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featuring Kurt Wallander of Ystad, Sweden.
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BBC's Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh debuts 30 November
Posted 2008-11-02, updated 2008-11-23
Kenneth Branagh BBC1 will begin airing the first of three films from The Kurt Wallander Mysteries on Sunday, 30 November. US viewers can expect the series to be shown by PBS in Spring/Summer 2009.

Kenneth Branagh's turn as Kurt Wallander is drawing much praise from critics and from Henning Mankell himself:
  "I have seen some of the footage and I'm enormously impressed," [Mankell] says. "As soon as Ken [Branagh] told me his ideas about the drama, I was very happy. I knew he was going to go in his own direction, and that really pleased me. It always makes an author happy to be told something new about what he's written."  
James Rampton writes for the Telegraph:
  Branagh brings real depth to the character, a troubled man profoundly affected by the crimes he witnesses. They seem to worm their way into his soul. Afflicted by diabetes, separated from his wife and struggling with dysfunctional relationships with his father and daughter, Wallander dreams of escape - "I could get a smallholding; carrots, maybe a couple of pigs" - but you know that he never will. He is repelled by the crimes he investigates, but nevertheless feels compelled to solve them. He is marooned in Ystad by his own sense of honour.  
Stephen Armstrong writes in the Times:
  Branagh's relatively trim Wallander doesn't appear to be approaching the kind of morbid obesity that can induce [diabetes]. He is, however, suitably taciturn, weary and occasionally despairing. In the first drama of what the executive producer, Andy Harries, hopes could become a new Prime Suspect — "Maybe three every two years," he suggests — Branagh's Wallander picks at a skein of abuse, teasing out of it self-mutilating schoolboys, a woman escaping sexual slavery who would rather torch herself than accept his help, and a circle of the great and good protected by a sinister former cop. It's not typical Branagh material — "There's something very strange, I think, at the heart of Wallander," he has said — but he somehow pulls it off.  
Be sure to visit the Branagh Compendium web site for some photos of the BBC cast and crew.

And there's still plenty of Wallander left to come as Yellow Bird has announced plans to film a further 13 episodes of their Swedish Wallander series starring Krister Henriksson.

UPDATE: It looks like the series debut has been pushed back to 30 November.

The dates for the entire series are posted below:

  • Sidetracked, 30 November 2008
  • Firewall, 7 December 2008
  • One Step Behind, 14 December 2008