High-brow BBC documentary channel BBC 4 is now almost two years through its research into the discovery of murders, kidnappings, and car thefts in Northern Europe. Given the lack of evidence of such occurrences prior to the first screening of Wallendar, the Swedish government has called for an Inquiry into whether the BBC is committing these crimes across the peninsula in order that it may then then import subtitled Scandinavian crime dramas at a fraction of the production cost involved in making programmes of the same genre.
According to singer/songwriter Rod Stewart, who chairs an all party select committee in Oslo amongst ruining great ballads, released the following statement:
"Before BBC 4 started showing 'The Bridge', 'Wallander', and 'The Killing', crime was non-existent in the countries these programmes are apparently filmed. A road sign in the background of one episode of 'The Killing' clearly reads "M62 Services - Two Miles", this oversight puts weight on the theory that these vile depictions of utopian Northern Europe are in fact filmed in Huddersfield, England."
Yet the BBC protests its innocence, arguing that the economic down-turn has affected its production budget, and has forced the Corporation to import sub-titled, blue-tinged-screen, depressing programmes from elsewhere. And they are depressing - making an episode of Inspector Morse seem like a pleasant walk in the English countryside wherein the only mishap is a small apple falling on someone's head. To push the metaphor, the gravity of the BBC's Scandinavian crime dramas is seriously undermining British people's rightly held belief that its neighbours to the north are 'extremely safe countries that, nonetheless, are so boring on the world stage that they're not worth visiting.'
We've all met people from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, perhaps Norway. Collectively we remember nothing of what these individuals said during their encounters with us. Many an anecdote on Finnish wooden houses has fallen on deaf ears to all but those in Britain with a vested interest in the timber industry. BBC 4's 'discovery' of 'happenings' in Scandinavia serves to remind us all that we pay our license fee not to be fed anti-Scandinavian propaganda, but in order that we can ensure future repeats of Frost for years to come.
Frost, has gone, but with the screening of Wallendar, we are faced with an altogether more prolonged and stoic Winter.