The BBC, after great success in importing Scandinavian programmes such as The Killing and The Bridge, is to make its own Nordic crime thriller.
It is called Shetland and is set in those northernmost Scottish islands that are forever Norway.
When I read this I had visions of a Sarah Lund loose cannon police inspector haunting the corridors of Shetland Islands Council in her Fair Isle jumper pursuing murderous and corrupt politicians.
Or a Saga Noren blonde detective in leather trousers hunting a clever but unhinged killer through the mean streets of Lerwick in an uncompromising and totally driven Swedish manner, pausing occasionally to pick up a bloke from the pub for some rampant sex.
Just as viewers get to brush up their Danish and Swedish with The Killing and The Bridge, the new BBC programme may offer a chance to learn some Shetlandic.
Modern Shetlandic Scots, to give its full name, is described as an uneasy combination of English, Lowland Scots, and Norn (the language of the Vikings). I have done some research and will listen carefully to the Shetlands show for such phrases as: Dunna chuck bruck (Don't throw rubbish) and Yun egg hed a double baa (Yon egg had a double yolk.)
Sadly, the Shetland cop character does not seem to be as Nordic as I would like. His name is Jimmy Perez, a native Shetlander whose Spanish Armada ancestor was shipwrecked on those shores. The closest Jimmy got to mean streets was working with the Aberdeen polis.
The two-part drama is adapted from the Shetland murder mystery novels by Ann Cleeves. Perez is played by Scottish actor Douglas Henshall, probably not in a Fair Isle jumper or leather trousers.
The Shetland noir does not promise to be as chilling or gory as the Danish and Swedish varieties. The plot involves some modern bones found in an archaeological dig and an OAP lady gunned down. But we are promised two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have divided the surrounding community.
I am looking forward to the vicarious visit to the Shetland islands which the programme will provide. I always meant to go there for the winter fire festival or the simmer dim. But I've never been. Mostly because when I checked the air fare I could have had a trip to New York instead.
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