Sex, sex, and more sex seems to be the theme of the latest raft of shows to hit Channel 4’s on-demand foreign drama platform, Walter Presents – at least if previews shown at the Cheltenham Literature Festival are anything to go by.
Walter Iuzzolino, the curator of Walter Presents, introduced clips from Case – an Icelandic crime drama involving teenage drug use and pornography – and The Neighbours, a Dutch series about swinging gone wrong, starring two real-life couples as sexually adventurous neighbours.
Other forthcoming additions to the on-demand platform include Norway’s Eyewitness, about two teenage boys in a secret sexual relationship who witness a murder during one of their liaisons, and a second series of Locked Up, the racy Spanish prison drama. “It’s coming,” said Iuzzolino when quizzed on its progress, “and it’s even better!”
Also coming soon is Walter’s first Japanese pick, and Burning Bush, a Czech three-parter from Oscar-nominated director Agnieszka Holland. “It’s a political thriller telling the story of Jan Palach, the young student who set himself on fire to protest against the Russian occupation in 1969,” said Iuzzolino. “It seems like a totally grim political premise but actually it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of television I’ve ever seen.”
Iuzzolino added that he and his team are looking to expand Walter Presents to include foreign documentaries and factual programmes.
He also spoke out against the trend for US remakes, saying, “I think that original is best. I found out last week that The Neighbours has been bought by Amazon for – I know the sum, it was very significant – for an American remake. And Eyewitness has been bought by a USA network for a ten-part run. They’ll be rubbish. They will be – they’ll be well made, they’ll look glossy and glamorous and people will be good-looking but at the end of the day they will lose the specific nature of the cultural hinterland in which they were generated.”