Wallander. The Accused.


I love Wallander. The 13 stories staring Krister Henriksson as the eponymous named hero were so depressingly droll and downbeat that the only option was to commit yourself. Little did I know that they were only loosely based on the stories of Henning Mankell, which means, of course, they have as much to do with the original as Kenneth Branagh. But I’ve never read the books and just don’t care.

I watched Rolf Lassgard in Firewall which is based on one of the books. His Wallander looks like a gone to seed football player with manboobs. In this episode he is diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, which is consistent with his appearance. He’s rougher around the edges than the other Wallanders and prone to impetuous and imperious outbursts. The other cast members are similarly less glamorous and thus more believable. The main plot line, with the mandatory red herring of the murder of a taxi driver by a girl whom he raped, was based around a conspiracy to ‘turn the world upside down’ and bring the banking system down by infecting their computing systems with the atomic equivalent of the Millennium bug. This was loosely tied in with an anarchist group based in Africa trying to wipe out world debt. There was a rather ham-fisted attempt by a computer expert trying to explain the impact to one of Wallander’s colleagues by asking him what would happen when he went to the cash machine and… Well I’ve got nothing in the cash machine so fuck them. I’m with the Levellers, but I’m not going up against Wallander.

The Accused.

Alison’s Story is the last in Jimmy McGovern’s series. The two stories with female leads have been the poorest. Alison Wade (Naomi Harris) is an attractive black women in the dock. We are shown her working in a centre for the mental handicap. She complained that she felt worn out teaching youngsters and sometimes she didn’t feel she could give her own kids enough any more. Being politically correct the people with a learning disability she was tutoring weren’t children and should not have been learning nursery rhymes. But this is nit picking. There were already enough holes in the plot. One of the questions left unanswered until towards the end was who did she kill, was it her husband? Their life unravelled when she is caught out having an affair. He rapes her and if she thought that was bad what happens after is even worse. Her boyfriend is beaten by baseball bats and she is fitted up by the police as a drug dealer. Her husband’s father is a cop and he’s arranged it all. That way his son gets the kids and the mother goes down. There is no murder. We have been strung along. The judge questions the validity of the evidence given by the police (bullshit, bullshit) and thinks given that bullshit, bullshit, the nark that set Alison up should be forced to appear in the witness box. The nark is tutored by the husband’s father, but stumbles in the stand. The police inspector with 20 years service goes down and takes his son with him. Alison’s children run to a relieved mum. British justice is saved. It’s all very Crown Courtish.