Nordic Bites

True Blood meets The Bridge in the su­per­nat­u­ral Scandi drama Heart­less

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

What do you get when you in­fuse su­per­nat­u­ral drama with a dose of Nordic noir? The an­swer is Heart­less, a Dan­ish se­ries com­ing to Chan­nel 4’s dig­i­tal hub All4, where it will be avail­able to stream.

Teen twins Se­bas­tian and Sofie have a dark se­cret: a curse placed on their fam­ily com­pels them to feed on peo­ple’s life­force in or­der to sur­vive, but there’s more to the vam­pires in Heart­less than fangs and gothic ro­mance.

“When we wrote Heart­less, we were definitely in­spired by True Blood and Twi­light,” writer Niko­laj Scher­fig ex­plains. “But in Scan­di­navia, there’s a con­ven­tion of in­fus­ing en­ter­tain­ment with valu­able so­cial com­men­tary. So it’s a su­per­nat­u­ral show, but we still want the au­di­ence to feel like they’re watch­ing a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller.”

Se­bas­tian and Sofie’s search for a cure takes them to the Ottmans­gaard board­ing school, where they dis­cover that they’re not the only stu­dents haunted by the ghosts of their past. And while “good guy” Se­bas­tian is drawn to the dark­ness, the jaded Sofie finds her loy­al­ties di­vided when she falls for the prin­ci­pal’s daugh­ter.

Scher­fig, who’s also a writer on The Bridge, was very con­scious of ground­ing the se­ries in re­al­ity. “The first ques­tion we asked was, ‘how can we re­late this to our own lives?’ In the writ­ers’ room we dis­cov­ered that we’re all touched by some fam­ily tragedy, some­thing that hap­pened long be­fore we were born. And that’s some­thing we ex­plore in Heart­less: how we’re all still fight­ing our an­ces­tors’ wars.”

In keep­ing with the Nordic sto­ry­telling tra­di­tion, Heart­less doesn’t shy away from bru­tal­ity or sex­ual con­tent. “We de­cided to just go for it. Noth­ing was taboo,” Scher­fig says. “The awesome thing about us­ing sex and violence – with­out me sound­ing like a crazy per­son – is that it’s still al­ways about the big emo­tions. It really re­flects that ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis you go through when you’re young, where ev­ery­thing feels like life or death.”

Heart­less is avail­able as a free box set ex­clu­sively on All4.com/Wal­terPre­sents.

She was al­ways moody when asked to help with the lug­gage.

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