TV review: Modus Season 2, BBC Four
- Henry Northmore
- 9 February 2018
US President (played by Kim Cattrall) goes missing in Sweden in this classy Nordic noir
There's a global audience for Nordic noir. And the second season of Modus feels like it was purpose built for international viewers with a big name US star (Kim Cattrall) attached. Though, thankfully, in practice it doesn't feel like a cheap sell out but helps Modus stand out in an increasingly crowded market place (and let's be honest some of these Scandi crime dramas are starting to blur into one gloopy gloomy mass).
America's first female President, Helen Taylor (Cattrall), is on a state visit to Sweden. Ingvar Nyman (Henrik Norlén) is in charge of her security detail. Seeing that we're in thriller territory inevitably something goes horribly wrong and the President goes missing on her first night in Stockholm.
It touches on ideas of American imperialism and sovereignty, as Swedish and American authorities butt heads, but the larger themes at play are male and female power, both physical and ideological. Taylor is a progressive President challenging the white male establishment (if only we could say the same in real life). The head of the American attaché of Secret Service and FBI personnel, Warren Schifford (Greg Wise), is a particularly unpleasant and oily character who has a dark past linked to police profiler Inger Vik (Melinda Kinnaman).
Season two is even more accessible, especially as large chunks are in English (though it sounds super weird hearing Vik speak with an American accent). It's a separate stand-alone story, all you'll be missing is some of the finer details when it comes to Nyman and Vik's relationship.
It doesn't have the same depth of character compared to The Bridge or The Killing but it's getting there. We're starting to grow attached to Nyman and Vik and there's an interesting new dynamic now they are officially a couple. Nicely paced, well acted, beautifully shot Modus is another fine addition to BBC Four's catalogue of international thrillers.
Episodes watched: one and two of eight.
Modus starts on BBC Four, Sat 10 Feb, 9pm.