Riveting Nordic crime drama is back with this atmospheric tale of child abduction and conspiracy.
★★★★ ITV Encore, starts Wednesday, 10 June, 10pm
WHEN The Killing crept into BBC4’s schedules without fanfare in 2011 it famously became a word-of-mouth sensation, making a star of Sofie Gråbøl and igniting our near obsession with subtitled Nordic dramas.
The Bridge, Borgen, Arne Dahl have since become the stand-out successes from Northern Europe. Along the way, British viewers also fell in love with series such as Spiral and Inspector Montalbano from France and Italy.
But while Scandi devotees are stuck waiting for the next series of The Bridge (which will sadly be without Kim Bodnia, and is due late 2015/early 2016) and Arne Dahl (series 2: 2015), the new network ITV Encore has uncovered another quality thriller from Sweden.
Moa Gammel as detective Eva Thornblad
Jordskott immediately hits its stride as an engrossing drama with that quality of Nordic mystique. A vast ancient forest, a child’s disappearance, murky business dealings and a haunted blonde heroine – it’s the full smorgasbord.
Moa Gammel is police inspector Eva Thornblad, whose daughter disappeared by a lake, Silverhöjd, near her hometown seven years ago. When we meet Eva, she is confronting a deranged father, who shoots her.
During her convalescence, she has to return to her hometown to sort out her father’s estate. Conventional wisdom has it that her daughter, Josefine, drowned at the lake, and perhaps Eva has even made herself believe this.
A second disappearance
But when she learns that a boy has recently gone missing there, too, Eva is consumed by her loss and the need to learn what is really going on.
What makes Jordskott special? It is a fine production and a completely engrossing mystery, enriched by the achingly beautiful, slightly threatening setting. Sunlight, mist and deep woods are photographed stunningly.
Moa Gammel makes a suitably enigmatic nordic protagonist, beautiful and vibrant in flashbacks with her daughter, haunted and obsessed in the present day.
Jordskott is atmospheric and engrossing
The opening episode of this 10-parter includes hints at some disturbing secrets in the forest, and there is the added intrigue of the business activities of Eva’s recently deceased father.
All in all, it’s a superbly atmospheric and engrossing curtain-raiser.
The Killing won BBC4’s spurs as the home of subtitled crime series, a reputation that Sky has muscled in on with productions such as Matrioshki, Romanzo Criminale and Gomorrah. But with ITV Encore now also commissioning original crime series such as the forthcoming Midwinter of the Spirit with Anna Maxwell-Martin and David Threlfell, the new network could become a new go-to destination for great mysteries and thrillers.
And Jordskott is the show to put it on the map.