Denmark’s Norskov TV series has a touch of Nordic noir. This 10-episode police procedural, now streaming on Walter Presents, is a methodical slow burner, sometimes more drama than crime thriller, but always with a sense that something is wrong beneath the surface.
The opening scene in Norskov is exciting enough, but after that, things cool off. The show takes some time introducing everyone and establishing relationships. Unexpectedly, at the end of episode one, we were eager to start the next.
At the center of the story are three men who were schoolmates and hockey players. Once, they formed the front line of the local team, but are now 40-ish, each with his own career. Tom is a cop, just moved back to the town of Norskov to help with an anti-drug effort. Martin is the mayor, married to Tom’s sister and trying to start a new development project. Bundy is a contractor; his sister used to date Tom.
There is, of course, more to these connections and other things we find out along the way. Given Tom’s job, it’s no surprise that the main case involves an international drug ring. There is an early death in Norskov, drug related, and the effects ripple through til the end of the series. In particular, for a young, potential hockey star, Oliver. More criminal activities come to light along the way. It seems everyone in the story has secrets.
There are lots of interconnections and relationships, some from 20 years ago, some new, and they shift along the way. Norskov plays off of the age-old conflict of loyalty versus doing the right thing. Can Tom be an impartial cop when the criminals are people he used to know?
One of the things most likable about Scandinavian TV series is that characters and the actors playing them seem more like regular folks than those on US television. The story in Norskov is easily believable. It shows strong writing, interesting characters, and carefully crafted production are enough to propel a crime drama forward without a lot of violence and action.
The police station scenes have a natural, realistic feel. Tom and his new working partner, Brammer (Henrik Birch), immediately forge a close, easygoing relationship. There are moments of humor with the much younger third man on the team and their boss, Ulla (Metta Marckmann).
It’s worth noting Norskov has solid performances from Thomas Levin as Tom and Anne Sofie Espersen as his sister, Jackie. Also of note, Ville Virtanen, who starred in one of our favorite recent nordic noir series, Bordertown, has a small part as Kalle Koskinen.
The Norskov TV series was created by Dunja Games Jensen for TV2 in Denmark, where it first aired September – November, 2015. Though there were one or two particularly slow episodes, it’s one of the more enjoyable and easy to binge series on Walter Presents.
Norskov TV series trailer
It’s a long trailer and may tell you more than you want to know.