The Killing (Danish TV series)

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For the 2011 American remake of this crime drama, see The Killing (U.S. TV series).
The Killing
Forbrydelsen, DVD.jpg
Series 1 Danish poster
Also known as Forbrydelsen
Created by Søren Sveistrup
Composer(s) Frans Bak
Country of origin Denmark
Original language(s) Danish
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 40
Location(s) Copenhagen, Denmark
Running time 60 minutes x 40 sections (total, 2007-2012)
Production company(s) DR
Original network DR1
Original release 7 January 2007 (2007-01-07) – 25 November 2012 (2012-11-25)
Related shows The Killing (US)
External links
[ Website]

The Killing (Danish: Forbrydelsen [fʌˈb̥ʁyðˀəlsən],[1] "The Crime") is a Danish police procedural three-series long television drama created by Søren Sveistrup and produced by DR in co-production with ZDF Enterprises. It was first broadcast on the Danish national television channel DR1 on 7 January 2007, and has since been transmitted in many other countries worldwide.

The series is set in Copenhagen and revolves around Detective Inspector Sarah Lund (played by Sofie Gråbøl) and her team. Each series follows a different murder case day-by-day. Each fifty-minutes episode covers twenty-four hours of the investigation. The series is noted for its plot twists, season-long storylines, dark tone and for giving equal emphasis to the stories of the murdered victim's family and the effect in political circles alongside the police investigation. It has also been singled out for the photography of its Danish setting, and for the acting ability of its cast.

The Killing has proved to be an international hit—garnering significant critical acclaim—particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands. It has become a cult television show, and has received numerous awards and nominations including a BAFTA Award and an International Emmy, and in 2011 a US remake was produced by the American cable network AMC.[2] A novelization of the first series was published by Macmillan in 2012.

Lead actress Sofie Gråbøl at a press conference, 2011


Søren Sveistrup, series creator and head writer, worked closely with lead actress Sofie Gråbøl throughout the writing process to successfully develop the character of Detective Inspector Sarah Lund. Gråbøl, in particular, became eager to defend her character. Gråbøl had a history of playing emotionally demonstrative characters on Danish television—she had worked with Sveistrup before on the TV-series Nikolaj og Julie—he approached her directly to play the part of Sarah Lund before work on the script began.


Despite her insistence that she wanted to play an "isolated person [who is] unable to communicate" Gråbøl initially found it difficult to strike the right balance for the emotionally distant Lund, until she realised that the only people she knew who were like the character were men. As a result she began "acting like a man" until the character took shape.

During filming of the first series, Sveistrup also refused to reveal the identity of the murderer or even specific plot points to members of the cast, including Sofie Gråbøl. The actors would only receive the scripts on an episode-by-episode basis, just moments before shooting was scheduled to begin. Gråbøl was told only that she was not the killer.[3]

Series 1[edit]

Politigården, the police headquarters

The first series consists of 20 one-hour episodes that follow the police investigation into the murder of a young woman, from its commencement on 3 November through to its conclusion on 22 November.

The first ten episodes were shown on DR1 each Sunday from early January to the middle of March 2007, and the intention was to show the remaining ten episodes in January–March 2008; however, the popularity was so great in Denmark that already in early March it was announced that the final ten episodes would be brought forward to the autumn of 2007; they were shown from late September to late November 2007.


Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day with the Copenhagen police force, planning to move to Sweden with her fiancé and transfer to the Swedish police. Everything changes when 19-year-old Nanna Birk Larsen is found raped and brutally murdered. Along with her replacement, Detective Inspector Jan Meyer, Sarah heads the investigation as it soon becomes clear that she and Meyer are chasing a very intelligent and dangerous murderer. Meanwhile, local politician Troels Hartmann is in the middle of a hard-fought mayoral campaign when evidence links him to the murder, adding a political thread and further intrigue to the storyline. At the same time, the girl's family and friends struggle to cope with their loss.

Over a span of 20 days, suspect upon suspect is sought out as violence and political pressures cast their shadows over the hunt for the killer.

