Compare and contrast: The Killing and Forbrydelsen

Forbrydelsen

Over here in the UK, the Engrenages (Spiral) and The Wire-deprived portions of the population searching for decent crime TV (or indeed decent TV) have been eagerly watching Danish thriller The Killing (aka Forbrydelsen) on Saturdays on BBC4. Not that we’re behind the times, but it was actually made in 2007. Ho hum.

Anyway, airing in two-parts on Danish TV (two blocks of 10 episodes), Forbrydelsen details the police’s investigation of the murder of a school girl, with each episode showing a day’s worth of investigation. And although I’m only up to episode five, I’d have to say it’s damn fine TV and you should all watch it if you can. If you can’t, it’ll be out on DVD from April 4th.

Since that first series, it’s gone on to have a sequel series and a third series is in production right now, but hey, guess what, AMC in the US (home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad et al) is remaking it and is going to air its version from April 3rd. So you can compare and contrast, here’s an English language trailer for the Danish version and a trailer for the US version. If you’ve seen the first few episodes of the Danish version, you’ll be able to see they’re making it very, very similar to the original, don’t you think, right down to the music?

  • Thanks for this fascinating news and astute comparison. Makes me think of the remake of Lars Von Trier’s ‘Riget’ in the US as ‘The Kingdom’ but this is far quicker, suggesting US TV producers are now faster to recognise quality non-Anglophone European television.

  • Jane

    Could somebody could explain the background to the character Samy in the gripping ‘Spiral’, which I have just caught up with on DVD? Samy was part of some undercover group – 83? – which got into trouble. But what was it exactly?

  • The thought of US remake of The Killing just makes me want to cry… finale tomorrow and I can’t remember when I was last THIS excited about TV.

  • Chloe

    “Could somebody could explain the background to the character Samy in the gripping ‘Spiral’, which I have just caught up with on DVD? Samy was part of some undercover group – 83? – which got into trouble. But what was it exactly? ”
    As far as I can remember Samy was part of another police squad, I think the drugs squad, who were involved in corruption and Samy was suspected of being involved by internal affairs.
    By the way the next series of Spiral will be on in the same slot as The KIlling from 2nd April.

  • Chloe

    “Could somebody could explain the background to the character Samy in the gripping ‘Spiral’, which I have just caught up with on DVD? Samy was part of some undercover group – 83? – which got into trouble. But what was it exactly? ”
    As far as I can remember Samy was part of another police squad, I think the drugs squad, who were involved in corruption and Samy was suspected of being involved by internal affairs.
    By the way the next series of Spiral will be on in the same slot as The KIlling from 2nd April.

  • “By the way the next series of Spiral will be on in the same slot as The KIlling from 2nd April.”
    We’ve only just met, Chloe, but already I’ve decided you’re my new best friend. Many, many thanks!

  • hellosnackbar

    Forbrydelsen is just outstanding!
    And the fact that the Americans are remaking it suggests that they
    have the wit to recognise sheer quality and style.This could herald the end of the usual pap we’re served up.
    And a new series of Engrenages has me cooing with delight.

  • Ayejay

    People should just watch the Danish version with English sub-titles …