Darkness: Those Who Kill, BBC Four

Although a devoted fan for over a decade now – and boy, have I put in the hours – I’m seriously close to calling time on Scandi Noir as a viable TV genre. Doubly so now the first two episodes of BBC Four’s latest offering have drifted by. It’s a re-boot of a 2011 series which aired in the UK on ITV3, by the way, so it’s safe to assume that nobody watched it first time around. Just in case, that ominous word “darkness” has been added to the title to differentiate the two series.

So what makes this peak Scandi Noir? The awful title sequence, for a start. You know the drill by now: moody indie music, images coming in and out of focus, aerial shots of brooding, pine-choked landscapes and interiors where the instruction to the art department seem to have been something like: “Hannibal Lecter does Airbnb. In his garage”.

The plot doesn’t help either. Missing girl(s)? Check. Obsessive cop with troubled personal life? Check. Odd couple partner set-up? Check. Don’t-go-into-the-creepy-cellar-without-a-torch moment? Check, check, check.

But if you want a specific point at which peak Scandi Noir was reached, it came in the first episode of last night’s double bill when lead actress Natalie Madueno found her character Louise Bergstein living in exactly the same Copenhagen apartment as the one her Follow The Money character Claudia Moreno had occupied. Only with better wallpaper. What’s more, I couldn’t shake the impression that even Madueno was aware of the fact. She certainly seemed to know her way around.

Still, both she and fellow lead Kenneth M Christensen struggled gamely through the thing and, to be fair, there were glimmerings of interest by the end of the second episode thanks to the early revelation of the abductor’s identity. From that point on it was going to be all about good police work and character psychology – which is where Bergstein came in. She was a former police psychologist who had left Denmark to work in the UK then returned for reasons she wouldn't divulge. But as the series opened she was working with victims of rape and domestic abuse, so there’s a few clues there perhaps. Reluctantly she agreed to help the police when detective Jan Michelsen (Christensen) discovered a link between the six-month-old missing persons case he was working on and a similar case in the same area a decade earlier. Suicide was presumed then, but no body was ever found. When a third young woman was abducted, Bergstein and Michelsen were thrown together to try to crack the case. Will they end up sharing more than just a take-out coffee, though?

Whether this will actually be the last Scandi import we see is doubtful. Whether it’s the last mediocre one is more doubtful still. But if nothing else it’ll fill the time until season seven of Spiral starts. It’s French, by the way.