I never realised archaeology was such a dangerous business. Is the body count always this high around here, sir?
It has been remarked upon.
Midsomer Murders — a gentle crime drama now entering its 20th year on British TV — is hugely popular in Sweden.
The setting is quintessentially English — village fetes, church committees, homely pubs. And the key to the show is the tension between this idyllic backdrop and the violence hidden beneath it. Most episodes contain 3+ murders.
It’s hard to imagine how Midsomer Murders could appeal so strongly in the land of Stieg Larsson (Millennium Trilogy) and Henning Mankell (Wallander). So I asked a few colleagues.
Mystery solved. Swedish TV audiences love exactly the thing that I thought would put them off: this show offers English traditions, picture postcard villages and quirky locals to viewers who find such things immensely charming. Just as we in Britain have a rose-tinted view of what Sweden is like, the Swedes have the same in reverse.
I started to joke with my colleagues that other thoroughly British TV shows would soon be making their way to Scandinavia. What about Escape To The Country, in which a couple decide between moving house within the UK or moving to the Costa del Sol?
That’s on Swedish TV every Tuesday and Sunday evening.
This post is part of the Full Swede Ahead series, written about our adventures in Stockholm.