Krampus in Der Pass
German TV

Boxset Tuesday: Der Pass (Pagan Peak) (season one) (Germany: Sky 1; UK: Sky Atlantic)

In Germany: Aired on Sky Deutschland in January
In the UK: Wednesdays, 8pm, Sky Atlantic

It’s always fascinating to see what countries make of a killer format such as The Bridge – not just to see whether they can do it better, but because it can tell you something about the original, as well as themselves.

The original Bron/Broen was a Swedish-Danish co-production that saw two police officers, one from Sweden, one from Denmark, investigating a dead body found on the bridge between the two countries at the exact border.

It set the world on fire, largely thanks to the performance of Sofia Helin as top Swedish autist detective Saga Norin, but also because of its clever use of Danish and Swedish culture. Both detectives were respective stereotypes of one another’s countries, Norin the icy, rich, unbending Swede of Danish minds, Martin the personable, maybe slightly too greyly shaded, slightly righter wing, over-emotional Dane of Swedish minds.

The show then went on to add nuance to those stereotypes and show how these exaggerated versions weren’t actually representatives of the two countries, but people with their own quirks causing them to be the way they are.

Since then we’ve had lots of different versions lined up around the world, with versions still to come in Africa and Asia.

The first version, set on the US/Mexican border, revealed lots of unconscious biases in the US adaptors’ minds. Norin’s female equivalent might have been autistic, too, but she was clearly a defective detective, unable to match Demián Bichir’s manly Mexican and neuro-typical might – or maintain the writers’ interest. There wasn’t much the show had to say good about Mexico (it’s corrupt and dangerous) or bad about the US (it’s understaffed and overly liberal), either. That maybe tells you a little about the US’s attitudes towards itself, Mexico, the disabled and/or women.

But the French-British The Tunnel proved a much better affair. While largely faithful to the original plot, beyond locating the original body in an, erm, tunnel, it chose to undermine the stereotypes while maintaining the same roles, giving us a much more personable Brit than his icy, computing French counterpart. Quelle surprise, but it was amusing, to be fair.

With a heap of very good British writers on staff, the show had lots to say about Britain, particularly Kent. But it had almost nothing to say about the French or France that couldn’t have been culled from a Daily Mail headline, exposing British self-centredness, ego and unfamiliarity within anything even 30 miles away.

Ellie and Winter

Der Pass (Pagan Peak)

And now we have the next The Bridge in line: the German-Austrian co-production Der Pass (Pagan Peak). And it’s possibly the best – perhaps even better than the original Bron/Broen. It also has a few things to say about Germans and Austrians.

This new version, the third original drama for Sky Deutschland following its superb Babylon Berlin and Das Boot (The Boat), is also the adaptation that diverges most from Bron/Broen. Set in the mountains between Germany and Austria, once again, it sees a body found on the exact border between two countries. As a result, the two nations send their own detectives to investigate: the German Ellie Stocker (Julia Jentsch) and the Austrian Gedeon Winter (Nicholas Ofczarek).

Here, though, storylines diverge quickly as we learn that the murder evokes concepts in ancient pagan rituals, such as the Green Man and the Celtic wood god Cernunnos, as well as the Austro-German Christmas tradition of the Krampus. Who is this Krampus Killer and what does he want?

The answer my friends will involve the phrase ‘liminal boundaries’ and an exploration of the double meaning of the German word ‘Grenze’. It will also be discussed – in only slightly spoilery fashion – after the trailer and the jump. See you in a mo.

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: Der Pass (Pagan Peak) (season one) (Germany: Sky 1; UK: Sky Atlantic)”
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The Bridge
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South Side, The Bridge (Asia) renewed; Krister Henriksson joins Hamilton; + more

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Street Legal
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Street Legal and Jann

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's Sanjuro

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro

This week’s reviews

After deciding to not bother reviewing ABC (Australia)’s The Heights on the general grounds the series description included the word ‘soapy’, this week I turned my attention to reviewing:

Meanwhile, for this week’s Orange Wednesday film reviews, I reviewed Peppermint (2018) and Sanjuro (1962).

Jann

New shows

After last week’s flurry of new shows in the US, Canada decided to get in on the act this week. I’ll be turning my attention to last night’s new CBC show Diggstown in the next few days, but after the jump, I’ll be looking at the revival of CBC’s Street Legal, as well as CTV’s preview of forthcoming ‘grumpy old singer’ comedy Jann.

Secret City returned for a second season in Australia on Monday as well and as that’s now all on Netflix in the UK, I might give that a watch over the weekend. However, from Friday, there’s a bit of competition on Netflix from Ricky Gervais’ new show After Life and Starz in the US will be premiering Now Apocalypse on Sunday. There’s bound to be other stuff, too, but let’s see how I fare with that little lot, too.

The Magicians

The regulars

After the jump, we’ll be talking about: Corporate, Doom Patrol, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., Ófærð (Trapped), The Orville, The Passage and Star Trek: Discovery, as well as the second episodes of The Enemy Within and Whiskey Cavalier. I’ll be dropping one of them from the regulars queue, but which?

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Street Legal and Jann”

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American Soul
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including American Soul, Bite Club, Delhi Crime Story and Störst av allt (Quicksand)

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

One very odd acquisition without a date this week, but everything else has a premiere announced.

Acquisitions

Netflix has picked up USA (US)’s Dare Me, an adaptation of Megan Abbott’s novel of the same name. I said odd because there isn’t actually a TV series yet – and there wouldn’t be if Netflix hadn’t agreed to distribute it everywhere in the world except the US.

So no premiere date yet… because it hasn’t been made yet.

Premiere dates

American Soul

American Soul (US: BET; UK: BET International)
Premiere date: Thursday, February 7, 10pm

Drama set behind the scenes of Soul Train, the 1970s US TV show that was the country’s first nationally-syndicated Black music show.

Stars Sinqua Walls, Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Katlyn Nichol, Jelani Winston and Christopher Jefferson. Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Bobby Brown, K Michelle, Gabrielle Dennis and McKinley Freeman all guest star.

Bite Club

Bite Club (Australia: Nine; UK: Alibi)
Premiere date: Wednesday, February 20, 9pm

Bite Club follows two detectives who, after surviving a shark attack, join forces to hunt the ultimate predator – a serial killer who is also hunting them. Not only are they survivors but also ex-lovers.

Stars Todd Lasance, Ash Ricardo, Damian Walshe-Howling, Deborah Mailman, Robert Mammone, Pia Miller, Marny Kennedy, Darcie Irwin-Simpson and Dominic Monaghan.

Delhi Crime

Delhi Crime Story (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, March 22

True crime Indian anthology series. The first season follows the notorious December 2012 investigation by the Delhi Police into the horrific gang rape of a young woman, which reverberated across India and the world. It captures the complexities of the scrutiny, the emotional toll on the investigating team, and their determination to bring the perpetrators to justice in a fraught environment.

Stars Shefali Shah, Adil Hussain, Denzil Smith, Rasika Dugal, Rajesh Tailang and Yashaswini Dayama.

Quicksand

Störst av allt (Quicksand) (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, April 5

Swedish Netflix original from the makers of Bron/Broen (The Bridge), based on the book by  Malin Persson Giolito.

A mass shooting takes place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest neighbourhood Djursholm, a normal high school student, Maja Norberg, finds herself on trial for murder. When the events of that tragic day are revealed, so too are the private details about her relationship with Sebastian Fagerman and his dysfunctional family.

Stars Hanna Ardéhn and Felix Sandman.