Forbrydelsen: The Killing (DR 2007-2012, Sofie Grabol)

Forbrydelsen aka The Killing is a superb Danish crime drama series following Detective Inspector Sarah Lund as she investigates a trio of baffling and dark murder mysteries. The series was hugely popular around the world and can be said to be the series that sparked off the whole Nordic Noir boom.

Each of the three seasons followed a single case from the initial crime through to the usually bitter end. Each season explored the crime from three different perspectives:- The police, the politicians and the families of the victims.

Lund becomes so focused on her search for the killers that everything else falls apart, including the relationship with her teenage son.

Each episode, give or take, takes place over the course of 24 hours. The beauty of the series, apart from the fabulous performances and scripts, is the way that it doesn’t ever go for the obvious. Mistakes are made and events don’t always play out how you think they will.

There was a US version made for AMC that ran from 2011-2014.

Running for 20 episodes the first season sees Lund ready to move to Sweden to start a new life with her boyfriend. However on her last day at work she, along with Inspector Jan Meyer who is to take her place, are called to a crime scene that later leads to the discovery of the body of 19 year old Nanna Birk Larsen. Lund is unable to leave for Sweden until the case is solved.

Meanwhile prominent politician Troels Hartmann, who is in the middle of an election campaign, seems to be implicated in the murder when it’s discovered that one of his party cars was used to dump the body of Nanna. Nanna’s family, removalist Thies and his wife Pernille, struggle to come to terms with the crime.

Sofie Gråbøl as Inspector Sarah Lund
Søren Malling as Inspector Jan Meyer
Troels II Munk (episodes 1-11) as Chief Inspector Erik Buchard
Morten Suurballe (episodes 11-20) as Chief Inspector Lennart Brix
Lars Mikkelsen as Troels Hartmann
Bent Mejding as Mayor Poul Bremer
Marie Askehave as Rie Skovgaard
Bjarne Henriksen as Theis Birk Larsen
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen as Pernille Birk Larsen
Nicolaj Kopernikus as Vagn Skærbæk
Farshad Kholghi as Rama
Michael Moritzen as Morten Weber
Julie Ølgaard as Nanna Birk Larsen

In the second season (10 episodes) it’s two years later and Lund, having been demoted, is working for border police in the town of Fedser. However her old boss Lennart Brix brings her back into the fold when a military advisor is killed, supposedly by terrorists. When further soldiers, who all belonged to the same platoon, begin to turn up dead Lund realises that this is no straightforward case.

Meanwhile new Minister of Justice Thomas begins to believe his predecessor may have been involved in a massive cover up that could go all the way to the prime minister.

Sofie Gråbøl as Inspector Sarah Lund
Morten Suurballe as Chief Inspector Lennart Brix
Mikael Birkkjær as Inspector Ulrik Strange
Nicolas Bro as Justice Minister Thomas Buch
Kurt Ravn as Prime Minister Gert Grue Eriksen
Flemming Enevold as Colonel Torsten Jarnvig
Carsten Bjørnlund as Major Christian Søgaard
Ken Vedsegaard as Sergeant Jens Peter Raben
Stine Prætorius as Louise Raben
Preben Kristensen as Carsten Plough
Charlotte Guldberg as Karina Munk Jørgensen
Jens Jacob Tychsen as Erling Krabbe
Igor Radoslavjevic as Captain Said Bilal
Lotte Andersen as VPD Ruth Hedeby

In the third and final ten part season Sarah teams up with Special Branch officer (and former boyfriend) Mathias Borch when the young daughter of one of Denmark’s most prominent businessmen, Robert Zeuthen, is kidnapped.

Initially it looks like a straight kidnap for money case but it then becomes obvious that the kidnapping is payback for an unsolved murder that the kidnapper believes involved Zeuthen’s company Zeeland.

Once again a political campaign is in full swing as Prime Minister Kristian Kamper tries to get re-elected. The case, if it isn’t solved quickly, threatens to bring down the whole government.

Sofie Gråbøl as Chief Inspector Sarah Lund
Morten Suurballe as VPD Lennart Brix
Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Mathias Borch
Sigurd Holmen le Dous as Inspector Asbjørn Juncker
Anders W. Berthelsen as Robert Zeuthen
Helle Fagralid as Maja Zeuthen
Stig Hoffmeyer as Niels Reinhardt
Olaf Johannessen as Prime Minister Kristian Kamper
Jonatan Spang as Kristoffer “Stoffer” Kamper
Trine Pallesen as Karen Nebel
Tammi Øst as Birgit Eggert
Peter Mygind as Deputy Public Prosecutor Tage Steiner
Sara-Marie Maltha as Rosa Lebech

key behind the scenes crew
Søren Sveistrup as Creator
Sandra Foss as Producer
Piv Bernth as Producer

show type
Crime drama

broadcast from
7 January 2007 – 25 November 2012
3 seasons with 40 episodes in total

network and production companies


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.