Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wallander is back, and I'll be watching.

Sunday and it is a four-star night on TV for me. Wallander on Masterpiece Theatre is back. This BBC by way of PBS series about a Swedish detective, Kurt Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh is in its third season on Masterpiece. This season, like the previous two has three episodes. Brannagh has already announced that there will a fourth 3-episode season, next year.

The episodes are based on a series of novels by Henning Mankell that take place in and around Ystad in Sweden – though certain events occur in Africa and in one novel in Latvia. Brannagh insisted that the series be shot in Sweden and it has a terrific look and feel.

The episodes have not been produced in the order the books were written, so there is a certain amount of jumping around in Wallander's life, but that doesn't make them any less enjoyable. I got hooked on the novels when I saw the first Wallander episode and started reading them, diligently in sequence. Reading a novel after having seen the episode has not detracted and I will see episodes after having already read the book. Again, not a problem for me, the books are that enjoyable.

Tonights episode, An Event In Autumn is actually based on a novella (90 pages) Mankell published in 2004 (the first novel in the series, Faceless Killers was published in 1991 in Sweden and 1997 in the United States). The English translation of the books title is The Grave. The plot revolves around the discovery by Wallander of a dead body in the yard of a house he is contemplating buying.

What is interesting about this particular book is that it was published and distributed as a complimentary gift to readers in the Netherlands who purchased other crime novels during the month of June 2004. It has not been published in the United States.

So I am set for tonight's episode.

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