January 2015: some crime drama treats

Here we all are in a shiny new year. Wishing you and yours a very happy 2015!

There are a number of wonderful crime dramas heading our way in January. Here’s a quick round up of four goodies…

Y Gwyll / Hinterland, S4C, 9pm on Thursday 1 January 

Today sees a special, one-off episode for fans of this bilingual, Welsh-English crime drama. Here’s the S4C description >> Troubled hero DCI Mathias returns to the front-line in this brand new episode. Faced with a suspected arson attack, Mathias is drawn into a community riven by old feuds and bitter jealousies. A story of heartbreak and loss, but for Tom Mathias, will it offer a new beginning? <<

Head over to the S4C website for further information (in English), a trailer and details of how to activate subtitles. If you don’t have access to S4C, don’t worry – you’ll be able to access it later via S4C Clic online (the Welsh equivalent of iPlayer). The episode will no doubt also appear on BBC1 in due course. An earlier Mrs. Peabody post on Y Gwyll is available here, and a new series follows later in 2015.

Fortitude, Sky Atlantic, 9pm on Thursday 29 January

There’s an increasing amount of buzz about this series in the press. Drawing on Scandi Noir traditions, it features a stellar international cast (Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sofie Gråbøl, Christopher Eccleston), is set in a mining community in the Arctic Circle and was filmed in Iceland. From where I’m standing, that’s an impossible combination to resist.

Sky’s description is as follows: >> Fortitude is a place like nowhere else. Although surrounded by the savage beauty of the Arctic landscape, it is one of the safest towns on earth. There has never been a violent crime here. Until now. In such a close-knit community a murder touches everyone and the unsettling, mysterious horror of this crime threatens the future of the town itself.

The local Chief of Police, Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Dormer), has to investigate alongside DCI Morton (Tucci), the detective who has flown into Fortitude so fast that questions are being asked about how much he knew, and when. As these two cops try to make sense of the killing, each finds compelling reasons to mistrust and suspect the other. <<

Further details are available here and there’s a preview clip too…

Broadchurch, ITV, Monday 5 January

Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) return for the second series of this crime drama set on the Dorset coast. I absolutely loved the first series and am intrigued to see where the storyline goes after the explosive revelations of the final episode.

Spiral, BBC4, 9pm on Saturday 10 January (12 episodes)

The fifth season of this gritty French crime drama will be a welcome addition to BBC4’s international crime slot on Saturday evenings. I’ll resist providing a description of the first episode in case there are some who’ve not yet seen the end of season 4 (that includes me), but if you’re interested in knowing more, you can head over to the BBC4 website.

Crime Time Preview has a useful round up of further crime dramas (British and international) that are scheduled for 2015. It looks to be a promising year.

Wishing you all a fabulous start to 2015. My January’s going to be a bonkers one, trying to juggle a number of different publishing and academic commitments, so I may be posting a little less than usual this month. It’s all good though – and I look forward to reporting on a completed project soon 🙂

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40 thoughts on “January 2015: some crime drama treats

  1. I have to do a lot of ‘ catch-up’ viewing to do! Broadchurch season 1 is on the ‘to see list now’!
    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Happy New Year Mrs P, thanks for these great tips – can’t wait for Spiral, am a huge fan. Do hope old Juge Roban still has excellent volume in his grey hair…meanwhile we are LOVING The Code – almost finished now, enthralled.

    • You’ll have to be my Spiral consultant, as I’m very behind. But yes, I did clock the admirable mane being sported by le judge. Others have noted a resemblance to Arsene Wenger?!

      Glad you’re still enjoying The Code. I thought it was consistently good throughout, which isn’t always the case, and would happily watch it again.

    • Hello Christine – a very Happy New Year to you and yours as well, and yes, will definitely be at CrimeFest. Look forward to seeing you there 🙂

  3. Thank you Mrs P! I was a bit worried before Christmas as so much of my favourite tv series seemed to be coming to an end (not crime – The Knick, The Newsroom. And The Fall, that IS crime!) and I’d seen nothing new trailed bar Broadchurch – which I did like last year, but it wasn’t half as fantastic as some thought – Line Of Duty was far superior, imho. So it’s great to see some v tasty telly coming up. Now, I’m going to see if I can watch S4C on my Kindle, as I doubt I’ll be able to persuade my parents to let me have the telly for it. And I think I’ll have a Spiral binge, as I’m a bit hazy on series 3 and 4…he’ll, I might just watch em all! Happy New Year, Mrs P, and thanks again!

    • You’re welcome, crimeworm. I really loved In the Line of Duty as well – thought Keeley Hawes was fantastic in that. Come to think of it, 2014 had some really great roles for women in British drama – Happy Valley, In the Line of Duty, Broadchurch and The Fall. Good to see.

