The Mallorca Files

Crime’s about to get a kick in the Balearics!

Dan Sefton (Showrunner and lead writer)

The Germans I have met have been fun and open and love life. I wanted to write that character and put him alongside a very uptight British cop. I thought that would be a really good starting point.Dan Sefton
Date: 19.11.2019     Last updated: 19.11.2019 at 16.41

Talk us through the origins of The Mallorca Files.

I read an article about British cops going to Magaluf in the summer because British lager louts were not listening to Spanish cops. I thought it was a very strong idea that people would get straight away. There are hundreds of thousands of buddy cop shows, but this idea of teaming a German and a British cop is very original. It's tweaking what you would expect. The Germans I have met have been fun and open and love life. I wanted to write that character and put him alongside a very uptight British cop. I thought that would be a really good starting point.

How would you characterise the tone of the drama?

The tone is very clear. When we created the show, we said there is going to be no sex crime or missing children - just good wholesome murder! It's full of interesting themes - drugs, death and bullfighting. It's not anodyne, but we haven't gone to the places other cop shows go to - that's just not my thing.

How did you go about developing the central characters?

You need to have characters who are clear and identifiable or you risk slipping into stereotypes. For instance, with Max, I had the idea of this freewheeling guy who loves life and is always jumping in feet first. Julian, who plays Max, is very good-looking and has a puppyish quality which we picked up on in the rushes. He's perfect for the role.

How would you describe the relationship between Miranda and Max?

They have a very different dynamic from a more traditional cop show. I would love it if there was a Moonlighting vibe to it. Elen reminds me of Cybill Shepherd in that show. Moonlighting had humour, sexiness and wit. If we could get close to that, I'd be very proud.

How did you approach the casting of The Mallorca Files?

Everyone is cast as the nationality they really are. So you get real people, not the British idea of what a Spanish or German person looks like. This is very natural. We didn't end up casting a lot of stars - we just cast the best actor for each role, not someone we had shipped over from the UK.

Why did you choose Mallorca as the setting?

I had been here a couple of times before and I knew how beautiful it is, so it wasn't a difficult sell for me! The idea is that the Germans think it's a German island and the British think it's a British island. It has two very separate halves. This one island also has hugely varied cultural aspects. It brings a lot of cultures together - it is not a monoculture. So we knew we could film in lots of different places and get a great range of locations.

Can you give us some examples?

We could go from British gangsters to German beach resorts to vineyards to the beautiful mountains to the train in Soller to drugs in Palma to models and artists in villas in the hills to Eurotrash characters. The last episode is The X Factor meets Love Island - and it all goes horribly wrong. We tried very hard to shoot everything Mallorca has to offer. This island offers such wonderful variety. I hope audiences will fall in love with it.