Main cast and characters[edit]

Episodes and ratings[edit]

Episode Title Original Danish air date[4] Danish ratings (DR1)[5] Original UK air date[6] UK ratings (BBC Four)[7]
1 "Episode 1" 7 January 2007 (2007-01-07) 1,550,000 22 January 2011 (2011-01-22) 472,000
Copenhagen Police Department detective Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last shift at work before moving to Sweden with her fiance, when her plans are interrupted as 19-year-old Nanna Birk Larsen is declared missing. When her belongings are found in a field, Sarah suddenly finds herself at the head of a high-profile investigation, with leads reaching as far and high as the offices of a mayoral election candidate.
2 "Episode 2" 14 January 2007 (2007-01-14) 1,707,000 22 January 2011 (2011-01-22) 421,000
As the investigation into the disappearance of Nanna moves into its second day, Copenhagen police start to determine the particulars of the case. Detective Lund postpones her move to Sweden in order to lead proceedings, and when Nanna's body is discovered she is faced with a major murder investigation. Mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann finds himself implicated when it emerges that the car Nanna's body was found in was registered to his campaign office.
3 "Episode 3" 21 January 2007 (2007-01-21) 1,622,000 29 January 2011 (2011-01-29) 424,000
Sarah Lund and her incumbent replacement Jan Meyer are on the trail of a principal murder suspect, but Jan's impulsiveness threatens to jeopardise the investigation. Meanwhile, important new clues turn up at the victim's school, while the campaign office of mayoral candidate Troels is rocked by leaks of confidential information.
4 "Episode 4" 28 January 2007 (2007-01-28) 1,213,000 29 January 2011 (2011-01-29) 388,000
Sarah and Jan discover clues in the basement of the victim's school and the police pathologist has some shocking news for Sarah. Following the leaking of confidential information to the press, the atmosphere in Troels Hartmann's office is one of suspicion as his political career could be hanging in the balance.
5 "Episode 5" 4 February 2007 (2007-02-04) 1,532,000 5 February 2011 (2011-02-05) 524,000
Sarah realises that Nanna's friend Lisa may know more than she has let on, and something indicates that investigators ought to focus their attention in a different direction. Things are looking up for Troels and his political campaign, which advisor Rie is trying to control all his affairs. Meanwhile, Pernille deals with her grief in her own way while Theis finds it hard to hold himself together.
6 "Episode 6" 11 February 2007 (2007-02-11) 1,600,000 5 February 2011 (2011-02-05) 443,000
Troels is heading for trouble when it emerges that someone in his department has attempted to hide potentially crucial facts relating to the murder case. Sarah and Jan pursue a lead, while chaos erupts in Sarah's personal life. Also as Pernille and Theis prepare to bury their daughter, Theis receives some shattering information.
7 "Episode 7" 18 February 2007 (2007-02-18) 1,512,000 12 February 2011 (2011-02-12) 524,000
Just as Jan is starting to think that he is now in charge of the case, Sarah returns unexpectedly and decides to launch a search for the father of the victim, Theis, and prime murder suspect Rama, who was Nanna's teacher. Both men have disappeared and Sarah fears for Rama's safety. But her decision to remain in Copenhagen to work on the murder case is exacerbating problems in her private life. Meanwhile, Troels is stuck between his political advisers and his own sense of morality and comes under further pressure from inside his own party.
8 "Episode 8" 25 February 2007 (2007-02-25) 1,712,000 12 February 2011 (2011-02-12) 466,000
Aided by the local imam, Sarah and Jan look for the hiding place of Rama's collaborator. At the town hall, Troels is faced with an ultimatum from within his own party as a result of his handling of the scandal. Theis and Pernille start to believe that the case might be coming to a close, until they receive some unexpected news.
9 "Episode 9" 4 March 2007 (2007-03-04) 1,634,000 19 February 2011 (2011-02-19) 536,000
The police are after Theis, who has disappeared once again with murder suspect Rama and now seems more prepared than ever to take the law into his own hands. The investigation reaches a standstill, with Sarah and Jan being given a 24-hour ultimatum before they are taken off the case. At the Town Hall, the political landscape undergoes some radical changes. Pernille tries to manage on her own, as both the family and family business are left in her hands.
10 "Episode 10" 11 March 2007 (2007-03-11) 1,678,000 19 February 2011 (2011-02-19) 480,000
