Nordic Noir: How the British fell under the spell of the Nordic Noir TV-series?

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Lina Barauskaite
  • Anders Winther Lindstrøm
  • Clémence Lucie Yquel
4. semester, Kultur, kommunikation og globalisering, kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
We entered the field of Nordic Noir television productions drawn by our personal interest in the TV-series The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen. This research was carried out in order to examine the reasons for the success of the Nordic Noir TV-series. The research objectives aimed to also discover what possible impact the Nordic Noir TV-series have had on its British audience perception and awareness of Denmark.
This research consists of four sets of data. We started our research by reviewing British press articles discussing the Nordic Noir. Then, we interviewed fifteen British Nordic Noir TV-series viewers, whom have all watched at least on of the TV-series in focus. Additionally, we conducted six interviews with Danish and British tourism and film industry professionals working in relation to the Nordic Noir television productions. Finally, we did four observations of the guided Nordic Noir Tours around the city of Copenhagen.
The research concludes that the UK press attention and word-of-mouth influenced the British to start watching Nordic Noir TV-series; unique characters and suspense plot made them continue once started. Moreover, the TV-series had an influence on the British viewers’ awareness of Denmark. However, the fictional picture of Denmark in the shows was not always believed to be complying with the reality. It was also revealed that even if the Nordic Noir TV-series would not serve as the primary reason for the British tourism in Denmark, there is still a potential for film tourism. Finally, we suggested that The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen could be labelled as ‘Scandinavian Dramas’. This notion would encompass the region and genre influence on the TV-series.
This thesis should be viewed as and example analysis of the effects the Nordic Noir television productions had on the British audience. It should serve as background knowledge and preliminary research for conducting further studies into the field.
ID: 213127158