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on 2 June 2013
I watched this series about a year ago and enjoyed it enormously. It is very surprising that it has not made it to British TV, or indeed a second series. I understand that a second series was planned but was dropped at the last moment. The show typifies the best of Scandinavian crime drama with multiple layers of interest combining romantic, political and social commentary within the plots . Although set in the late 18th century amongst the political turmoil following the French revolution its still can be enjoyed as crime drama. However,it captures the different approach a detective would have to take in an era where it did not seem to matter who was convicted of a murder so long as somebody was. SVT went to a lot of trouble creating superb sets and location shots and the show really deserves the widest audience possible.
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on 29 August 2013
Seriously--the attention to period detail of "Barry Lyndon" with the attention to plot and mystery of a taut thriller. Add to that the novel, unfamiliar setting of Stockholm in the age of revolution. (If a title comes up with "Edinburgh 1790", you can bet you'll hear or see Robert Burns in the next half hour--no such foreknowledge here.)
Great to have 10 episodes of this--think of it as a very long, good movie--and criminal to think that the second season was put on hiatus. They were clearly building up to the literally operatic assassination of King Gustav (the basis for Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera) and the turmoil that followed.
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Anno 1790, a 10 part Swedish detective drama set in the late eighteenth century, promises much, entertains a lot but doesn't quite deliver enough for it to be surprising that the 'Series 1' presumptively announced on the DVD box didn't lead to a Series 2.

The setting, both in century and country, is a wonderfully refreshing change from the standard late 20th century and early 21st century North American choice for so many detective dramas. The series and entertainingly mixes up crime, politics and personal drama as the central character, Daadh, turns from being a naval surgeon to a police commissioner.

Yet for all the expensive sets and high quality acting, the series doesn't quite make the most of what it has going for it. The backdrop of the French revolution is touched on, the idea of a surgeon bringing new scientific rigour to crime fighting is played with and the Swedish setting is at the forefront - yet none of these are fully exploited, with rather a lot of crime cliches making their way into the series.

It's not only the individual crimes (which I won't say too much about in order to avoid spoilers, but many of the basic plots could be from any one of dozens of TV detective series) but also the cliches of a hero who is in love with someone he shouldn't be, an incompetent figure of authority always suspecting the wrong person of the crime and so on. Moreover, the promising set of characters with some complex interrelationships don't develop much through the series.

The 10 episodes, each nearly an hour long, were all enjoyable enough. Enjoyable enough for it to be a little frustrating that they weren't that little bit better. Even so, Anno 1790 is refreshingly different and better than most detective series you'll find.
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on 3 February 2014
Just what is it that the Scandinavians are doing to make their detective thrillers so interesting. There's nothing like this on British TV - very well acted and great story lines. Highly recommended.
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on 28 May 2017
Another great show from the Nordic area , layers of plot with the history of a little known era in Swedens development, shame only one series.
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on 20 May 2017
Excellent - thanks :-)
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on 17 April 2014
Great series what a pity a second series wasn't commissioned
However this is a highly watchable entertaining show with very high production values of a standard we are becoming to expect from our Nordic cousins
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Revolutionary times, Sweden's King determined the country will not go the way of France. Any hint of sedition must be ruthlessly suppressed. Chief of Police Wahlstedt is keen to oblige, and appoints Daadh as the new District Commissioner. This surprises Daadh, a surgeon eager to return to sea. It infuriates devious jailer Nordin, who was after the post.

Ten episodes, each almost an hour. Visually a treat. Much elegance when in the homes of the rich. No holding back on the squalor when with the poor. (Somebody did a particularly good job casting the latter lot - faces reflecting the struggle to cope, ever mindful a word out of place may have painful, even fatal, consequences.)

There is much to admire. Intriguing murder cases, the identity of the culprit often a surprise. Peter Eggers excels as the resourceful, if unwilling, detective. Daadh secretly sympathizes with the revolutionaries' ideals, but not with their methods. Particularly enjoyed is the chemistry between him and his batman Freund (Joel Spira), who is determined his master will not stray. (This is a real worry, for Wahlsted's wife is very beautiful....)

Undercurrents abound. What to do, for example, when the villain is a member of the Establishment - exposure likely to fuel the country's agitators? What about that truly loathsome, manipulative pastor? Surely he cannot be allowed to get away with such deeds? Daadh has to tread a very careful path, especially with odious (often spitting) Nordin actively plotting his downfall.

Immensely enjoyable, the English subtitles surprisingly soon no distraction.

Sadly no second season. Savour then all the more what there is here.
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on 16 May 2013
Arrow Films bold decision to expand its Nordic Noir range beyond what is being screened by BBC Four has led to Scandinavian TV archives being dusted down and some high quality shows being given a DVD release. Already this year we've been treated to The Protectors, Unit One, and Van Veeteren - stunning shows that not only stand comparison with Borgen, The Bridge, and The Killing but are also equal to any American series currently being produced.
The latest series from Arrow's Nordic Noir label, Anno 1790, boasts some of the most spectacular production values from any show released as part of this range. Set in the year 1790, The Killing is mashed up with Borgen in a tale that encompasses political intrigue, murder, the battle to suppress science and maintain the church's influence over society - all set against a backdrop of a Europe in fear of imminent revolution.

As the Russo-Swedish war draw to a close naval surgeon Johan Gustav Dåådh trades the battlefields for palaces and inner city slums. Death makes no distinction between politician and manual worker. In the era prior to the discovery of Penicillin life was snuffed out all too easily. This is an age when a person might be flogged to death for stealing an apple or murdered by an ambitious political rival.
Knowledge of human anatomy was limited in 1790. For most doctors the only way to gain access a corpse was to obtain the services of grave robbers but our hero travels a very different path. In private conversation with a city official Dåådh admits to wanting to further his knowledge unaware that he will soon have ample opportunity to do so as he is forced to perform an autopsy on a local dignitary found dead in a woman's boudoir.

No expense has been spared on the costumes or set dressing. This is quality drama that deserves to hold the rank of your new favourite Scandinavian series.
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on 4 February 2014
I love period and good detective TV. This combines both perfectly. Fairly graphic, but probably quite realistic for the period. I have to admit that I found it looking for more 'Nordic Noir' but very glad I did. My only gripe is that there is no sign of a season 2.

I can never understand why people buy boxed sets as I never watch anything twice - I will make an exception.
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