Sarah and Jan pursue a new lead, but are taken aback when their boss intervenes. Sarah's personal life is drastically reconfigured. Troels attempts to establish a new alliance at the Town Hall, but is met with fierce resistance. With Theis still in custody and awaiting release, Pernille comes under pressure from all sides and starts suspecting that someone close to her might be hiding something.
11 "Episode 11" 23 September 2007 (2007-09-23) 1,371,000 26 February 2011 (2011-02-26) 509,000
Having located a likely crime scene, Sarah and Jan know who they are looking for, but as the investigation leads again in the direction of Troels Hartmann's Liberal Party, the reactions of their superior officers are puzzling. Troels comes under great pressure both in his private and public life. Pernille becomes estranged from Charlotte and Theis.
12 "Episode 12" 30 September 2007 (2007-09-30) 1,480,000 26 February 2011 (2011-02-26) 474,000
Sarah and Jan interrogate Troels. With the weight of the incriminating evidence pointing unequivocally toward him, Troels has no choice but to divulge private information to the police and a whole new can of worms is opened as a result. Theis becomes desperate to hold on to wife Pernille, who is drifting further and further away emotionally.
13 "Episode 13" 7 October 2007 (2007-10-07) 1,481,000 5 March 2011 (2011-03-05) 563,000
The police and media have their spotlight trained on Troels, who might still be holding something back. Meanwhile, there are strange goings-on at the Town Hall. Things come to a head between Pernille and Theis, while Sarah receives some troubling news.
14 "Episode 14" 14 October 2007 (2007-10-14) 1,385,000 5 March 2011 (2011-03-05) 511,000
With a major part of the investigation dead in its tracks, the screws are tightened on principal suspect Troels Hartmann, and political opponent Bremer loses no time in taking advantage of the situation. Sarah and Jan nevertheless persist with their own line of enquiry, contrary to instruction. Pernille is increasingly out of touch with her family, while the emotional state of Theis takes a nosedive.
15 "Episode 15" 21 October 2007 (2007-10-21) 1,581,000 12 March 2011 (2011-03-12) 597,000
Sarah has walked into a life-threatening situation but neither Jan nor anyone else knows her whereabouts, and her boss is convinced the puzzle of the murderer's identity might finally be resolved. At the town hall, Bremer swoops in to deliver a coup de grace to Troels' political career, while a broken-down Pernille needs help when she gets into hot water.
16 "Episode 16" 28 October 2007 (2007-10-28) 1,624,000 12 March 2011 (2011-03-12) 535,000
Sarah won't get on board when her superiors insist that Nanna's murder has been solved. At the town hall, Bremer holds out the olive branch, but Troels has some embarrassing facts to unveil. Pernille and Theis attempt a reconciliation, while Sarah decides to take on the murder case alone.
17 "Episode 17" 8 November 2007 (2007-11-08) 1,767,000 19 March 2011 (2011-03-19) 613,000
Sarah and Jan are convinced that there is a link between Nanna's murder and an unsolved case from 15 years earlier. It is now a race against time to nail the evidence. Pernille and Theis are puzzled as they realise the case is far from closed. Troels is counting on winning the election and is willing to put everything on the line.
18 "Episode 18" 15 November 2007 (2007-11-15) 1,767,000 19 March 2011 (2011-03-19) 551,000
Sarah and Jan check out an abandoned warehouse to look for evidence, but something unexpected happens. Meanwhile, a prime suspect disappears. Troels is struggling to get back into the political arena, but is contacted by a journalist whose attempts to dig up dirt are not entirely unsuccessful. Theis and Pernille are trying to move on and prepare to take their sons to see the new house.
19 "Episode 19" 22 November 2007 (2007-11-22) 1,827,000 26 March 2011 (2011-03-26) 603,000
The hunt for a missing suspect takes an unexpected turn, while the odds well and truly stack up against Sarah. Amidst a new influx of revelations, Troels and Bremer battle it out in a dramatic live TV debate. But back at the Town Hall, Troels no longer knows who to trust. Theis and Pernille are preparing to move into their new house, but something turns out to be very wrong.
20 "Episode 20" 29 November 2007 (2007-11-29) 2,107,000 26 March 2011 (2011-03-26) 599,000
Having been taken off the case, and yet more determined than ever, Sarah aims to succeed in finally nailing Nanna's murderer. At the Town Hall, Troels is on a downward spiral, until he is given some game-changing information. At the Birk Larsen home, Pernille and Theis invite friends and family to hold a birthday party for Anton, but the evening takes a dark and unexpected turn.

