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Wallander - Series 1-3 [DVD] 
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Kenneth Branagh stars as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in nine feature length dramas based on the best-selling detective series by Henning Mankell - an international publishing phenomenon.
Having relocated to the Swedish countryside, Wallander’s fresh start is crushed when the remains of a young woman are found buried in his back garden in An Event in Autumn. The body is at least five years old. The remains of another young woman are washed up on the shore. She was last seen boarding a ferry – but did she jump or was she pushed?
In The Dogs of Riga, the corpses of two Latvian men are discovered on a life raft in Ystad harbour. Covered in Russian mafia tattoos, they’ve been tortured and brutally murdered. When Wallander travels to Riga in search of the killers, he becomes entangled in a web of corruption. Who can he trust?
Anna Westin, a childhood friend of Wallander’s daughter Linda, goes missing shortly after visiting Wallander in Before the Frost. Elsewhere a religious fanatic – Jannek Langas – seems to be responsible for the murder of an elderly woman whose burnt body is found in the woods. When a connection between Westin and Langas is found, Wallander and Linda fear for Anna’s safety.
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Trying as best I can to look at Branagh's offering in isolation, his performance is consummate and entirely convincing; it must appeal to those who appreciate especially his take on the character sc. heavy emphasis on depression and introversion. I found this emphasis rather heavy going, (slow and ponderous) at times but each to his own - which is why (coupled with first-rate production, supporting cast and photography) I feel that it merits 5 stars.
I do, nevertheless, have one gripe: having gone to the trouble (and expense) of filming in Ystad ie to give the series a Swedish "feel" and added authenticity, why on earth do Branagh et al. pronounce the eponymous name "WALLander" rather than the Swedish pronunciation of "VallANDer"? Every time that the former is said, there might as well be a sign appearing on the screen saying "Don't forget that this is an English version"; in other words, it detracts from the whole purpose of giving the series the aforesaid Swedish flavour.
I look forward to buying series 4 and my only regret is that it is going to be the final one.
Branagh and the entire cast are first class and the filming done on location is superb.
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