This is Series two of the original Danish programme rather than the US remake which also ran for two seasons but which was recently cancelled. Like the first series Detective Inspector Sarah Lund is assigned to work a murder case that has both personal and political implications and the crime is investigated over the course of 20 one-hour episodes. Unlike the first season, the body count is much higher, so perhaps the programme should be re-titled The Killings.
This series takes place two years after the first and we find our hero, the plucky Sarah Lund, banished to the provinces for her perceived insubordination and mishandling of the Larsen case. But after a lawyer is found murdered and the case proves bigger than Chief Inspector Brix and his crew can handle, he reluctantly calls on Lund to assist. Before long, she and her new partner, DI Ulrick Strange and hot on the heels of not one, but multiple murders that seem to be tied in with a government cover-up of civilian killings by Danish soldiers in Afghanistan.
At the same time that Lund begins her investigation, we are introduced to Thomas Buch, the newly-appointed Justice Minister who is determined to uncover whatever dirty work his predecessor may have been involved in.
The round-faced Buch, played by Nicolas Bro, proves to be a fascinating character and makes this second season worth watching. This case is far more politically-oriented than season one and not knowing the ins and outs of the Danish political system makes for some hard-going from time to time.
Also, the fact that there are several murders, rather than just the one in the previous series, somehow takes away a bit of the emotional intensity of the first season.
But there is still plenty to enjoy here…the performances are excellent and the writing is top of the line.
Conversely, the American version of The Killing, set in Seattle, turned out to be something of a failure. The producers made the fatal mistake of not revealing the killer at the end of the first season, annoying viewers en masse. Also, the casting left something to be desired, particularly that of Steven Holder, Sarah’s partner.
So, the US version has been cancelled after two seasons, but it looks like the Danish version is continuing, with a third season due to go to air shortly. I’ll be looking forward to the DVD release of season three when it becomes available, probably early next year.