Series 2[edit]

The second series, Forbrydelsen II, is set two years later and consists of only ten episodes. It aired in Denmark between 27 September and 29 November 2009.[8] Episodes were screened eleven days later on Thursdays on Norwegian NRK1.[9] It was shown on German TV channel ZDF[10] and on Swedish SVT[11] in the autumn of 2010. In the United Kingdom, it was shown on BBC Four, starting from 19 November 2011, following the success of the first series,[12][13] on the Belgian channel, Canvas, starting on 25 November 2011,[14] and in Australia on SBS Two, starting from 21 March 2012.[15] The Region 2 DVD with English subtitles was released on 19 December 2011.[16]


After the resolution of the Larsen case, Lund is demoted and works as a passport officer in the southern town of Gedser. Ulrik Strange, a detective from Copenhagen, visits Lund on behalf of her former boss, Lennart Brix, and asks for her help in solving the murder of military legal adviser Anne Dragsholm. Dragsholm was found murdered at the memorial for executed members of the Danish resistance in Ryvangen Memorial Park, tied to a replica of an execution post used by the firing squads of the German occupying power. Despite initial uninterest, Lund joins the investigation and comes to suspect that the murder is not as straightforward as it seems, despite the forced confession of Dragsholm's husband. Meanwhile, Thomas Buch, the newly appointed Minister of Justice, suspects that his predecessor was involved in the cover-up of a massacre of Afghan civilians by Danish soldiers, and that this incident is connected with Dragsholm's murder.[17]

Lund is about to be discharged from the case when a second murder, that of a Danish military veteran, leads to the conclusion that Islamic extremists are behind the killings. Jens Peter Raben, a war veteran currently incarcerated in a mental hospital, knew both victims and sticks to his story that his unit was present during the execution of an Afghan family by a special forces officer named "Perk". Raben escapes, and two other members of the unit are murdered. Suspicion falls on senior military officers, including Raben's father-in-law, Colonel Jarnvig, and his deputy, Major Søgaard (who is in love with Raben's wife, Louise).

In the course of the investigation, Lund and Strange become fond of one another. Meanwhile, Buch and his secretarial team, Carsten Plough and Karina Munk Jørgensen, uncover further evidence of the cover-up. Buch finds it impossible to convince his cabinet colleagues of the plot, and is pressured to continue scapegoating Muslims for the murders in order to assure the passage of a strict anti-terrrorism law. Raben takes refuge in a church presided over by a former army chaplain, who tries to deter him from any further investigation of the crimes and urges him to give himself up. After Raben leaves, the chaplain's dying body is discovered by Lund, who pursues the killer and is surprised when he does not take an easy opportunity of killing her.

Lund arranges for the exhumation of a deceased Danish army officer, Per K. Møller, suspecting him of involvement in the massacre in Afghanistan. Her investigations lead nowhere until it is learned that someone is still using Møller's identity. When Lund and Strange catch up with Raben, he identifies Strange as "Perk", leading the inspector to shoot him. An injured Raben persists in accusing Strange of being the officer responsible for the massacre, yet it is later officially confirmed that he had left Afghanistan before the time of the killings.

Lund continues to be uneasy about Strange's alibis for the murders, but takes him with her to Afghanistan to investigate a new suspect, the brother of one of the soldiers killed under Raben's command. This also proves a dead end, but Lund's persistence results in the discovery of the bones of the Afghan civilians. Upon returning to Denmark, Lund meets her mother, who has had a premonition of Lund lying dead. Following a further search of a military barracks, suspicion falls on an anti-Taliban Muslim officer, Bilal, when plans for the soldiers' murders are found in his possession. A confrontation with Raben, Lund and Strange leads to Bilal blowing himself up; they escape only thanks to Strange's quick-witted actions.

Strange volunteers to return Raben to the mental hospital, but Lund insists on going with them. On the way, they make a stop at the scene of Dragsholm's murder, where Lund points out to Strange the reasons why Bilal is unlikely to have been involved. Strange gives himself away by revealing a detail that only the murderer could know, and confesses to the murders before shooting Lund with her own gun, which he then plants on Raben. Raben is incapacitated by Strange's sudden revelation that Raben himself had been actively involved in the civilian deaths, a fact that Raben had blanked out of his memory. He is about to shoot Raben when Lund hits him over the head. When Strange tries to retrieve his gun, Lund shoots him dead. As the police arrive at the scene, she walks away, removing the bullet-proof vest she had been wearing.

