(Nordic Noir & Beyond) Out 20 June
The latest Swedish import is a dark series about political extremism.
The sombre mystery of The Killing meets the political intrigue of Borgen in a Scandi-noir spin on House Of Cards that finds rich dramatic capital in the recent electoral gains that far-right parties have been achieving across Europe. Set in the run-up to a national election, this tense 10-parter could hardly be better timed, arriving as it does just as UK voters are making their own minds up about Britain’s relationship with the continent. Even without that context, though, Blue Eyes succeeds as a complex and engrossing thriller with a heroine every bit as driven as Sarah Lund or Birgitte Nyborg.
Say hello to Elin Hammar (Louise Peterhoff ), a disgraced ex-employee of the Swedish justice secretary who’s coaxed back by her erstwhile mentor to be his chief of staff. The former occupant of the post has gone missing, a puzzle that sends Elin off to the place where she was last seen: a small town where the rise of extreme right-wingers has led to deep-seated divisions.
They’re particularly prominent in the case of Annika Nilsson (Anna Bjelkerud), a healthcare worker whose support for the ‘Security Party’ has distanced her from children Simon (David Lindström) and Sofia (Karin Franz Körlof ). When a tragedy rips the family apart the latter is propelled towards Veritas, a cabal of neo-nazi terrorists intent on making their own statement as the country gets ready to go to the polls…
With scenes involving shootings, stabbings and summary executions, Blue Eyes often falls prey to lurid sensationalism of the Homeland variety. What it can’t be accused of, however, is closing its eyes to what is fast becoming a distasteful reality: a political landscape in which moderate parties are forced to find common ground with factions on the distant fringes of the ideological spectrum. If the show’s ultimate conclusion – that they’re all as morally bankrupt and corrupt as one another – is a dispiriting one, it is at least a message we can all get behind. In Peterhoff meanwhile, it has a leading lady to whom we’d be happy to give another term in office.
“BLUE EYES SUCCEEDS AS A COMPLEX AND ENGROSSING THRILLER WITH A DRIVEN HEROINE”