Inspector-Wallander.org
The site for English-speaking fans of Henning Mankell’s detective series
featuring Kurt Wallander of Ystad, Sweden.
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Inspector-Wallander.org is the site for English-speaking fans of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander Mystery series.

Yellow Bird DVDs now available in US & France
Posted 2010-12-14
Krister Henriksson as Kurt WallanderThe Yellow Bird film series starring Krister Henriksson as Kurt Wallander continues its spread across the globe and is now available on DVD in the US and France.

MHz Networks has the entire Wallander Series 1, episodes 1-13, for sale on their website with Swedish audio and English subtitles. The series can be purchased in a single bundle for $96 or four smaller packs for $28 each. There is also a "Scandinavian Crime Collection" with the 13 Wallander films, all 6 Inspector Irene Huss (of Göteborg, Sweden) films and 6 Varg Veum films (a Norwegian private investigator) sold for $145.

MHz Yellow Bird Wallander DVD Cover, Ep 1-3 MHz Yellow Bird Wallander DVD Cover, Ep 4-6 MHz Yellow Bird Wallander DVD Cover, Ep 7-9 MHz Yellow Bird Wallander DVD Cover, Ep 10-13

Purchase the DVDs:

French fans of Kurt Wallander can also get the first Krister Henriksson series and the first Kenneth Branagh series on DVD.

Hopefully the success of Yellow Bird's Series 1 on DVD will ensure the prompt release of series 2, which is by all accounts even better than the first.

 
The Secret Life of Wallander revealed
Posted 2010-11-19
The Secret Life of Wallander coverJohn Blake Publishing has recently released a guide to the Kurt Wallander series written by Stafford Hildred entitled. The 280 page guide covers each of the novels in the series and explores what has made them successful.

Synopsis:

  Mankell's compelling books about the idealistic police inspector - who is even more miserable than Morse - have sold more than 30 million copies in 43 different languages and inspired more than 25 film adaptations.

In Europe, readers took instantly to the troubles, lonely cop with his horrendous health problems and catastrophic home life. The nine Wallander novels became runaway bestsellers all over Europe, but in Britain and the United States success was slower to take off. But now, since Kenneth Branagh has taken on the central role in he acclaimed and award-winning BBC series, British and American fans have really taken Wallander to their hearts. The popularity of the character has turned the small Swedish town of Ystad into one of the country's top tourist attractions and many British and American visitors are joining the queue to visit murder scenes and immerse themseleves in the bleak landscape made famous on screen.

Yet Wallander is much more than just another TV crime series. Henning Mankell invented the caring policeman as a vehicle to write about the disturbing increase in violence and racism that was undermining the comfortable social democracy of Sweden. Those problems are as international as Wallander's appeal.

About the Author
Stafford Hildred is one of Britain's best-known television critics and showbusiness writers, with a long career in the media. He has previously written and co-written an array of bestselling biographies whose subjects include John Thaw, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Rod Stewart and Jamie Oliver.
 

Amazon.co.uk has the book for sale in the UK now, with the US and Canadian releases set to follow in April 2011.

Once you've read the book, please stop by our mailing list to let us know what you thought.

 
The Troubled Man in France 21 Oct; UK & US in Mar 2011
Posted 2010-10-15
Den orolige mannen coverHenning Mankell's final novel in the Kurt Wallander series, Den orolige mannen, has been well received by fans in Sweden. Readers in other parts of the world are now getting a chance to purchase a copy. The French translation is titled L'homme inquiet and is being released on 21 October. English language versions will be available in March 2011.

The covers for each book are listed below.

French cover  UK cover  US cover
Click the cover images to view a larger version

You can purchase the French-language version from Amazon.fr, and pre-order the English version from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
 
Theme song from Wallander proves popular
Posted 2010-01-05
BBC WallanderMany people watching the BBC Wallander series have been curious about the theme song used for both series 1 and 2. The song is from Australian folk singer Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo band.
  Emily Barker & The Clay Halo were today riding high on Amazon's Movers and Shakers chart with a 2500% increase in rank due to interest generated by the screening of Wallander on BBC 1, Sunday 3rd Jan 2010. The highly acclaimed drama series starring Kenneth Branagh features Emily's song Nostaglia as its theme tune and is now in its 2nd series (next episode Sunday 10th Jan 9pm and final episode Sunday 17th Jan 9pm).

The track emanates from the album Despite the Snow and has won Emily both a Bafta and a Royal Television Society award for best original theme. Not bad for a musician who has never owned a television set!
 