Main cast and characters[edit]

Episodes and ratings[edit]

Episode First broadcast Denmark (DR1) Official TNS Gallup ratings[18] First broadcast UK (BBC Four) Official BARB ratings
1 27 September 2009 1,702,000 19 November 2011 1,248,000
2 4 October 2009 1,696,000 19 November 2011 909,000
3 11 October 2009 1,479,000 26 November 2011 1,080,000
4 18 October 2009 1,677,000 26 November 2011 863,000
5 25 October 2009 1,658,000 3 December 2011 1,090,000
6 1 November 2009 1,505,000 3 December 2011 859,000
7 8 November 2009 1,575,000 10 December 2011 1,044,000
8 15 November 2009 1,609,000 10 December 2011 902,000
9 22 November 2009 1,561,000 17 December 2011 1,085,000
10 29 November 2009 1,735,000 17 December 2011 928,000

Series 3[edit]

The third series, Forbrydelsen III, premiered on Danish television on 23 September 2012.[19] It commenced on NRK1 in Norway on Monday 8 October 2012,[20] and had an audience of 436,000 in the face of stiff competition. Series 2 on NRK started with 578,000 viewers in 2009.[21] Series 3 also started on BBC Four in the UK on 17 November 2012, where 1.04 million viewers watched the first episode.[22]


This final series of Forbrydelsen explores the global financial crisis as the ostensibly random murder of a sailor leads Sarah Lund through the financial community.[23] Lund has ambitions for promotion and a new lifestyle, but at the same time is struggling to maintain a relationship with her son Mark. Through the investigation she finds herself thrown together with a former lover, Mathias Borch, who now works for Special Branch. When Emilie Zeuthen, the 9-year-old daughter of a wealthy businessman, is kidnapped, the link between the latest series of murders and the apparent suicide of an orphaned teenager becomes clear. While Lund and Borch hunt down the kidnapper, the government is on the verge of collapse as the prime minister, relying on Zeuthen's support for his economic policies, discovers that his own son Benjamin was also connected with the girl's death. After Emilie is found and the kidnapper accidentally killed, Lund takes it on herself to make sure that a serial killer does not go unpunished.[24]

Main cast and characters[edit]

  • Detective Inspector Sarah Lund: Sofie Gråbøl
  • Agent Mathias Borch, Department of Homeland Security: Nikolaj Lie Kaas
  • Detective Chief Inspector Lennart Brix: Morten Suurballe
  • Asbjørn Juncker, young new detective transferring in from Bellahøj: Sigurd Holmen le Dous
  • Robert Zeuthen, business magnate, director of Zeeland Group and father of Emilie and Carl: Anders W. Berthelsen
  • Maja Zeuthen, mother of Emilie and Carl: Helle Fagralid
  • Niels Reinhardt, personal assistant to Robert Zeuthen: Stig Hoffmeyer
  • Kristian Kamper, Prime Minister and leader of the New Liberal Party: Olaf Johannessen
  • Kristoffer "Stoffer" Kamper, campaign manager for the new Liberal, spin doctor to the PM, his brother: Jonatan Spang
  • Karen Nebel, spin doctor to the PM: Trine Pallesen
  • Birgit Eggert, Finance Minister: Tammi Øst
  • Tage Steiner, Deputy Public Prosecutor: Peter Mygind
  • Rosa Lebech, Centre Party Chairman: Sara-Marie Maltha

Episodes and ratings[edit]

Episode First broadcast Denmark (DR1) Official TNS Gallup ratings[18] First broadcast UK (BBC Four) Official BARB ratings
1 23 September 2012 1,678,000 17 November 2012[25] 1,264,000
2 30 September 2012 1,746,000 17 November 2012 1,111,000
3 7 October 2012 1,516,000 24 November 2012 1,090,000
4 14 October 2012 1,463,000 24 November 2012 999,000
5 21 October 2012 1,644,000 1 December 2012 1,000,000
6 28 October 2012 1,703,000 1 December 2012 1,023,000
7 4 November 2012 1,706,000 8 December 2012 1,099,000
8 11 November 2012 1,708,000 8 December 2012 1,036,000
9 18 November 2012 1,773,000 15 December 2012 1,083,000 + 200,000 BBC HD
10 25 November 2012 1,981,000 15 December 2012 1,027,000 + 194,000 BBC HD

Figures for the UK broadcast of episodes 1 – 8 do not include the ratings for BBC HD.

