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The Three Wallanders - Kenneth Branagh, Rolf Lassgård, Krister Henriksson

Posted on January 4, 2010 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Kenneth Branagh as Wallander

Kenneth Branagh's Wallander is back on BBC1 - fingers-crossed, a review later today, although I keep saying things like that and they never materialise. Just to be very confusing, he's the third actor to play Kurt Wallander. There have been two previous versions of Wallander made in Sweden.

The first series were straight adaptations of the Henning Mankell novels, starred Rolf Lassgård and ran from 1995 to 2007. Here are clips from Sidetracked and Firewall, both of which have also been adapted as Ken stories. See how similar yet different they are:

The second series - bar the first story, which was adapted from a Linda Wallander novel called Before The Frost and which also got shown in cinemas - were straight-to-DVD original stories featuring the characters from the novels but not the plots. They starred Krister Henriksson and they're the ones BBC4 showed last year.

A second series of movies has been made: as with the first series, Mankell is providing the storylines and other writers are finishing the scripts. Tragically, however, the woman who played Linda Wallander - Johanna Sällström - committed suicide so Lena Endre is playing the part instead. Here's a trailer for the first of the new episodes, and if your Swedish is up to the job, I've followed it with a second trailer that has interviews with the actors and director.

The third series stars our Ken and, well, more on that later.

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  • hellosnackbar

    Before seeing the Wallander series with Krister Henriksson I had read all the Wallander books in very short succession.
    Krister Henriksson's interpretation of the Mankel creation is as near perfect
    as is possible.
    Krister if you read this then please sign up for more Wallander episodes.
    There's no other, who captures the character like you.

  • Evewar

    I've loved all the BBC 4 Saturday night 'foreign' thrillers/detective series so far,from Lund to Montalbano, with the exception of the Rolf Lassgård episodes of Wallender. I'm disappointed therefore to see he's the star of the upcoming Bergman series. Hope it's an improvement on his take on Wallander ...

  • Mach 3 Turbo

    [isto é bom] I've only seen a handful of Brannagh episodes, but have to agree with majority of comments on this site - Krister Henriksson is the best! I find English speaking actors in a Swedish police drama totally unrealistic anyway - like Van Der Valk used to be in Holland - in English?! Let's have native languages with native speakers and use subtitles. We may not speak Svenska, but we are not stupid either! We were also very sad to read about Johanna Sallstrom's suicide. Her part in the first season was superb. :(

  • Graham

    Wallander in all it's guises make for very entertaining programmes.

    However my absolute favourite is Rolf Lassgard, followed by Krister Henriksson.

    As for Branagh's version, watchable, but way too much focus on him, somewhat of an ego piece methinks.

    Regardless, I have seen all the rest, so look forward to branagh in the final three.

    ps if you like these you may want to try The Girl with series.

  • Mike Bunn

    [this is good] I have generally been disappointed in the Wallendar series. The earliest one I remember was acceptable only in that it had Rolf Lassgard as the break-the-rules assistant. Later, Lassgard played the main role, and his Wallendar was the only one I truly enjoyed. Why? His character was not the typical socialist policeforce clown. He was a real man, not an effeminate do-gooder.

  • christine

    I really like Krister hendriksson, have read a lot of the books and think he portrays Wallander's personal sadness well.

  • Kathie Godfrey

    After reading the most recent entry regarding the suicide of Emil Forselius, of which I was not aware, and as a depressive under treatment myself, I just want to say the following. Our families, our friends and our society as a whole puts tremendous pressure on us to set goals, to do more than the next guy, to succeed and outdo our peers and while some may find that stimulating and even encouraging in some instances, to those of us who struggle with mood disorders, it is often overwhelming. It is an open invitation to examine oneself and find that we're simply not good enough and to believe that it can be no one's fault but our own. Some days, for most of us ordinary folk, just getting up, taking a shower and dressing for the day is an achievement. We push ourselves along, always hoping for a better day when we will have the energy to do more. In the meantime, I ask you to recognize that whatever you do or don't do, you are valued and loved by those around you. I won't bring religion into this because I know many do not subscribe, but your life has meaning and importance. Please seek help on your own for your depression and stay in touch with your friends and family and your doctor when you are having a particularly rough patch.

  • Greg

    Yes, I agree with Richard and the other subscribers who list Krister as the best Wallander.

    Very impressive performances in every episode. I think the Swedish language gives it something extra too, even though you have to keep referring to the subtitles.

    Regarding the sad death of Joanna and the various comments on depression and suicide, I am not sure if anyone else has noticed the following actor's suicide too.

    In the second series with Krister as Wallander and Isabelle and Pontus playing the new police recruits, there is an episode entitled "Indrivaren" in which Emil Forselius plays an old love interest (Patrik) of Isabelle's.

    I noticed in the credits at the end of this episode that it was dedicated to his memory and checking further he too had committed suicide at the slightly older (than Joanna) but still very young age of 35.

    It seems that his acting career seemed to be going nowhere and he took his own life.

    A great series tinged with sadness.

    RIP to them both.

  • Richard

    I also think that Henrikson is the man; he is a consummate copper, in the definitive police procedural of the second series. I found the first series a bit overwhelmed by melodrama at times, not least the real life melodrama of the johann salstrom tragedy. Though not as good, lossgard and Branagh are not without merit

  • Marie Green

    Oh Krister, you have got to do more Wallander. Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!

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