• Life's about to get messy in 'Moscow Noir' (SBS)Source: SBS
Life is looking good for ambitious banker Tom Blixen. And then it very suddenly isn't, as he strays into the world of Moscow's shadowy powerbrokers.
Staff writers

11 Jul 2019 - 1:00 PM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2019 - 1:21 PM

The underbelly of Moscow can be a dangerous place.

In Moscow Noir, it’s 1999 and Moscow is a city of post-communist chaos. And for some, chaos means opportunity. Greed and money are what drive life in the Russian capital, and among those chasing the chance to get rich is ambitious young Swedish investment banker Tom Blixen (Adam Pålsson, The Bridge). His job suddenly on the rocks, Blixen is dragged into a risky deal that goes horribly wrong, as he tries to help his friend Fredrik Kastrup (Christoher Wagelin). The shock waves that follow put Blixen’s life on the line, and stir up ghosts from the past that he’s been trying to ignore.  

Based on the first in a trilogy of action thrillers by Swedish writers Camilla Grebe and Paul Leander-Engström, Moscow Noir takes us deep into the battle for power and fortune.

As the bodies pile up in this stylish thriller, Blixen has to figure out who to trust. To help you keep up with the twists, blackmail, lies and unexpected relationships, here’s a who’s who of Moscow Noir. Just remember – not everyone is who they seem.

Tom Blixen (Adam Pålsson)

A Swedish investment banker working in Moscow, he speaks fluent Russian. Charming and capable, but emotionally distant. Tom is out of his depth, but courageous and ultimately vulnerable underneath the cool exterior. He is hiding a secret that is catching up with him, but his extraordinary journey into Moscow's murderous underbelly will force him to confront it.

Fredrik Kastrup (Christopher Wagelin)

A Swedish lawyer and Tom's only friend in Moscow, Fredrik is gentle and caring, but in deep financial trouble and burying his head in the sand. When Tom tries to bail him out, Fredrik's own dark past starts to emerge, and puts them all in danger. Fredrik is in over his head, and his attempts to keep his family safe have fatal consequences.

Olga Ukolova (Karolina Gruszka)

Raised in poverty, Fredrik’s wife Olga has fought her way out. Intelligent, independent and headstrong, she isdriven by a need for security, but she's not afraid to take risks to achieve it. She is the moral backbone of the series, and her love for Fredrik and their daughter Ksenia, and her dealings with Tom, will put her in serious danger.

Ksenia (Ksenija Sisko)

Olga and Fredrik's six-year-old daughter. English schooled, intelligent and perceptive but with the natural innocence of a child, Ksenia does what she's told and knows how to keep a secret. She becomes part of what drives Tom to survive as his enemies appear on multiple fronts.

Rebecka Ekholm (Linda Zilliacus)

The Finnish CEO of Pioneer Capital and Tom's boss. A shrewd and calculating businesswoman who's in Russia to make money and a clean exit, she has some sympathy for Tom - but not if it threatens her own plans. When she's caught up in the killings, Rebecka has to find depths beyond her flashy clothes. Will she come good when Tom needs her most?

Dmitri Skurov (Georg Nikoloff )

State Prosecutor, and possibly one of the few honest cops in Moscow. Married for 30 years, he lives in a cheap apartment with no money but plenty of integrity. Skurov ultimately believes in the truth, and the rule of law. This makes him a loner among the justice department, but his detective skills make up for it. Here he sees a chance to 'drain the swamp', and take down the men who are holding Russia back, but it will take every ounce of courage he has, as he finds himself under fire from all sides.

Prosecutor Karimov (Vytautas Anuzis)

The General Prosecutor and Skurov's boss. Power mad without being powerful. Karimov is grasping, vain and a servant of the corrupt status quo.

Dmitri 'Strelka' Kuznetsov (Juris Zagars )

The Russian Minister of Finance and an advisor at Pioneer, who becomes mentor to Tom. Strelka has deep political connections, and shelters Tom when things get rough. He's a successful businessman, a loving father, an intelligent and devoted patriot, and beneath it all, harbouring some breathtaking ambitions.

Vladimir Kruglov (Gediminas Storpirstis)

Moscow’s finest and most lauded classical conductor - but indebted to bad men. Kruglov plays the hard man, but has a soft underbelly and will ultimately roll over and sing, to save his own skin.

Boris Romanov (James Tratas)  

Owner of shady oil giant RusOil. An enigmatic and refined figure who inherited his wealth from his father, but is adept at playing Moscow's shadow game. Not even his closest intimates know what Romanov is really thinking, but he has political ambitions of his own, and these may be his downfall.

Leonid Petrovich Gusev (Andrius Ziurauskas)

This larger than life businessman embodies everything colourful and crass about Russian turbocapitalism.

Elian Baranov (Vaidotas Martinaitis)

A Harvard graduate and earnest businessman with money in Neftnik, the dead-end oil company company that sparks Tom’s plummet into danger. Baranov knows how to keep quiet, but secretly wants out of the devil's pact he’s caught up in.

Lord Pendergast (Brian McCardie)

The high living, quick witted and foulmouthed British businessman brought in to give Pioneer the gloss of respectability. Not as clever as he thinks he is.

Nikolai (Mindaugas Papinigis)

Tom’s  Russian driver and sometime friend, he’s loyal, brave and trustworthy. One of the few people Tom can rely on.

Pjotr Volkov (Andrius Paulavicius)

Romanov’s right-hand man and bodyguard. Ex KGB. Ruthless, icy and not someone you would want to cross.

DI Malkin (Mykolas Vildziunas)

Skurov’s connection at the police force. Far from squeaky clean, but he knows the difference between harmless corruption and evil.

Mitya Ukolova (Donatas Simukauskas)

Olga’s older brother. A burly, rough-edged farmer who pines for life under communism.

Elizaveta Ukolova (Lina Bocyte)

Olga's mother is tough as old boots, and at times rubs Olga the wrong way, as the two women don't understand each other. But she loves her daughter deeply, and she can handle herself, and a gun, when necessary.

Mikael Berg (Alexander Öhrstrand)

Tom’s brother. All is not well between the two of them after a tragic accident that saw Tom flee Sweden to work in Russia, but as danger threatens the embattled banker on all fronts, a meeting between the two may change Tom’s life.

The entire first season of Moscow Noir is now available exclusively on SBS On Demand.  

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