We’ve been waiting excitedly for Walter Presents since first hearing about its pending arrival a couple of months ago. It’s a streaming TV provider focused exclusively on foreign TV shows; the type of television we like to watch and review. Almost all of the television series are European, and almost all are crime dramas and thrillers. Though it has been operating in the UK for some time, Walter Presents debuted in the US this week. It’s available as a stand alone service or as an add-on to Amazon Prime.
As of now, there are 35 different TV series. Slowly browsing through the list, there are some similarities with Acorn TV. Several of the shows look very good, a lot show potential – but it’s hard to know without watching – and a few look just okay. Rather than go through the series one by one, the netTVwatch team plans to try out a few of these shows for an episode or two to write up a short review. Later, after watching more episodes, we’ll put together a full review on the best of these series.
Almost half of the foreign TV series on Walter Presents are either German or French. The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Norway are well represented. There are also a few series from eastern Europe and South America. The mix includes some historical fiction and lighter fare, but mostly suspense and crime. Almost all are very recent.
Here’s what we’ve checked out so far:
Walter himself – yes there is a real Walter – highly recommends Valkyrien, a fast-paced Norwegian thriller that mixes several genres and themes. Sven Nordin plays Ravn, a doctor who has gone rogue, setting up an underground medical lab and hospital where he conducts research. He did this with the help of Lief (Pals Sverre Hagen), who serves as a helper, facilitator, and security guard for the secret location.
Jumping back in time, we find Ravn’s wife was a medical researcher, but terminally ill. The facility where they both worked would not approve an experimental treatment. This results in a lot of tension at her funeral. Meanwhile, it turns out, Lief is hooked up with a group of radical survivalists, which does not bode well for Ravn keeping a low profile.
Are you still with me? Valkyrien is the kind of show that you either climb on board for and enjoy or dismiss out of hand. While we couldn’t help but think of Batman as Lief raced his car through tunnels to the secret lair – yes, it’s all implausible in a Michael Crichton kind of way – we’ll be back to watch more episodes soon. There are eight episodes of Valkyrien on Walter Presents, each about 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, most descriptions of this series spoil the secret from the end of episode one. We did not!
Flight HS13 is a contemporary crime drama from the Netherlands. The story and the cast is international, with many of the events happening in Iran. There is less action than in Valkyrien, but the story so far, is no less complex. We meet a lot characters, most of them related. After two episodes, one thread of the story seems fairly clear, but another one is just getting started.
Liv and Simon (Katja Schuurman and Daniel Boissevain), a married couple with a young son, are the central characters. When Simon leaves for a business trip to Barcelona, his plane crashes in the French mountains. There are no survivors. Liv finds out there was lot she did not know about Simon and his past. Though one of Simon’s brothers is a cop helping Liv investigate, there are still questions about the other brothers. And, who are the two guys watching Liv’s house?
If you’ve read any descriptions for this series, you probably know one thing we haven’t mentioned. We’re leaving this spoiler free, just in case. (Try not to read the Walter Presents description!)
There are 10 episodes in Flight HS13, 45 minutes each. We are intrigued and will be back soon.
This TV series from Spain has a more typical plot than the shows listed above. Night and Day features a forensic pathologist, Sara (Clara Segura), who, early in the show, visits a crime scene involving the murder of an older woman. Turns out there have been several similar incidents in different locations. Perhaps, it will be a typical serial killer story, but there are some interesting twists in the first episode.
Sara’s home life is part of the story. She and her husband are considering in vitro fertilization, though her career is a conflict. He is quite aggressively climbing the corporate ladder – there are some scenes at his office – but shows a more tender side at home.
Night and Day moves slowly for this type of story. We’d like to see the pace accelerate. Maybe it will, but there are 13 episodes, each 50 to 60 minutes. We suspect more severe editing would have helped, not hurt, this TV series. We will probably be back after watching some of the other, more gripping TV shows on Walter Presents.