You can listen to the track by visiting the Emily Barker & The Clay Halo web site and purchase the song as an MP3 file for £0.80 GBP, €0.90 EUR or $1.30 USD.

You can find out more about their music by visiting Emily Barker's web site or MySpace page.

Also, the soundtrack of the Yellow Bird series is available for download at Amazon.co.uk. The MP3 album is appropriately titled "Musiken från Wallander" and contains 34 tracks by Adam Nordén.
 
Series 2 of BBC's Wallander premiers Sunday, 3 Jan, 2010
Posted 2009-12-28
Kenneth BranaghKenneth Branagh returns to British television on 3 January as Kurt Wallander in the second series of the BBC's adaptations of Henning Mankell's novels. The three new films were shot on location in Ystad with a mix of British and Swedish actors, continuing the successful formula of the first series.

The second series begins with Faceless Killers on 3 January, followed by The Man Who Smiled on 10 January and The Fifth Woman on 17 January. Each film will be broadcast at 21:00 on BBC1.

View the preview for Faceless Killers:

There are a few interesting audio interviews with Kenneth Branagh which fans should enjoy. You can listen to him discuss returning to the role of Kurt Wallander with Swedish Radio and BBC Radio (part 1 & part 2).

 
Swedish Yellow Bird DVDs no longer have English subtitles
Posted 2009-12-28
Krister Henriksson as Kurt WallanderIt is bad news for English-speaking fans of the Kurt Wallander series, but from #18 onwards, the Yellow Bird series of Kurt Wallander DVDs will no longer include English subtitles. Yellow Bird hasn't commented on the change other than to say they are working to get local distributors in English-speaking countries to carry the series.

Meanwhile, the series continues to make good progress in Sweden. The DVD for film #21 was recently released with #22 scheduled for 20 Jan, 2010. The series will wrap up after the 26th film is released in June 2010.
 
Yellow Bird Series 1 on BBC4 Mondays and Thursdays, web
Posted 2009-07-16, updated 2009-07-18
Krister Henriksson as Kurt WallanderWallander fans in the UK can look forward to watching Yellow Bird's Kurt Wallander series on BBC4. A new episode from the Swedish-language series will screen every Monday night at 9:00 PM with a repeat showing on Thursday.

The successful series stars Krister Henriksson as Kurt Wallander and is filmed on location in Ystad. Series 1 featured 13 episodes and was released in Sweden in 2005-2006. Series 2 consists of a further 13 episodes which are currently being released on DVD in Sweden at a rate of approximately 1 film per month.

The BBC is offering the Wallander episodes for later viewing on the web and through their iPlayer service (available to UK residents only).

Krister Henriksson has announced that series 2 will be his last as Kurt Wallander. But fans of Swedish and Nordic thrillers have much to look forward to. Yellow Birds wildly successful big-screen adaptations of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy is currently in theaters with DVD and Blu-ray releases to follow. Yellow Bird is also filming several new films based on Henning Mankell's non-Wallander novels, including Kennedy's Brain, The Red Antelope and The Chinese. Yellow Bird is also working to bring the Norwegian Anna Holt series to television with plans to develop Jo Nesbø's recent novel Headhunters (Hodejegerne).

One spot of bad news for Swedish film fans has been the closure of web site DVD.se. The site previously was one of the only web retailers who would ship Swedish DVDs outside of Europe. British web shop CDWOW.com briefly stepped in to fill the void by listing a large collection of the various Swedish films. Their stock regretfully seems to be depleted at this time.
 
Henning Mankell at the Palestine Festival of Literature, 23-28 May
Posted 2009-05-13, updated 2009-05-31
Henning MankellHenning Mankell has been invited to participate in the 2009 Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place between May 23-28. Events will be held in several cities across the Palestinian territories.
  The central drive of the festival is to assert what Edward Said called "the power of culture over the culture of power." Henning Mankell has been invited because he shows the sterling qualities of the committed artist. He has brought a universal human and political dimension to the popular genre of the thriller and he has been true to his expressed positions in the theatre work he is doing in Mozambique.

The panel that Mr. Mankell is on is called Choosing Departure: A Different Perspective? and he will also be running a workshop with drama students at the Freedom Theatre in Jenin and at Hebron University.

Because of the difficulties Palestinians face under military occupation in traveling around their own country, the Festival group will travel to its audiences. It will tour to Ramallah, to Jenin, to al-Khalil/Hebron and to Bethlehem. To celebrate its year as Cultural Capital of the Arab World for 2009, the festival will begin and end in Jerusalem.
 
