The Sommerdahl Murders: Danish crime drama comes to Walter Presents

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The Sommerdahl Murders Danish crimes how

Ah, Helsingør, the ancient Danish town where Hamlet was prince, and it’s the setting too for drama of a different ilk as The Sommerdahl Murders arrives in Britain on More4 at 9pm on Friday 28 June 2024. It will also be available on Channel 4’s streaming service Walter Presents.

If you’re a fan of cold, dark Nordic noir crime shows like the recent Jana: Marked for Life or The Killing from back in the day, then this series might not quite hit the mark. However, if you like your crime shows fast paced and full-on, with a bit of spice, it will be worth tuning in. We reckon fans of Germany’s The Nordic Murders will feast on this Danish drama.

‘Middle-aged Miami Vice in Denmark’ might just be the best way to describe The Sommerdahl Murders. Helsingør is the backdrop – with its marina and seafront it’s a summertime destination for Danes, offering blue skies, beaches, spas and champagne. Cruising the strand in a convertible Jeep, Dan Sommerdahl (Peter Mygind) and his tattooed partner Flemming Torp (André Babikian) look like two stylish disco dads in their shades and casual attire.

The series opens with Sommerdahl making an impassioned speech to his wife Marianne (Laura Drasbæk) on the occasion of their 25th anniversary. The sun is out, a breeze flutters the leaves, but then a call comes in that a body has been found by the sea.

They might have a romantic day planned, but Dan drops everything, assuming Marianne will understand. After all, she works in forensics at the department and it’s no problem because, “She’s a pro.” Anyway, she’s used to being abandoned as Helsingør’s top detective delivers justice for the dead. The dead woman in question is a Russian emigre who had recently given birth, so now there’s a race against time to find the infant, who can’t be more than a couple of weeks old, and to solve the woman’s murder.

The Sommerdahl Murders Danish crime show
Marianne is tired of always coming second to dead girls.

Meanwhile, rolling through town is a man in a 1970 Ford Mustang, searching for a woman called Alice and her five-year-old son, Nikolaj. Somehow this violent psycho could be connected to the dead woman on the beach, and Sommerdahl and Torp move quickly to hunt him down. The harbourmaster, Ali, might have information so they swoop by Sommerdahl’s boat at the marina and crack open some beers while Marianne waits at home. Along the way, they uncover fraud, exploitation and people trafficking – but can they find the missing baby in time?

The dark dealings are set against a fast-moving storyline with snappy dialogue and two lead characters in Dan and Marianne Sommerdahl who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Torp is little more sheepish, willing to go along with Dan’s impetuous, warrantless raids and red herring chasing. Is that because he’s an introvert, or is there a reason he doesn’t want to upset the boss?

Well, as the series develops it turns out that Torp and Marianne have been having an affair – and goodness knows how crimes will get solved as anger and passion slosh through the evidence cupboards down at the Helsingør police station. It gets comedic at times as the bitter Sommerdahl asks others to speak to Marianne for him, even when she’s in the same room. Hopefully, the victims of crime will come first for all three.

The Sommerdahl Murders Danish crime show
Flemming Torp is a dark horse in more ways than one.

Every Friday starting on 28 June, Walter Presents will be releasing two episodes, each pair forming a double bill with a complete story. The first involves the murdered Russian woman. After that, they try to solve the case of a lottery winner who flew off a building, a property developer electrocuted in a jacuzzi, and a youth football coach found dead at the stadium. The whole time, Sommerdahl is torn between his failing marriage and the murders he must solve while Dan and Marianne try to protect their long held secrets. Sizzle, sizzle, pop.

The Sommerdahl Murders began in 2020 and has enjoyed huge popularity in Denmark, now reaching its fifth season. The stories and characters are based on the Dan Sommerdahl books by Anna Grue, one of Denmark’s most-read crime authors. Oddly, her novels have yet to appear in English, but are very popular in German. In the UK and US, seasons one to three of The Sommerdahl Murders can be viewed on Amazon Prime with an Acorn TV subscription. We expect season two will arrive on Walter Presents soon. You may recognise Peter Mygind from Borgen.

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