Sunday, 7 April 2013

Arne Dahl: The Blinded Man - TV review

The Blinded Man, a two-parter in the new Scandinavian crime series Arne Dahl, had its first episode last night on BBC Four. I thought I'd give it a go, even though I'm beginning to lose track of Nordic crime series, so commonplace have they become. I haven't read Misterioso, the book on which the show is based, and I must admit that I'm not familiar with the work of Arne Dahl, the Swedish author who gives the series its name. But evidently he's highly successful and the Dahl name is a pseudonym, for Jan Arnald.

In an eventful ninety-minute episode, a string of financiers were murdered rather spectacularly on successive days. Financiers have a long tradition as victims in detective stories - dating back at least to the book that launched the Golden Age a century ago, Trent's Last Case (incidentally, I've been surprised by the lack of discussion about E.C. Bentley's famous book at the time of its centenary, so I may say a bit about myself before long.)

The key premise is that a group of seemingly dysfunctional cops from different parts of Sweden are assembled to investigate the case. I suspect the book did a rather better job of explaining why this was such a good idea than the TV version. But the contrasting characters of the cops makes for good television, and this episode ended with one of them suffering a grisly fate at the hands of some very unpleasant gangsters.

In addition to the Swedish scenes, those in photogenic Tallinn were a welcome bonus; I enjoyed the show, without being overwhelmed with admiration. Some of this is to do with the fact that I have become rather bored with reading sub-titles. I'll watch Arne Dahl again, but like a number of other crime shows I've seen this year, it simply isn't in the same league as Broadchurch, which after five episodes I'm finding absolutely superb.


Constantine said...

Thought that a Swedish cop, armed and alone, wandering around in another country, bizarre and incredible. Whole episode rather silly.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Constantine, thanks for your comment.

Richmonde said...

Why didn't they get a proper briefing? Why weren't they given files labelled "what we know so far"? Why is the office so ill-equipped? What had it been used for? Why employ cops who don't know the city? Why didn't the golf club keep its records on a computer? Is Chavez on drugs? Tune in next week to find out!

Martin Edwards said...

Richmonde, these are all very good questions. Not sure I can answer any of them!