Dredging up darkness
Exposes our murkier side but it doesn’t surpass reality
IR Kenneth Branagh asked the author who inspired his dark British TV series Wallander for advice after struggling with the harrowing scripts. The director and actor plays police Inspector Kurt Wallander in the hit crime drama, adapted from Swedish novelist Henning Mankell’s books.
The upcoming third season follows Branagh’s character as he investigates the deaths of young prostitutes. Branagh needed to talk to Mankell before filming the tough scenes.
‘‘I wanted to know how he was when he was writing this sort of stuff for months on end,’’ he says.
‘‘He said he had to stop writing some books because it got too much. I asked if people thought he went too far sometimes.
‘‘But he said nothing he has written goes anywhere near the extremes of his research in terms of human trafficking, pedophilia and appalling things people do.
‘‘The darker the episodes get, the more people seem to like them – I don’t know whether people look at them and think, ‘My life will never get that bad’. When I read the script, I said to the producer, ‘This is the bleakest thing I’ve ever read’.’’
Sundays, 8.30pm, ABC1.