Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweden: Henning Mankell's Wallander comes to BBC 1 on November 30th

The first stop on our crime fiction tour of Sweden: Ystad

'Wallander', the BBC series based on Swedish author Henning Mankell's series of detective stories featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander is scheduled to begin on 30th November. The first episode (of three) is entitles 'Sidetracked', and stars Kenneth Brannagh as the eponymous cop.

The stories are set in Ystad in Skane, on the southernmost coast of Sweden - which Mankell has compared to Texas: "It runs along the border. I feel that in border countries there is a special dynamism that I use in my stories."

The Ystad Tourist Office has a page on their website about Kurt Wallander, and they run an official Wallander tour called 'In The Footsteps Of Inspector Wallander'. I don't yet know whether the tour is offered in English, but even if it isn't, you can download a useful pdf guide in English. The local paper, the Ystads Allehanda, has a flash movie about Wallander's Ystad. (There is an English translation!) It also includes an interactive map of the Skanes area.

Filming for the BBC series took place in Skane, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Mankell's spare prose and somewhat bleak vision have been interpreted for television, and set in a landscape that I've only previously experienced through his books.

Now if only I could afford to go there.......

'Sidetracked' won the CWA's Gold Dagger award in 2001, and the other two stories which will be shown are 'Firewall' and 'One Step Behind'. Mankell's stories have been filmed before, but not in English.


Anonymous said...

Ryanair has flights to sweden for next to nothing... You'd have to take the train south from gothenburg if you want to se Skane, though but everyone in Sweden speaks english (including many children) so it's easy to find your way.

Just saying, it't wouldn't be very expensive.

Rik Shepherd said...

Or you fly to Copenhagen, which is also the airport for Malmo (despite being in a different country). A short rail trip takes you into Malmo, then there's another train to Ystad.

Interestingly, it's impossible to by a return from Malmo to Ystad; you have to buy a single, then wrestle with the ticket machine on the way back.

sexy said...