Dredg­ing up dark­ness

Ex­poses our murkier side but it doesn’t surpass re­al­ity

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

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.

Kenneth Branagh.

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