The Investigation dramatises a bizarre real-life case where female journalist Kim Wall, in search of an intriguing story, went for a trip in a home-made submarine with its male builder. Note, that I’ll only go into the basics here, so there are no spoilers. And yes, it’s a true story so you can look it up if you want – as well as this series already having been broadcast in other countries in 2020 – but if you’re new to the entire situation like me, then just watch the drama and leave looking anything up until after you’ve finished it.
Although the premise sounds like an offshoot of Grand Designs, the sub sank, the man got out, but no-one’s clear about what happened to Kim, yet he claims he put her on the side of the riverbank at 10.30pm. If that’s the case, when where is she?
That’s what needs to be determined by lead cop on the case, Jens Møller Jensen (Søren Malling) and Jakob Buch-Jepsen (Pilou Asbæk) – both actors having worked together previously on dramas such as Borgen and 1864 – especially since the pair are already deflated after their previous case, in which they were sure of a conviction for premeditated murder. Things didn’t quite go to plan, so they don’t want another situation to follow them around.
So far, I’ve seen just the first two episodes (which are broadcast one after the other on the opening night) and in short, what a tangled web we weave… since amongst what we’re presented with in a typical Danish cop drama where everyone talks in hushed, muted tones, the cops just don’t know whether or not Kim is alive. The submarine sunk at some point in the hours following her disappearance, so is she inside? Was she dropped off at the riverbank as the suspect claims, or is there another possibility?
And if she is dead, which if the four possibilities is it? A natural death, accident, suicide or homicide?
Either way, it’s an absolute nightmare for her parents, Ingrid (Pernilla August – The Legacy) and Joachim, played by Rolf Lassgård, who was not only in the very underrated and brilliant Downsizing (and oh, how I wish for a spin-off! A TV series would work superbly!), but also the unsurpassable A Man Called Ove, which was my favourite movie of 2017. Yes, I know it was made in 2015, but the UK didn’t get it until two years later. Beware there is a US remake planned, but skip that… it can only end in disaster. Just watch the original. Your eyes will thank you for it.
Well, amongst this very procedural drama, it’s nevertherless tight in plotting and very engaging, with none of the running time wasted, so there’s plenty of time for theories. Either way, when the suspect is interviewed, we don’t actually get to see him…
There’s also a cliche or two thrown in, since Jens and Jakob sometimes seem not always on the same side, as they’re a bit at odds with each other, but then this pair have worked together brilliantly well before. Also, Jens has some home strife, as his daughter, Cecile, announces she’s pregnant, but is a bit non-plussed that Dad is more preoccupied with his work.
As an aside, at some points, Jens is making phone calls whilst driving about. Sure, it’s hands-free, but I still believe that it’s a distraction from the road and that such calls should be banned. There’s never a call that can’t wait until you pull over by the side of the road, or get to your destination.
UPDATE: I’ve now seen the whole series, and I know it took several months for this to reach a conclusion, but they could’ve cut it down to 5 episodes. Quite often, you see Jens walking round, emotionless and miserable, and episode three was pretty much nothing BUT that, with no going forward in the plot.
The Investigation starts tonight at 9pm on BBC2 and will be two episodes back-to-back over three weeks.
It is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on March 1st.
After tonight’s episodes, you can then watch the entire series on the BBC iPlayer.
Overall Series Score: 7/10
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Producers: Jonas Allen, Caroline Blanco, Peter Bose, Rene Ezra
Writer: Tobias Lindholm
Music: Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen
Jens Møller Jensen: Søren Malling
Jakob Buch-Jepsen: Pilou Asbæk
Ingrid Wall: Pernilla August
Joachim Wall: Rolf Lassgård
Maibritt Porse: Laura Christensen
Musa Amin: Dulfi Al-Jabouri
Nikolaj Storm: Hans Henrik Clemensen
Lars Møller: Henrik Birch
Kirstine: Charlotte Munck
Christian Skov: Anders Juul
Cecilie: Josephine Park
Lennart Stauner: Frank Thiel
Betina Carlsen: Patricia Schumann
Malthe Jensen: Nickas Søderberg Lundstrøm
Klaus Rasmussen: Henning Valin Jakobsen
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.