« Previous | Main | Next »

The Killing on BBC Four

Post categories:

Richard Klein Richard Klein | 16:30 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Killing is back! Well, we're repeating all of the first series in its entirety, at least.

The whole original and best version in one mad block of programmes so that fans and newcomers, people who missed the series first time around, and those hungry to watch it again, can submerge themselves in an ocean of Danish criminal procedure, Faroese pullovers and riveting whodunnit tension.

I loved it the first time round.

Deputy Superintendent Sarah Lund and Jan Meyer

Deputy Superintendent Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) and Jan Meyer (Søren Malling)

Such an original piece of work, classy and beautifully plotted, the real draw of The Killing is its masterful and unyielding determination to stay focused on that single murder, that single investigation and that single (not to say singular) police investigator, Sarah Lund.

Yet at the same time it does not shy away from the mass of rippling consequence that comes to so many individuals when an act of brutality comes smashing into otherwise relatively still lives.

I feel, and have always done, that BBC Four is the place to showcase the best of television from around the world, and that language - ie not English - isn't a barrier to the channel's audience.

In some ways, oddly, The Killing's sub-titles actually help.

It allows us to focus and concentrate and really absorb the other-worldness of the programme.

BBC Four is the premier channel for people who like to think, for whom authorship, intelligent comment and entertaining perspective on mainstream subjects is their way of enjoying television.

And, perhaps, in Sarah Lund there is a character who reflects something of these traits in her own character.

Pernille Birk Larsen and Theis Birk Larsen

Pernille Birk Larsen (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) and Theis Birk Larsen (Bjarne Henriksen)

Singular, often unpredictable but always inquiring and as a consequence, both interesting and attractive.

There will be some who say that this should be noted even more because she is a woman. I disagree.

Though the actress Sofie Gråbøl explains she treated the role of Lund by acting like a man to start off with, in the drama her gender is, in my view, noteworthy only because it actually doesn't matter.

She is a police officer with an utter fascination for detective work, and in that one compulsion, her personal life suffers - an always watchable trait in our television police dramas.

At the same time, The Killing is most definitely a story of our times in whatever society we live in.

The family dramas, the workplace frictions, the media pressures, the modern politics: I feel we can all relate to that.

So enjoy this chance to watch The Killing again, and prepare yourselves for the return of Sophie Lund in The Killing II later this year, exclusively on BBC Four.

Richard Klein is the controller of BBC Four. He recently wrote about the channel's new role as curator of archive BBC content on the About the BBC Blog.

The Killing series one continues on BBC Four daily at 10pm until September 15th.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


  • Comment number 1.


    As someone that loves all the subtitled dramas that have appeared on BBC4 recently, could you clear up some questions?

    1 With the "proposed" change to BBC4's remit to lessen the amount of scripted drama and comedy, how would this affect the amount of foreign subtitled programming in the future?

    2 With the ratings for the recent repeat of "Inspector Montalbano" being over half a million (ie, in "Wallander" territory!), is there any chance of BBC4 showing some more of the 22 episodes that are apparently available?

    3 After "Spiral I", "Forbrydelsen II" and "Government", what other goodies do you have planned for our delectation?

    Keep up the good work!


  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Having enjoyed this drama the first time around and again once more, when will it be possible to see The Killing 2?

  • Comment number 4.

    Really good drama!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't waiting until Sunday to watch episode 11 and so on!
    Loved Walllander too . As someone mentioned before : is there any chance to show new episodes of the Italian detective drama - Inspector Montalbano?

  • Comment number 5.

    Richard Klein, as BBC Four controller for drama, have you decided to broadcast Series 2 of The Killing one episode per Saturday? The habit of showing two episodes back-to-back of crime series such as Spiral is too intense and negates fresh viewers joining in as they feel "I've missed the first couple of pairs of episodes, so why start watching at Episode 5?" whereas joining in at Week 3 with Episode 3 is more inviting. Also, we regulars need a week between each hour of 'The Killing II' to mull over, debate and hopefully recommend the series - and the ever improving BBC Four.

    The Killing - Series 1 was the best drama series the UK has broadcast in the past two decades. Subtlety of the tempo-changing music is perfect, with sound levels throughout all episodes unobtrusively enhanceing primeval emotional response triggers in the audience. It is in-tune with emotions, especially of the victim's parents - cue voice of Josefine Cronholm, sometime collaborator of Django Bates. I first encountered UK-turned-Danish resident Django (pre-Loose Tubes) work as part of YES drummer Bill Bruford's Earthworks. (Way before, in the early-1970s, YES were masters of tempo-changing music, rock that was fully progressive, not 'alf!)

  • Comment number 6.

    BBC website staff are urgently needed to enable site visitors to "come here" and easily access information about BBC Four's impending debut broadcast of Danish language crime masterpiece 'The Killing II' (series 2). Current inadequacies (perhaps due to BBC staff cuts?) include:-

    (1) iPlayer A-Z no-longer includes 'The Killing' - it should lead to the trailer for impending series 2

    (2) BBC.co.uk search for 'The Killing' leads to 'Editor's Choice - The Killing - website for the acclaimed Danish crime thriller spanning the course of a 20-day murder investigation..." - but this should be adjusted to immediately promote impending series 2 and its trailer, as the data relates to the now finished repeat of series 1

    (3) Link from (2) leads to the almost excellent 'The Killing' webpage, but 'Coming Up' states "Sorry, no programmes coming up." Instead it should promote impending 2nd series, and link to the trailer - not all visitors will scroll down to 'Clip'.