Overseas success[edit]

In the wake of the successful Wallander series, The Killing became another Scandinavian crime hit with British viewers when it was shown on BBC Four in the spring of 2011. Although subtitled, it attracted more viewers than Mad Men,[26] scored audience appreciation figures of 94%,[27] and has been described as "the best series currently on TV".[28] The success has created an interest in all things Danish,[29] and the female detective's Faroese jumper has been the subject of newspaper articles as well as becoming a sought after online item.[30]

As well as the UK, DR also sold the series to a number of other broadcasters worldwide, and The Killing was eventually shown in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Russia and Spain with varying degrees of success. Producer Piv Bernth described the broad appeal of the show as "groundbreaking", and explained what she believed to be the root of its popularity:

"It's the first time you have a detective drama over 20 episodes – other series had one killing per episode. And we also have this three-plot structure – what does it [a murder] mean for a police investigator, what does it mean for the parents, what does it mean for the politicians. It's not just about finding the murderer. That's important, but it's not all."[31]

Over 120 countries have purchased the first two seasons of The Killing.[32] The first series has also been shown in other countries, as follows:

  • 2007: Norway on NRK1 (as Forbrytelsen)[33]
  • 2007: Finland on Yle Fem (as Brottet) and AVA (as Rikos)[34]
  • 2007: Faroe Islands on SvF (as Brotsgerðin)
  • 2008: Sweden on SVT1 (as Brottet)[35]
  • 2008: Iceland on RÚV
  • 2008: Germany on ZDF (as Kommissarin Lund: Das Verbrechen)
  • 2009: Austria on ORF
  • 2010: Belgium, France, Germany on ARTE (as The Killing)
  • 2010: Australia on SBS One[36]
  • 2010: Belgium on Canvas[37]
  • 2011: United Kingdom on BBC Four[38] (as The Killing)
  • 2011: Russia on Channel One (as Убийство)[39]
  • 2011: Spain on AXN (as The Killing: Crónica de un asesinato)
  • 2011: Portugal on AXN Black (as The Killing: Crónica de um assassinato)
  • 2011: Poland on Ale Kino+ (as The Killing)
  • 2012: Japan on Super! drama TV (as The Killing)
  • 2012: Brazil on Globosat HD (as The Killing: História de Um Assassinato)
  • 2012: Netherlands on Nederland 2 by the KRO (as The Killing)[40]
  • 2012: Hungary
  • 2012: New Zealand on SoHo TV (as Forbrydelsen)[41]
  • 2012: Belgium, France, Germany on ARTE (as The Killing)[42]
  • 2012: Italy on RAI4 (as "Killing")
  • 2012: Croatia on HRT3 (as "Ubojstvo")
  • 2013: Estonia on ETV (as "Kuritegu")
  • 2013: Czech Republic on ČT2 (as "Zločin")
  • 2013: Greece on Mega Channel (as The Killing)
  • 2013: Turkey on Dizimax Vice (as Forbrydelsen)
  • 2013: Serbia on RTS1 (as Ubistvo)
  • 2013: Taiwan on PTS (as The Killing)
  • 2013: Latin America on AXN Central & South America (as The Killing: Crónica de un asesinato)
  • 2013: Republic of Ireland on TG4 (as "The Killing")
  • 2014: Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan on BBC Persian (as Ghatl dar Kopenhag [Murder in Copenhagen])
  • 2015: Slovenia on TV3 Medias (as Investigation)[43]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The Killing has been awarded a number of awards and recognitions from various festivals and organisations from around the globe since it began in 2007. Because of the time lapse in air dates between countries, honours awarded to the first two series are spread out over an unusual number of years.

