It’s been a year or so since Walter Presents first appeared, and over that period people have streamed over 17 million international crime shows via Channel 4’s free online service. And so Walter Presents has a present for crime lovers in 2017, when it launches Norway’s most popular crime programme, Acquitted.
Originally entitled Frikjent, the show first aired in Norway in 2015 drawing an audience averaging over 560,000 – a massive figure in a country of just five million. It’s about a successful financier working for a Chinese asset stripper who returns to Norway to invest in a company developing solar cell technology. Solar Tech is based in the tiny community where Aksel Borgen (Nicolai Cleve Broch) grew up. However, his return after 20 years stirs up local passions – mainly because of the reason he left.
All those years ago he was tried and acquitted for the murder of Karine Hansteen. It happens that Hansteen’s mother Eva (Lena Endre) is the CEO of Solar Tech and even though she desperately needs to save her company from going bankrupt, she still believes Aksel Nilsen – Borgen is his new surname – killed her daughter. As the series unfolds, perhaps the real story of the girl’s death will come to light.
We’ve seen the first episode and even more breathtaking than the awkward return of Lilfjord’s prodigal son is the scenery. The programme has been beautifully shot in places like Ardalstangen and Laerdal on the western coast of Norway, with glass-like waters and soaring peaks giving the drama an incredible backdrop. Writers Anna Bache-Wiig and Siv Rajendram Eliasson are said to have based the murder on the real-life killing of a 17-year-old.
Lovers of Nordic noir film and TV will instantly recognise Swedish actress Lena Endre, playing the murdered girl’s mother. She was in all three Dragon Tattoo films, as well as the TV series Wallander.
Acquitted will be available to watch online via Walter Presents from Friday 13 January, 2017. There are eight episodes of 45 minutes each. A second series has proven as successful as the first in Norway, and we expect it will also appear on Walter Presents.