    (4) Base of 'The Killing' webpage leads to 'The Killing Is Back' linking to the MARCH 2011 'New Programmes For Spring' blog of BBC Four controller Richard Klein, which concludes "This entry is now closed for comments". Instead, the link should be to Mr Klein's excellent September 2011 blog promoting the impending 2nd series, and enabling site visitors to add comments, in turn enhancing the buzz re the repeat of series 1 - and future expectations for the 2nd series!

    (5) BBC search for 'Forbrydelson' produces nil results - it should link as per (2) above as the British public is increasingly warming to Danish words and clearly these crime dramas have become a cult whereby people proudly remember Danish for 'The Killing' (or more properly 'The Crime'), just as they have learned via subtitling that "come here" sounds the same in English and Danish.

    "Come here", to BBC Four, could be a cross-channel promotion mantra. Perhaps the actor playing 'The Killing' series 1 victim's father (Bjarne Henriksen) and fictional wife (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) could be engaged for a series of teasing trailers...using out-takes from the series, with police supremo Sarah Lund running hither and thither in crime solving. A general internet search results in Danish wording "Kom her!" meaning "a sharp command for your dog or child" - perfect for TV audiences, to be enticed to sit up and take note that BBC Four is the best outlet from the BBC since Alan 'Fluff Freeman' lost his BBC radio rock show.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'd like to know when the next series will be broadcast, and I can't find that out anywhere. Surely someone knows?
    Nowadays there are just so many channels it's very easy to miss something entirely - I'd never heard of the first series of 'The Killing' and only happened upon it 5 episodes in on its second showing.

  • Comment number 8.

    Received my box set today its now 2.25am and all sense of will power has left me just one more episode just one more episode i am knackered just one more episode

  • Comment number 9.

    I'd like to +1 the above - give us a website with listings.. you could call it 'Radio Times'

    all I have trawled so far is an obscure comment somewhere that The Killing 2 starts on November 12th
    (7 days hence) - my sky listings takes me to 23:00 on the 12th.. no sign of it there?

    I managed to stumble on K1 whilst channel hopping.. not ideal really!

    lets get back to basics... lay out your products in an orderly fashion..pretend you are a shop and you've got something to sell!!


  • Comment number 10.

    I would like to agree with the person who asked for more quality subtitled TV series. Spiral, the Killing, Wallander.. there is obviously good quality television that works fine with subtitles. It even gives those with some aspirations to keep languages going a chance to listen to those languages while following the plot safely with the subtitles when needed. I shall look out for Government and Montalbano, too. Thank you for putting on some great TV with The Killing 1 - looking forward to series II.

  • Comment number 11.

    Saturday 19th nov. 9pm sky+ ed series linked I.m so excited can hardly wait yippee the killing is back series 1 soooooooo good it can proudly stand alongside the all time never bettered greats messiah and the shield

  • Comment number 12.

    Only 3 days left

  • Comment number 13.

    It was a bit of a marathon, but it was worth it. I was hastily downloading then watching episodes (BBC iPlayer). It was a great glimpse into another culture that rarely figures on our screens. Great acting and a great story, well deserving of its' many awards. I look forward to the second series.
    I think there should be more foreign (i.e. not American) films on the BBC. I miss Zen though, it was great while it lasted, but was sadly curtailed for no good reason.

  • Comment number 14.

    Having just realised that series two has started, we are horrified to discover that on the Virgin 'series catchup' service, some bright spark has omitted episode 1, showing that two episodes are available but only one on catchup. Priceless.

  • Comment number 15.

    Thanks for your comments here everybody. Liz Fluffington (#6), I enquired this end and have a response for you regarding the BBC website:

    Hello, I’m Faith Mowbray, I work on BBC Programmes (bbc.co.uk/programmes) and the information published on those pages.

    Details of upcoming episodes appear on these pages automatically about seven days before broadcast. At some times of year, for instance Christmas, they publish a little further in advance.

    For some series we add information about when a programme is returning well in advance of this seven day deadline. And in fact, we did so for The Killing – in good time for the 19 November on-air date of episode 1 of series 2. However, at the time you looked at the page on 24 September, it’s true that we hadn’t yet added that information. And it’s not always possible; final decisions about scheduling programmes aren’t made until 10 days before the beginning of the week they’re shown.

    We’re keen to let you know when favourite programmes are coming back. Your comment puts forward very clearly why this is important! For that reason, we’re continuing to investigate how we can earlier – and better - sign-post returning series on BBC programmes pages. In particular, during the period you’re describing: that is, after the last series has finished, and before the next has been scheduled.

    A couple of other things you mention: The iPlayer A-Z is specifically intended to show only programmes which are currently available on-demand, so trailers for upcoming programmes aren’t included. And the link to the blog should have been updated, and I apologise that it wasn’t.

    Thanks for posting your feedback, Liz – and for raising these questions.


More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.