In the UK, the first series won the 2011 BAFTA award in the "Best International" category. It was also nominated for the Audience Award but lost to reality show The Only Way is Essex.[44] The second series was again nominated for "Best International" in 2012, but lost out to fellow Danish programme Borgen.[45]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2008 International Emmys Best Drama Series The Killing Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress Sofie Gråbøl Nominated
2010 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding International Producer for a Drama Series Piv Bernth Nominated
Outstanding European Producer for a Drama Series Piv Bernth Won
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nicolas Bro Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Sofie Gråbøl Nominated
International Emmys Best Drama Series The Killing II Nominated
2011 BAFTA Television Awards Best International The Killing Won
Audience Award The Killing Nominated
Crime Thriller Awards UK Best International TV Series The Killing Won
Best Actor Lars Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Actress Sofie Gråbøl Won
Best Supporting Actor Bjarne Henriksen Nominated
Soren Malling Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Ann Eleonora Jørgensen Won
2012 Royal Television Society Programme Awards International Award The Killing Nominated
BAFTA Television Awards Best International The Killing II Nominated
Crime Thriller Awards UK Best International TV Series The Killing II Nominated
Best Actress Sofie Gråbøl Nominated
2013 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding European TV Drama Series The Killing III Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a TV Drama Series Sofie Gråbøl Won
Crime Thriller Awards UK Best International TV Series The Killing III Won
Best Actress Sofie Gråbøl Nominated

Legacy and influence[edit]

Subtitled programming in the UK[edit]

Following both its critical and ratings success in the United Kingdom, the BBC and other channels began importing and broadcasting more subtitled programmes from a number of different countries. In 2012 the popular Danish drama Borgen and the more popular joint Swedish-Danish venture The Bridge both aired on BBC Four with similarly high viewing figures, while in the same year ITV3 also acquired the original TV2 series Those Who Kill.[46] In late 2011 digital channel Sky Arts also broadcast the Italian series Romanzo Criminale, while FX bought the rights to popular French cop show Braquo.[47]

Although BBC Four had shown subtitled dramas before, notably the Swedish version of Wallander and French police procedural Spiral, controller of the channel Richard Klein described The Killing as "a game-changer". Vicky Frost of The Guardian noted how it was The Killing which "paved the way for a wave of subtitled European crime dramas" appearing on UK television, while head of programming at FX Toby Etheridge also confirmed his belief that "The Killing proved it was possible [to successfully show subtitled drama]".[47]

US remake[edit]

Instead of broadcasting the original series, a US remake of The Killing was produced by Fox Television Studios for the American cable network AMC. It premiered on 3 April 2011[2] and ran for two seasons before being cancelled on 27 July 2012.[48] However, On 8 November 2012, it was confirmed that Fox Television Studios were in final negotiations with Netflix in order to continue the series for a third season. AMC, who had originally cancelled the show, was also included in part of the deal. The deal in question would gain the network the privilege of airing the new episodes before they are hosted by Netflix in return for sharing any associated production costs with Netflix.[49] The original US production team are expected to return.[50] A fourth season, consisting of 6 episodes, was produced by and is available on Netflix.

On 8 Apr 2011, Sofie Gråbøl, the star of the Danish series, was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour,[51] where she explained the American remake was necessary because Americans "for some reason cannot read subtitles, or they don't want to." Gråbøl herself has made a guest appearance in one episode of the American show playing a minor role.

Turkish remake[edit]

A remake of the series was produced[52] by Adam Film and Akbel Film for the Turkish TV network Kanal D. It premiered on 7 January 2014. Although 13 episodes were ordered, the show was cancelled after 5 episodes.[53]


A novelization based on the first series and titled The Killing: Book One was published by Macmillan in 2012. The book was written by British author David Hewson.[54] This was followed by The Killing: Book Two in January 2013, and The Killing: Book Three in February 2014.


