BBC4, the channel that brought us The Killing, The Bridge, Borgen and Inspector Montalbano, has invested in two new Euro-crime dramas.
Later this year, BBC4 will air Swedish five-part series Arne Dahl and Italian period sleuther Inspector De Luca.
“These acquisitions are part of BBC4’s ongoing mission to give viewers an excuse to stay in on a Saturday night by offering an entertaining alternative to Saturday TV,” channel controller Richard Klein said.
“Arne Dahl continues in the tradition of The Killing and Wallander in portraying a social hinterland through the prism of the day-to-day of police investigation; and Inspector De Luca is a clever and hugely entertaining drama that portrays wartime Italy in a way that is both very familiar to our own war time experiences and intriguingly foreign.”
BBC4 has increased its share of the primetime Saturday-night audience from 1% to 3% since concentrating on high-quality drama imports.
Arne Dahl is not the name of a fictional detective – it’s the author (a pseudonym of Jan Arnald) of the novels upon which the series is based, about a team of elite detectives – the “A group” – who solve major crimes. The first story is The Blinded Man, which begins with the murder of two powerful financiers by a killer who leaves no clues. The dramatisation was shown on Swedish television, under the original title Misterioso, in 2011.
Inspector De Luca is a four-parter about a plain-speaking, womanising detective, based on the novels by Carlo Lucarelli and set in and around Bologna during Mussolini’s rule.
In 2013, BBC4 will also show a new four-part series of Inspector Montalbano, as well as the prequel Young Montalbano; a second series of Danish/Swedish smash The Bridge; and series three of Borgen, which was previously not expected to air until 2014.
Watch a trailer for all BBC4’s 2013 imports below.