in his own organisation, but in the meantime Alex’s colleagues don’t buy his story about Martin’s death.

Unusually for a cop show, Alex’s wife knows all about his shady dealings.

Although it doesn’t look slick and expensive, the production is dark, cold and gritty, with handheld cameras often used during the action to give a sense of momentum and confusion. At first you might want Alex to get caught, but after a while you might become accustomed to his predicament and then all the moral lines start blurring…

Watch Alex here on Walter Presents, or find out about other crime shows on our website.


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