The festival web site will feature daily blogs and video interviews by the featured authors beginning on 23 May.

Update: Henning Mankell has written about his experiences at Palfest in the author blog section of their web site. Mankell also gives his impression of the strength of the Palestinian people after a tour of al-Khalil/Hebron:


Mankell's remarks appear near the 5:37 mark

 
Kenneth Branagh discusses Wallander in NYC on May 7th
Posted 2009-05-04
Kenneth BranaghThe New York Times will be hosting a TimesTalk event with actor Kenneth Branagh in New York City on Thursday, May 7th from 6:30 - 8:00 PM.

New York Times reporter Bill Carter will discuss the Kurt Wallander series and other projects with Mr Branagh:
  Kenneth Branagh -- actor, director, producer and screenwriter – is renowned for his interpretation of a melancholy Scandinavian — Prince Hamlet. He brings the existential Nordic outlook up to date on Masterpiece Mystery! this month as the gritty Swedish sleuth Kurt Wallander, based on the bestselling thrillers by Henning Mankell. Hear him talk about his work as Wallander, his recent film and theater projects and what's coming next.  

The venue for the discussion is TheTimesCenter, 242 West 41st Street, New York City. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in advance at the Ticketweb site or by phoning 888-NYT-1870.

A similar event was recently held in Los Angeles and an interesting description of the event was forwarded to me by Jude, a fellow fan on the Wallander series. I hope other fans find it as interesting as I did:

  There was a promo screening in LA with a Q&A on April 29th at the Paley Centre

"They screened the entire episode of "One Step Behind"; most of the audience didn't notice Ken slip in right before it started. He sat in the back row, seemingly to gauge the audience's reaction to the show. Both the moderator (Brian Lowry) and Masterpiece Theater executive producer (Rebecca Eaton) joked that they were mainly involved with the project and event because of crushes on Branagh (Eaton has apparently had a crush on him for 20 years, and Lowry's wife has a 'serious infatuation'). They both kept their speeches short; as Eaton said, "We know whom you've really come to see."

After the screening, Ken was introduced to great applause and proceeded to answer questions for almost 30 minutes. He talked about Sweden (the weather, the dreadful winters, the depression rates and 'Scandinavian melancholy'). He spoke of how he met Henning Mankell, which was really funny - they took a bathroom break at the same time during an Ingmar Bergman festival in Sweden. They were next to each other at the urinals and wound up chatting. "I didn't shake his hand," said Ken, "for reasons that I need not go into." The crowd howled. He told us that before he'd ever met Mankell or considered adapting Wallander for the screen, he'd finished all nine Wallander books in an unbelievable six week period. "I am," he explained, "an absolutely voracious reader."

An audience member asked him why the police station was so sparse, compared to the clutter that you so often see in British cop dramas.

Ken admitted that the design was "A bit Ikea," and when the audience laughed, he quickly put his hands up (you know the way he does that - palms out, like he's going for a double hi-five?) and said "But I don't mean to disparage!" He said that they had purposely exaggerated a specific style that does exist in Sweden - long, clean lines and only essential furniture with minimal clutter.

Ken does seem to enjoy the Swedish landscape, particularly how you can take long drives through the countryside and see very few people, or a few isolated houses. He mentioned the beginning shots of "Sidetracked" - "You're looking at a rape field, bright yellow, below an amazing blue sky; you feel that you are literally inside the Swedish flag. Then this is punctuated by a shocking act of violence."

Jokes were made about how the town of Ystad has too many murders for the population to survive. Ken laughed and likened the high murder rate in "Wallander" to one of his favorite shows, "Midsomer Murders" - "It features this tiny village where so many bad things happen that there won't be any people left before long."

My favorite moment came when Lowry asked Ken whether he'd taken a moment to consider using a Swedish accent for Wallander. "Oh yes," Ken laughed. "But literally a moment. I sounded like the Swedish chef from the Muppets." The idea was quickly dropped.
 

If you attend the TimesTalk event and wish to share your experience with other readers, send us an email and we'll see about getting it posted to this site.

 
Kenneth Branagh's Wallander premiers in US May 10th on PBS
Posted 2009-05-04
BBC WallanderSeries 1 of the BBC's Wallander films gets it US television debut next week on the PBS Masterpiece Mystery program. These adaptations of Henning Mankell's novels were filmed on location in Ystad, Sweden but use a primarily British cast.