      Hope S4C works out, and enjoy the Spiral binge!

      Happy New Year and wishing you a great 2015!

      • Aaargh! I’d finished doing a spreadsheet of the books I have to read and review in 2015 so far, got S4C on the Kindle, and – no English subtitles! As the extent of my Welsh is nos. 1 to 5, I’ll have to see if subtitles are available on their version of the ITV player…I loved the 3 episodes I saw earlier in the year. And I’m a fan of juge Roban, although I prefer Gilou. My other half, predictably, likes the dastardly Josephine, although I can’t blame him. But Laure kicks ass. I hadn’t noticed the Wenger resemblance, but now you mention it…

        Hope you have a great 2015 too, and looking forward to reading lots more Mrs P posts this year!

    • Happy New Year! Yes, Fortitude sounds great. I don’t have Sky Atlantic, alas, so will have to bribe a friend to let me watch or wait for the box set.

  4. Happy New Year, Mrs. P. – hope you have a good if busy start to the year! I’ll be rather snowed under (both literally and metaphorically) in January too, but there’s always time for crime fiction series. So looking forward to Spiral – and a good excuse to remind myself of series 2 and 3 again. Trying to think how I can get hold of Fortitude here in France…

    • Happy New Year, MarinaSofia! I’m trying not to think about how busy January is going to be *gulp*. Hope yours goes well and that the snow lets up exactly when you want it to.

      Fortitude is going to be difficult for me too; may have to wait which will be frustrating. Enjoy Spiral!

  5. New Spiral you say?? Tres Bon! I love Spiral, so thanks for the heads up on that one. Fortitude had me at the cast. I don’t really care what it’s about, I’ll be watching!

  6. It’s great that BBC4 and other Freeview channels manage to pick up the best of the crime dramas. There are unfortunately a few like Fortitude, and the new series of Ripper Street which are not available on Freeview, and will be shown on Sky and other obscure channels which not everyone wants, can afford or are allowed to have. Anyway, grumble over….Happy New Year Mrs P, looking forward to more blogs.

    • Hello, Kathy. Hope your 2015 is a sparkler so far. I sympathize with your grumble. I don’t have Sky, so will be gnashing my teeth when Fortitude airs…

  7. Thank you, Mrs P, for the info about Y Gwyll. I watched it on Clic (with subtitles) as suggested and it is amazing, dark and brooding as were the first four episodes. I do hope that the very brief and surprising last scene does not herald sweetness and light as opposed to dark and brooding in the next series. I don’t think they would dare!

    • Can I ask how you got the subtitles on? I couldn’t seem to be able to do that – I don’t know if that’s because I was trying to watch on the Kindle, but I’ve no problem with BBC iPlayer, or the ITV one?

      • Hello crimeworm. I’ve just managed to work this out on my computer:

        Go to http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/e_index.shtml
        Click on the image/words Y Gwyll (second column over)
        Click on ‘click to play’
        Confirm you are over 16 🙂
        You’ll then be taken to the programme.
        Click on the ‘S’ for subtitles at the bottom of the Y Gwyll screen (allows Welsh or English subtitles to be selected)…and play!

  8. Have a wonderful new year with lots of interesting books and TV series, although that looks like a given with your forecasts of great episodes to come.
    I loved Broadchurch. A neighbor just saw it on Netflix and loved it. I’ll have to wait until March for season 2. I also saw the U.S. version, with David Tennant and Anna Gunn; a bit different from the British version, it was good. So glad more Hinterland is coming.
    I’m trying to find The Code and Happy Valley over here, so far no such luck.
    I’ll try to find Fortitude and Spiral, which I haven’t yet accessed.
    Everyone should find The Escape Artist, which showed over here on PBS, with David
    Tennant and Sophie Okenado. Unbelievably good, battle of wits, fast-paced, excellent acting.
    I will rewatch this one.
    Meanwhile, I’m racing through Vera season 3 and will be sorry to see it end.

  9. As usual thanks for the work you put in I would miss loads of stuff without you. xxx. Y Gwyll? I counted 119 pauses of more than 10 seconds and by the end I had lost the will to live or ever visit Wales as the sight of a bearded man would send my mood plummeting. Thank goodness for Spiral that should cheer me up!

    • Thanks, billiobob!

