At last! BBC4’s international crime slot gets back into gear

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the BBC to deliver on its March 2013 crime press release. While Arne Dahl has aired, three new series (Inspector de Luca, Young Montalbano and The Bridge 2) and two stand-alone films have yet to be shown.

Finally, after a summer of Wallander and Sebastian Bergmann repeats, it looks like things are starting to move. This Saturday – 24 August – will see the showing on BBC4 of the 2010 Norwegian film The King Of Devil’s Island (9.00 to 10.50pm). The film, originally titled Kongen av Bastøy, is based on a true story, and explores Norway’s treatment of youth criminality in the early twentieth century. 

Here’s the BBC blurb: ‘The King of Devil’s Island (dir. Marius Holst) tells the unsettling tale of a group of young delinquents banished to the remote prison of Bastøy, Norway, in 1915. Under the guise of rehabilitation the boys suffer a gruelling daily regime at the hands of the prison governor (Stellan Skarsgård), until the arrival of new boys Erling and Ivar (Benjamin Helstad and Magnus Langlete) sparks a chain of events that lead to rebellion’. I last saw Skarsgård in the film version of Mamma Mia. Something tells me this will be a very different kind of role.

A short review of The King of Devil’s Island and programming details are available at The Radio Times.

I’m not sure when the outstanding series will be aired, as the BBC keeps its cards notoriously close to its chest – hopefully we will know more soon. For those who can’t wait, here’s a trailer for The Bridge 2 from Swedish broadcaster SVT, which looks brilliant. No subtitles needed. Thanks to @AndyLawrence5 for sending this my way.

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21 thoughts on “At last! BBC4’s international crime slot gets back into gear

  1. BBC2 & Channel 4 have stolen their glory! Top of the Lake, The Returned & Southcliffe. Also a good one started on Fox last Friday ‘ Low Winter Sun’, it’s a remake of the 2006 series on C4, but
    set in Detroit, still with Mark Strong playing the same part, & the guy who was the main character
    from Line of Duty. Very dark & Wireish.

    • You have a point. Hopefully BBC4 will start to give them a run for their money now. But aren’t we lucky – crime drama riches on multiple channels! Not too shabby.

    • Oh good – glad to hear you’re enjoying this series. I missed it first time round and have been eyeing up the box set. It does sound very much worth seeing.

  2. If the series of The Bridge 2 is as good as the trailer, we should be in for a treat. I’m also really looking forward to seeing The King of Devils Island tomorrow. Stellan Skarsgard is a great actor, and apart from Mamma Mia, Pirates, and Dragon Tattoo one of my favourites is Taking Sides, where he plays Wilhelm Furtwangler. I’m also looking forward to the final 6 episodes of Krister Henriksson’s Wallander, and with the Italian series due as well, it looks like a good viewing in store for us.

    • It does seems so – I thought that The Bridge trailer looked fantastic too (very excited about that). I’ll be watching The King of Devil’s Island tomorrow as well, if nothing else for the pleasure of hearing some Scandi languages again. Hopefully it’ll be a good one.

    • Hope you enjoyed, Sarah. I thought it was extremely good. The TV critics had been a bit sniffy in advance – not sure why – but thought it was beautifully shot and acted.

  3. Did you enjoy the film?
    I haven’t seen it yet, but I know the history and the history that goes along with the making tof he film, Lars Saabye Christensen etc. From a norwegian point of view it’s especially interesting to see how the film is being approached outside Scandinavia. Stellan Skarsgård is a great actor, indeed.. Thanks for sharing!
    Greetings from The Rhine Valley
    Dina

    • I hope you have a lovely, chilled glass of Riesling in your hand, Dina!

      I thought the film was great. It was beautifully shot and acted, and Stellan S was extremely good (as were the two lead ‘boy’ actors). The fact that it was based on a true story lent it some extra weight (although I’m not sure that the causes of the rebellion were ever isolated as specifically as they are in the film). Hope you get to see it at some point.

    • Ah, so much to see, so little time! I’m really looking forward to The Bridge 2 as well – the trailer looked fantastic. I haven’t seen Top of the Lake as yet either.

  4. The Bridge 2 is set to start in November apparently….so as Montalbano finishes on the 9th..can we assume it starts on the 16th???!!!

  5. Oh dear……think I’ve been hasty..somewhere else says early 2014…..but I thought hat was Borgen……the waiting is killing me!!

    • Hi Catherine – I share your frustration! I’ve found that the start dates for series are rarely given in advance, and that if they are, they are often still subject to change. I now try to wait with as much patience as I can muster for official confirmation via the BBC or the Radio Times. It’s often only the week before transmission that this takes place, which has long been a gripe of mine – I wish they would tell us sooner (especially as we bloggers are keen to help them publicise these wonderful international dramas!).

      Zen-like patience required…

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