Kenneth Branagh stars as Kurt Wallander and also served as the executive producer for the series. Other actors include Jeany Spark as Linda Wallander, Sarah Smart as Anne-Britt Hoglund, Tom Beard as Svedberg, Tom Hiddleston as Martinsson, Richard McCabe as Nyberg, Sadie Shimmin as Lisa Holgersson and David Warner as Povel Wallander. Nicholas Hoult, star of the film About a Boy, makes an appearance as Stefan Fredman in Sidetracked.

Sidetracked will start off the series on Sunday, May 10th at 9:00 PM. Firewall will follow on Sunday, May 17th with One Step Behind finishing up on Sunday, May 31st. Viewers should check their local stations for exact times. The PBS web site will have the films available for online viewing between May 11 - June 7, 2009.

The series will be released on DVD on June 2 and is available for pre-order in the US at Amazon.com and in Canada at Amazon.ca. This 2 disc set contains all three films as well as several extras, including the Who is Kurt Wallander? documentary that aired on the BBC and an interview with Henning Mankell and Kenneth Branagh.

View the trailer for Wallander Series 1 on PBS

Kenneth Branagh's version of Wallander has been well liked by both audiences and critics in Europe. The series has received favorable reviews in leading newspapers and recently it was presented with the Best Drama prize at the 2009 Bafta TV Avards.

Wallander wins at the 2009 Bafta TV Avards

The success of the BBC Wallander series has all but guaranteed further films will be made. It is hoped that series 2 could begin as early as this summer.

 
Henning Mankell reveals Den orolige mannen as final Wallander
Posted 2009-05-04
Henning MankellThe Swedish title of the final novel in the Wallander series has been revealed as Den orolige mannen by Henning Mankell in an interview. A literal translation of the title into English would be "The Worried/Nervous/Anxious/Restless Man".

The novel is completed and will be published in Sweden in August of 2009. The publication schedule for other languages is unknown at this point.

Not much is known about the novel outside what is in the Leopard Förlag press release:

  On a winter's day in 2008 a retired high naval officer, Håkan von Enke, disappears during his daily walk in Lilljansskogen. For Kurt Wallander this becomes a personal matter of the highest importance. Von Enke is Linda Wallande'rs father-in-law, and her little daughter's grandfather.

The investigation leads back in time, to the Cold War, to right-wing associations and assassins from the old Eastern Europe. Wallander suspects that he is on the track of a big secret, perhaps on the edge of something much more serious than even the Wennerström affair, the worst spy scandal Sweden has ever experienced. At the same time an even darker cloud appears on the horizon...
 

Ezequiel M. González Busquin, a fellow Wallander fan, reported this after seeing Henning Mankell speak at the Buenos Aires Book:

  In [this] novel Wallander gets a grandchild, Baiba from Riga returns to his life and the beginning of the book is in 1983 when Palme (the prime minister of Sweden) receives a report stating that Russian submarines had been detected in Swedish waters.

[Mankell] mentioned that Wallander will not die in the book, but that something will happen to him and it will be impossible to write any more Wallander novels.
 

Hopefully this final novel in the Kurt Wallander series will get a speedy translation into other languages.

 
Yellow Bird series 2 begins 9 Jan with Hämnden (The Revenge)
Posted 2009-01-04
Krister Henriksson as Kurt WallanderYellow Bird's Wallander series is entering its second season on 9 January with the Swedish theatrical release of Hämnden (The Revenge). Krister Henriksson returns as Kurt Wallander for 13 new stories by Henning Mankell. After Hämnden, the remaining 12 films will be released on DVD in Sweden then later shown on television.

The characters of Ann-Britt Höglund, Linda Wallander and Stefan Lindman do not appear to be returning for various reasons. However two new recruits are joining the Ystad Police force, Sabina and Pontus, played by Nina Zanjani and Sverrir Gudnason respectively. Most of the other regular characters such as Martinsson, Svartman, Nyberg and Ebba will be back.

Be sure to watch these Swedish-language videos of Hämnden, including a trailer, behind the scenes feature and interviews from the premiere:


Watch the trailer for the new Wallander film.


View the making of feature.


See Expressen's coverage of the premiere.

Visit the Yellow Bird Films web site for more information about Wallander series 2. While there, be sure to check out their already completed 6 film series based on the Irene Huss novels from Helene Tursten as well as the much anticipated Millennium trilogy based on the novels of Stieg Larsson.

 


Past news items are available from the News Archive.