The Killing BBC 4

The Killing. I know it’s stupid, but I’ve been avoiding this because I loved Wallander. I sneaked a little look between watching something and watching nothing. It’s nothing like Wallander and something like Wallander. There is the same unhurried pace, which is no great surprise, to work out who the killer is and bag him takes 20 episodes. That’s 20 hours of drama. War and Peace would take probably about 20 hours to read and could be shown in its entirety in about two or three hours. I think one black and white version was about one hour and thirty minutes long. A mini series might stretch to six hours. The Killing has a murder as its focus, that of teenager Nana Birk Larsen, but its about the characters who are left behind and those investigating the killer. The cop protagonist is middle aged like Wallander, but Sarah Lund is female. Her partner, Jan Meyer, wants her to stay in the force and is bitter because she is leaving to be with her fiancé. ‘He’s the smartest person she knows,’ Sarah says to her partner, about her fiancé, apart from him, of course. Truth or irony are delicate blooms. There is a side story about an aspiring politician, Troels Hartmann, that may, or may not, have given the main suspect a communal car, used for politicking. His undoing is not suspending the main suspect from his teaching job, because the police have not formally charged him. There is evidence, of course, but the police just can’t make it stick. They know that he has taken the girl, but they don’t know where, until they find the locked garage with a subterranean room. The murdered girl’s mother says that a blood stained jacket may have been her daughters. The main suspects (Akram?) accomplice, however, finally cracks under interrogation and admits they had taken girls there, but it wasn’t what the police think. They were helping girls escape from arranged marriages.

Spool back. The protagonist’s boyfriend a ‘Cracker’ like psychologist reluctantly went through the crime lab photos. Drunk he crashes his car. In the hospital scene he admits she may be right. The killer has done it before. He gets off on killing. But there are no reports of girls going missing; no dead bodies. My bet is Akram has killed the trafficked girls and there are no reports because ostensibly they have gone to a better life. The police have the right suspect. They’ve got eleven hours and eleven days to prove it.