Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Wallander: The Collector - and Teamwork


The second long series from Swedish TV of Wallander came to an end with an excellent episode, The Collector. Again, Krister Henriksson was excellent as the eponymous cop, but this was another show which showed the strength of the whole team of cops at Ystad, and that strength is a key reason for the success of the series.

In this story, the young trainees, Pontus and Isabelle, have reached the end of their apprenticeship and are faced with decisions about the future. Isabelle wants to travel, and upsets Pontus by making it clear that she wants to do so on her own. But when a woman who is murdered by masked robbers in her own home turns out to be someone Isabelle knows from her gym, the young woman finds herself drawn into the enquiry.

At a boxing match, Isabelle is recognised by one of the fighters, and it turns out that this is Patrik, who along with his brother is not only a hardened criminal with psychopathic tendencies, but also a former lover of Isabelle. This part of the story stretched credulity, but was done just about convincingly enough to be believable. Isabelle is reluctant to admit her past misdemeanours to Wallander, but inevitably things start to turn nasty. Very nasty.

The Wallander stories are, of course, far from the first to highlight cop teams rather than focusing exclusively on a single character. Ed McBain was an early exponent of this kind of story; I have vague memories of watching a few 87th Precinct tv shows when I was very young, though I’m not sure how they would hold up today. The McBain books, however, have lasted pretty well, and I expect that Henning Mankell’s novels will achieve similar longevity. Meanwhile, I’m not sure if there will be any more Wallanders from Swedish TV, but this series at least will stay in my memory for a long time. It has been excellent.

16 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - I'm very glad that you've enjoyed the Wallander series as much as you have. I'm going to have to find DVDs of it, as the series hasn't been aired here...

Clarissa Draper said...

I've heard of the series but sadly, never seen an episode. I should look it up though.

CD

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You're just whetting my appetite for watching the series! Maybe it'll be available online since it's not on PBS here for some reason.

Ali Karim said...

I couldn't agree more, the Swedish Yellow Bird WALLANDER have been wonderful, this second season remarkable. I have been watching it on Iplayer on tghe Ipad in Bed, just wonderful, and it leaves a vacuum now finished. I wonder if reasonably priced DVD's will come avilable soon?

Ali

Uriah Robinson said...

This second series is so sad. I still miss Stefan and Linda form series one although Pontus and Isabelle are excellent. In the episode I just watched they ended up in bed together which makes the non-relationship between Kurt and the attractive Katerina even more bittersweet. Poor Kurt.

Tim said...

Good news Martin! ... there's one more episode :-)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rwm3f

harriet said...

I just watched this episode -- but I didn't really understand what happened in the end. I thought Pontus was going to stay in the Ystad police but in the end Wallander said goodbye and good luck to him. What did I miss?

Martin Edwards said...

As ever, I'm grateful for your comments.
Margot, Clarissa and Elizabeth, I think you would be very likely to enjoy this series, and I'm sure it will become more widely known and more easily available.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Ali, how are things? And how are you liking the Ipad??

Martin Edwards said...

Uriah, I feel Jussi the dog keeps doing his best to bring the couple together, but so far....

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Tim, good news!

Martin Edwards said...

Harriet, my understanding was that Pontus and Isabelle had finished their training in Ystad, and that Pontus would stay in the police, but somewhere else, while Isabelle was going away.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I did enjoy the first series, aired her on PBS Mystery. My one caveat is that I wish the BBC, or whoever is making this series, tried to give them less of a British feel. The writing is fine but the accents and word usage (extensive use of the word brilliant as an adjective, for example) makes me feel that I am in the north of England rather than the north of Europe.

Karen said...

although saturday's episode felt like a finale there is still 1 episode left 'Vittnet'. And it's a belter from what I've been told. so don't forget to tune in again on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

maybe I am stating the obvious, but on BBC iplayer you can watch the swedish version right now, or at least the two latest parts.
guess u'll have to use a proxy server if you are not living in the UK.

Martin Edwards said...

Patti, Karen and Anon, thank yo.