I watched the original movie versions of the books by Stieg Larson.
Because of it I read an interesting article about Larson, and his writings. The article also mentioned the mood, the style of Swedish and Danish thrillers and why they had become so popular worldwide. As anecdotal evidence of their popularity , the article mentioned that the wool sweaters the protagonist of “The Killing” wears became a fad and the manufacturer couldn’t keep up with the demand for them.
When I learned that the second season of “The Killing” was about to begin in Australia, courtesy of SBS (our version, sort of, of your PBS) I watched one episode and got hooked on it, so we bought the DVD of The Killing, seasons 1 and 2.
Wallander, the Swedish version that you mentioned was also on in the early hours of the morning on SBS, while in UK TV (cable channel) Mr Kenneth Branagh was impersonating Mr Wallander. We also bought both seasons in DVD.
Tonight on our ABC (BBC downunder) begins the second season of the “British” Wallander.
I wholeheartedly recommend “Spiral”, that has a Gallic woman as a counterpoint to the Danish woman in The Killing. Here, two weeks ago began the third season of Spiral, I have ordered the DVDs of the first two seasons.
In Australia, dubbing is a no-no and rightly so. Subtitles it is.
I agree that Branagh’s Wallander is more emotive than his Swedish’s counterpart. I haven’t read any of the books the TV series are based on, so I cannot judge which Wallander is the ‘real’ one. I’d say the Swedish one, of course.
What I like very much from the BBC production is the cinematography, those Swedish landscapes look beautiful but desolate and ground the series; the musical score is also good. I like the inventing close-ups. Yes, Branagh’s existential angst is sometimes overdone and the ongoing disastrous relationship with his father interrupts the flow of the investigation.
Please, don’t judge the original The Killing by way of the copy. If you like Wallander’s world you would also appreciate the cold, rainy dark atmosphere of the land of the Danes.
My favourite of all of the above, “Spiral” by a whisker ahead of the first season of The Killing.