When I first heard about Trapped, part of me groaned at the existence of another bleak and brooding Nordic noir.
Boy, was I wrong.
The opening frame may as well have been a swinging fob watch, as I was almost instantaneously hypnotised. Not only is the show gorgeous in every way, but it’s another bloody reminder to anyone with an interest in creating TV that a good story is a good story.
What makes a TV series distinct is how the elements are shifted around and combined in distinct and memorable ways, then filtered through a creator’s voice, and Baltasar Kormákur has managed to nail that process with Trapped, now available on SBS On Demand.
Here is what you're in for - in pictures...
The opening titles tie the stark Icelandic landscape to deteriorating human skin
Speaking of ferries, let’s get to the set up. It all begins, seven years before, with two young lovers, an abandoned building and a fire.
OK, put that aside. In the present, our hero is this mopey teddy bear of a police chief to the microscopic coastal town of Seyðisfjörður.
He’s responsible, but sad. Responsible because he looks after his two daughters and remains close to his wife’s family, despite the fact she’s moved outta town.
So when he discovers she’s coming back into town with her new boyfriend, it consumes him...
But only for a moment - his job takes over when a human torso washes up ashore, which doesn't usually happen in such a quiet town.
Andri is confident the torso fell from an oncoming ferry, which is basically a massive cruise-ship. Thinking the killer is on board, he orders a lockdown.
The captain of the ship is suspiciously difficult, restricting Andri from searching the cargo until a Danish court order is served.
But an impenetrable storm arrives…
Along with his ex-wife…
And restricted access to the town.
Leaving Andri alone to handle the ferry, which happened to contain passengers like this guy.
And the body, which smells a few days dead.
If that set-up isn’t enough to pique your interest - for some reason his daughters are total jerks and threaten little boys behind the safety of their father’s title.
The entire series of Trapped is available on SBS On Demand. Watch the first episode right here: