Henning Mankell’s Wallander
Henning Mankell wrote a dozen novels featuring Swedish detective Kurt Wallander between 1991 and 2009, and he sure did get a lot of mileage out of them. There was a series of Swedish TV movies from 1994 to 2007, starring Rolf Lassgard. Then there was this Swedish TV series from 2005 to 2013, starring Krister Henriksson. As if that weren’t enough, there is another production, from the BBC, shot in Sweden, from 2008 and continuing right on to this year, 2016, starring Kenneth Branagh. Not even James Bond has had that many iterations.
We came to this one after watched three of the English-language versions. And what a relief it was! Everything about it is better. The scripts, the supporting cast, the photography, and most of all, Krister Henriksson as Wallander. He’s got kind of a hound-dog face, and he faces most situations calmly, rationally, though he is capable of getting mighty pissed off, especially when one of his rookie cops takes a stupid chance. He has his quirks, like chewing gum a lot and leaving his beloved black lab at the station with his harassed secretary. But bottom line, I like him a lot, and would want him on the case if something went wrong in my life. Each of these made-for-TV episodes is ninety minutes long, so halfway into Season Two we are set up for binge watching for a while. And I couldn’t be happier.