Jordskott: Nordic Noir Returns to its Roots


jordskottWith series such as The Killing and The Bridge, Nordic noir has become a popular genre in our TV schedules. Speaking on BBC Front Row,  Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough reviews Jordskott, a new ten-part police procedural.

From its opening titles, featuring ink stained manuscripts and a haunting soundtrack, Jordskott seems to break from the gritty realism of other Nordic noir. In particular, as the first episode bears towards its climax, the supernatural seems to play a disturbingly prominent role. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough suggests that this blend of the realistic and the fantastic can be traced back to Old Norse sagas, with their depictions of ordinary human violence combined with forces such as magic runes and dragons.

It starts as a normal crime story, but it soon takes a detour … It will end up in a very different place compared to where it started. It’s a genre mashup.Jordskott’s creator, Henrik Björn

As well as looking back to the roots of Scandinavian culture, Jordskott takes the genre of Nordic noir in a new direction. Reflecting twenty-first century concerns, the series has a particular ecological focus. Troubled detective Eva Thörnblad returns to her home deep in Sweden’s ancient forests, and ends up investigating her father’s forestry business. The beautiful natural landscape, and the people who live in it, seem ominously threatened with destruction.

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