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A Surfeit of Wallanders

The BBC has recently been showing another Swedish adaptation of Henning Mankell’s p0liceman, Wallander. This one is played by Rolf Lassgård and a couple of episodes can be found on the iPlayer site until Friday this week, including the one I watched last night, Pyramiden.

I have been very impressed with all three. The English version, with Kenneth Branagh in the lead role, was impeccably filmed although I did notice that, while based on the books, the script writers had taken quite a few liberties in how they rearranged the various plots and sub-plots. The other Swedish version (I know of), with Krister Henriksson, avoided that by beginning with a novel from the end of the series and moving forward with stories written specifically for the show.

Lassgård’s portrayal is, as I recall, a reasonably faithful adaptation of The Pyramid although, not having a copy of my own I cannot be entirely sure. Perhaps my title is unfair. We do not really have too many Wallander’s. Each brings its own perspective and prevents the imagination being squeezed too much into any one mould when reading the books. Just as there is space for a multitude of Sherlock Holmeses, I think Mankell’s character is strong enough to bear these and future appearances.

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