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18 June 2014
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Classic TV | Maelstrom
Introduction
Maelstrom.  Ah, those high Scandinavian meadows.

There aren't many top dramas set in Norway these days. This 1985 offering from the BBC department might explain why - it must have been the final nail in the coffin for stylish Scandinavian thrillers.

The plot was something like this: bored advertising executive discovers she's inherited a house in the fjords. She goes to Norway, nearly gets offed, lots of freaky stuff happens with dolls. Behind all this is a convoluted tale of illegitimate children, hidden secrets and congenital madness.

It's the dolls that everyone remembers, though if you're an 80s retro fan, there is a fair amount to keep you amused. The glamorous jobs of the characters - advertising executives, furniture designers - are entertainingly dated. There's some great 80s hair action too.

Throughout the scenery on screen is absolutely stunning. It would be a great surprise if there wasn't a bit of a run on Norwegian holidays in 1985, what with Maelstrom doing its best to push the wonders of a fjord based break for six solid weeks. Sadly, despite some fairly good efforts by the actors, Maelstrom suffered from a glacial pace to go with its glacial lakes.

It's a little bit like watching an Oslo Film Authority documentary on the wonders of Formica. Even at the time its slow pace and impenetrable plot didn't go unremarked. Seen as a bit of a joke, the series came in for a lot of knocking by Barry Cryer on the radio, and the general public on Points of View.

VIDEO CLIPS

VIDEO CLIP:Titles - the dolls make their entry.

VIDEO CLIP:Disembarkation - everyone off at Norway.

VIDEO CLIP:The dolls - fire is the ultimate end.

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