      That’s some counting you did there. Funnily enough, I noticed the same thing watching Y Gwyll this time round – the relative lack of dialogue (compared to, say, Broadchurch), and the high number of brooding, lingering close-ups on (predominantly) anguished faces. I can think of two possible reasons for this: the desire to emulate Scandi noir such as The Killing and/or an attempt to keep the dialogue down to make the logistics of a bilingual production process easier. Either way, I think the makers need to be a little bit careful that they don’t tip the programme over into parody. I did still enjoy watching it though, if that’s the right word for something so bleak. Be assured that many Welsh are actually quite jolly – even the bearded ones 🙂

  10. Spiral is splendid, as we have come to expect – going to see a couple of sessions (one with Ann Landois and one with Caroline Proust) at Institut Francais’ annual french drama fest http://www.institut-francais.org.uk/totallyserialized/2013-edition/whats-on/spiral/
    Have not seen new episode of Y Gwyll, will wait for BBC transmission. Found Broadchurch rather disappointing from early on, and not overly impressed by first two episodes of Fortitude (which I saw at a preview last week) either, I am afraid to say. Like everyone else was impressed by scale and concept as well as great ensemble cast, but let’s just say first 90 mins wasn’t enough to make me take out a Sky subscription. Have now seen most of Sky Arts (non-crime but still very intriguing) Danish drama The Legacy, and would recommend seeing that instead (it’s on YouTube with subtitles now)

    • Hello Barbara, and Happy New Year to you too!

      Great to get the chance to see Spiral on the big screen, and good on the Institut Francais for showing it. Y Gwyll is still definitely worth seeing in my view, as is Broadchurch, though I agree it’s not as tight as series 1 thus far. I thought the opening episode was great, and was less impressed with episode 2 (a few too many implausible moments, like witnesses being allowed to watch court proceedings before they have testified themselves), but am keen to keep watching, perhaps due to my feeling of investment from series 1. I do also like that we’ve been taken on to the messiness of the trial, as most crime narratives stop before that point.

      A shame that Fortitude isn’t hitting the spot. I had such high hopes. I think I’ll still seek it out when I get a chance; let’s hope it picks up as it goes on. You’re the second person to recommend The Legacy to me – sounds very strong indeed. Thanks!

  11. Forgot to say Happy New Year,Mrs P, and thank you – one of my favourite discoveries of 2014! Very pleased to see we are still in synch, as I, too, had True Detective for my Christmas Treat (on dvd). Also agree wholeheartedly with Crimeworm re Line of Duty being far superior to Broadchurch, as well as your response re 2014 being a great year for women in British crime drama. I called the top 4 in the Guardian poll, in the right order!!

    • I loved Line of Duty 2 and Broadchurch 1 equally, I think. Yes, more women please! I like that Broadchurch 2 shows three female barristers and a female judge (with black and Asian representation to boot!). Not necessarily what we would see in real life, but a great way to normalise the idea of strong professional women from different backgrounds.

      Hats off to you for your poll predictions 🙂

  12. I liked Broadchurch 1 a bit better than Line of Duty 2, although the cast in both is superb. I can’t wait for Broadchurch 2 to be in the States in March.
    But every mystery and courtroom drama and thriller lover has to see David Tennant and Sophie Okenado in The Escape Artist. It is quite an edge-of-your seat thriller with a terrific cast and lots of legal cat and mouse between the two barristers. It’s two episodes.
    I’m about to rewatch it.

  13. Since it is evidently not too late to express warm greetings, here they are, with all thankful good wishes for a fully criminal year. The 2015 Edgar Award nominations were released just the other day and I was pleased to see that The Final Silence by Stuart Neville was listed. I had not read him since his first fine book, The Ghosts of Belfast, and this one has sent me back to catch up. We are awash with television series here, as are many of your readers. (My list includes most of those mentioned but also Dicte, Thorne, Above Suspicion, and a dozen others.) Among the many on our list of satisfactions was a Belgian drama from 2012 called Salamander. Perhaps this is well known to others, but a fresh discovery here. Tonight, perhaps it will be the second series of The Fall. Your scholarship and academic work are satisfactions, I hope, despite the bonkers effect. All best.

    • It’s definitely not too late, David – wishing you a very Happy and criminally fantastic New Year too!

      I’ve read two by Stuart Neville – The Ghosts of Belfast, which I really enjoyed, and Ratlines, which explores how some Nazis were able to make their home in Ireland after the war (reviews/post about these on the blog). I must catch up with the Edgar nomination (thanks for that news). He’s a very interesting author and I’m keen to keep track of his work.

      Thanks also for the TV crime drama recommendations. Salamander was on here, but I missed it. Another one to catch up with at an unspecified time in the future…

      The satisfactions of academia: yes, absolutely. I’m very lucky to have such an interesting job, and to have the chance of working on the literature I love. The next two weeks will hopefully see a major project being finished off (more about that on the blog soon). I’m hoping for a smooth run as teaching starts next week as well. All fun and games 🙂

      Happy reading and viewing, David!

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