True Blood meets The Bridge in the supernatural Scandi drama Heartless
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.