Beck is a high quality, intelligent and entertaining crime drama direct from Sweeden. The episodes are written to the highest of standards but the acting is also up there to match it giving the audience some fantastic viewing.
What’s It All About?
Commissioner Martin Beck and his team investigate murders in the flawed social structure of Stockholm, Sweden. The team not only have to deal with criminal investigations bu also need to sort out their own problems in this gritty crime drama.
When it comes to gritty TV crime dramas I always thought the UK were the best. One thing the Brits could do extremely well on TV was a gritty crime drama. Shows such as Above Suspicion, Silent Witness and DCI Banks to name just a few, have all helped to set these TV shows at such a high standard. However, after watching Swedish crime drama Beck, I can’t help but feel these British shows have something to look up to.
Beck really steps up the tension and intrigue, bringing not just well written and thought out stories, but also giving us extremely well rounded characters with interesting and over-arching back stories. It’s very easy to become invested in these characters and really root for them. Each have their own flaws and are well developed. The show focuses’ on each character and gives them ample screen time to allow them to develop and grow in front of us.
The pace of the show is so well-timed, considering each episode is ninety minutes long I thought that some of the stories would drag a little, but I couldn’t have been any further from the truth. I was completely drawn in spending much of the time sitting on the edge of my seat, it gets that intense. Not only that, but I was watching one episode after the other wanting to know what was in store for the team next. The scripts bring a lot of twists and turns that constantly keep you guessing until the end of every episode. This is a prime example of excellent quality writing for each and every episode.
The characters themselves all have excellent chemistry and the interaction between the team is every bit as interesting as the investigations themselves. In particular Beck, who has a frosty relationship with his boss at best and it only gets colder as the series rolls on, this particular story arc being one of my favorites with a very satisfying conclusion.
One of the highlights of the series was the introduction of Steinar Hovland, played by Kristoffer Hivju. I thought Kristoffer was outstanding in the role and was a real compliment to Beck and the rest of the team. His outgoing attitude was excellent TV viewing and the more we got to know him the more interesting he became. He has a great backstory and his home life is just as interesting as his work life, and the two seem to interact at times during the series. Overall I thought it was a great introduction to the series and it certainly improved when he came on the scene.
Peter Saber played Martin Beck. Peter is brilliant in the role as the star of the show. The dry and calculated performance reflects really well on screen, particularly in the job that he is doing. His level headed and sober approach really gives the character a certain level of respect and authenticity. Not only does he make the character believable but he also makes it easy to really feel for the character.
Kristoffer Hivju played Steinar. Kristoffer was a fantastic addition to the series. His character is extremely interesting and brings a new dimension to the show. His unique look fits in well to the show and Kristoffer does an outstanding job as the character. His performance is arguably the best on the show. As well as getting some of the best story lines, his character is also the most interesting. He seems to really mix it up with the rest of the cast and stamps his authority on the show.
Måns Nathanaelson played Oskar Bergman. Oskar is more of the bumbling detective, seemingly tending to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and having lots of personal issues. Måns does a great job with the character. He is given plenty of time to develop the character and does a good job, although he is lacking a little common sense and judgement you are still rooting for him.
Beck is an excellent series. Do not let the sub-titles put you off, this is one of the best crime shows I have had the pleasure of watching and highly recommend either trying to catch it on TV if you get the opportunity or buying the DVD. You will not be disappointed. Every episode is just as good as the last with no room for fillers. HIgh Quality and intelligent entertainment.