  1. ^ "forbrydelse — Ordbog — Den Danske Ordbog". Society for Danish Language and Literature. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b The Killing (US version) at the IMDb. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  3. ^ Andrew Anthony (13 March 2011). "The Killing: meet Sofie Gråbøl, star of the hit Danish crime thriller | Television & radio | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ This refers to the original date of broadcast on DR1 and DR HD.
  5. ^ As collected by TNS Gallup. See TNS Gallup TV-Meter, TNS Gallup (Last visited 15 October 2012). (Danish)
  6. ^ This refers to the original date of broadcast on BBC Four.
  7. ^ As collected by BARB. See BARB, Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (last visited 1 July 2012).
  8. ^ Forbrydelsen II at the IMDb. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  9. ^ [1] at NRK. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  10. ^ ZDF: Kommissarin Lund: Das Verbrechen II Retrieved 2011-03-21
  11. ^ SVT: "Svåra fall för dansk polis"[dead link]
  12. ^ Sutcliffe, Tom (21 November 2011) The Weekend's TV: The Killing II, Sat, BBC4 Frontline Medicine, Sun, BBC2 The Independent, Retrieved 21 November 2011
  13. ^ Digital Spy: "BBC buys second series of The Killing" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  14. ^ The killing – Het programma, Retrieved 3 December 2011
  15. ^ Knox, David (5 March 2012). "Returning: The Killing". TV Tonight. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  16. ^ The Killing II out on DVD 12 December 2011 Close-Up Film, Retrieved 21 November 2011
  17. ^ "Forbrydelsen II" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  18. ^ a b TNS Gallup TV ratings Retrieved 2012-11-25
  19. ^ The Killing at the Internet Movie Database Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  20. ^ [2] at NRK. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Farmen knuste Forbrytelsen – Aftenposten" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Plunkett, John (19 November 2012) The Killing is back with a bang The Guardian, Retrieved 25 November 2012
  23. ^ "Finanskrisen rammer Forbrydelsen III –". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Emma Kennedy, "The Killing III: was this really a fitting end for Sarah Lund?", The Guardian, 17 December 2012. Accessed 18 December 2012.
  25. ^ YouTube: Date at end of BBC 4 trailer for The Killing 3 Retrieved 2012-11-05
  26. ^ The Guardian: "The Killing, a slow-moving drama with subtitles, is a hit for BBC" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  27. ^ The Daily Telegraph: "BBC Four buys second series of The Killing" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  28. ^ Crimetimepreview: "Why The Killing is the best thing on television – 10 reasons" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  29. ^ The Guardian: "Danmark – hvor det sker! Or... Denmark – where it's at!" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  30. ^ The Guardian: "Sarah Lund's Faroese jumper is the surprise star of BBC4's The Killing" Retrieved 2011-03-21
  31. ^ Jane, Emma (27 April 2012). "BBC News – The Killing and Borgen: Danish drama wins global fanbase". Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Dansk drama går så det suser NRK" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  33. ^ "Forbrytelsen NRK" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  34. ^ "Rikos – Sarjaopas". (in Finnish). Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  35. ^ "Brottet Discshop" (in Swedish). Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  36. ^ "SBS One Sydney Schedule: Wednesday 17th February, 2010". SBS Television Online. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  37. ^ The Canvas website for the series Retrieved 2011-02-28
  38. ^ The BBC website for the series Retrieved 2011-09-19
  39. ^ [3] Retrieved 2011-02-28
  40. ^ van Soest, Thijs (28 March 2012) The Killing komende zomer elke dag op Nederland 2 (English translation: "The Killing every day on Nederland 2 this Summer") de Volkskrant, Retrieved 8 August 2012
  41. ^ "SoHo". SoHo TV. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  42. ^ The Killing Saison 1 Arte web site 16 August 2012, Retrieved 5 November 2012
  43. ^ "SERIJE: NOVICE". Podnapisi.NET. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  44. ^ "Television Awards Nominees and Winners in 2011 – Television". London: British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  45. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2012 – TV Awards – Television – The BAFTA site". Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  46. ^ Jones, Paul (27 January 2012). "Is it The Killing? Is it Borgen? No, it's Those Who Kill". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  47. ^ a b Vicky Frost (18 November 2011). "The Killing puts torchlight on subtitled drama | Television & radio". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  48. ^ "''The Killing cancelled by AMC after two seasons''". Digital Spy. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  49. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "AMC And Netflix Near Deal To Resurrect ‘The Killing’". Deadline. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  50. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin To Return To ‘The Killing’ As Executive Producers". Deadline. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  51. ^ "BBC Radio 4's Womans Hour". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  52. ^ "Cinayet (Turkish)". 
  53. ^ "Cinayet Dizisi Yayından Kaldırıldı (Turkish)". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  54. ^ Book Reviews (5 May 2012). "The Killing by David Hewson: review". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]