A Nordic drama airing on BBC Four is usually a good earmark of quality, and the latest Scandinavian series to be shown on the channel is State of Happiness, which was first broadcast in Norway under the title Lykkeland in 2018.
The show has been described as a Norwegian version of Mad Men, and follows a group of characters living in the city of Stavanger in 1969 against the backdrop of the country’s oil boom.
The series calls on a large and talented cast – here are all the main players, and where you might have seen them before…
Anne Regine Ellingsaeter plays Anna Kellevik
Who is Anna Kellevik? Anna is a secretary at the town hall, where the important political decisions at the time are being made.
What else has Anne Regine Ellingsaeter been in? State of Happiness is Ellingsaeter’s biggest role to date, although she also previously appeared in the Norwegian comedy film Kiss Me You F**king Moron.
Bart Edwards plays Jonathan Kay
Who is Jonathan Kay? Kay is a young American lawyer from Texas, who has been sent to Stavanger by his employers Phillips Petroleum – originally to negotiate an end to the company’s agreement with the Norwegian government.
What else has Bart Edwards been in? Edwards is actually from Surrey – and his previous credits include appearing in episodes of Peep Show, Fresh Meat and The Witcher as well as eight episodes of EastEnders in 2008. He also had a recurring role in the Hulu series Unreal and will portray Captain James Ehrendorf in upcoming ITV drama The Singapore Grip.
Amund Harboe plays Christian Nyman
Who is Christian Nyman? Christian, who has just become engaged to Anna, comes from a wealthy family in the city and works as a diver on a North Sea rig, although his future work is in jeopardy.
What else has Amund Harboe been in? Harboe is a newcomer to the small screen, with State of Happiness marking his first major TV role.
Malene Wadel plays Toril Torstensen
Who is Toril Torstensen? Toril comes from a deeply religious background, and has an American boyfriends who works for Shell – though her family have hopes for her to marry someone else.
What else has Malene Wadel been in? As with much of the young cast, State of Happiness is Wadel’s first appearance on a major TV show.
Per Kjerstad plays Fredrik Nyman
Who is Fredrik Nyman? Frederik is Christian’s father and the owner and managing director of one of the cornerstone companies of the town, Nyman Shipping and Cannery.
What else has Per Kjerstad been in? Kjested has a wealth of experience on Norwegian TV, with previous series on his CV including Monster, Eyewitness and Hotel Caesar.
Pia Tjelta plays Ingrid Nyman
Who is Ingrid Nyman? Ingrid is Frederik’s wife and Christian’s mother.
What else has Pia Tjelta been in? One of Norway’s most sought-after actors, Tjelta’s credits include roles on series such as Beck, Helt Perfekt and En god nummer to and films such as Mongoland and Blind Spot.
Vegar Hoel plays Arne Rettedal
Who is Arne Rettedal? Arne Rettedal is a true historical figure and was the mayor of Stavanger at the time of the series as well as an engineer and businessman.
What else has Vegar Hoel been in? Hoel has appeared in a range of Norwegian films including Mongoland and Dead Snow, while he was also part of the cast for fantasy series Heirs of the Night.
State of Happiness continues on Saturdays on BBC Four at 9pm