At the weekend the first episodes of an Icelandic drama, ‘Trapped’ were shown on TV; I wasn’t surprised that I really enjoyed it – set in Iceland and a Scandi-Noir type story, it was always likely to be a winner for me!
The premise, as you might guess from the title, is that a crime has been committed but all the characters are trapped – in this case in a very small town on an Icelandic fjord with a dreadful blizzard raging all around. I won’t give anything away, but it won’t spoil it to say that the townsfolk are not the only characters; a huge Danish liner has come into the small port and is also trapped because of the conditions. The police officers in this remote and tiny settlement, and although we are only just beginning to learn their individual complicated back stories, are few in number as you might expect; their usual crimes must be drunkenness, fighting, a bit of burglary, a few neighbourhood disputes, nothing like murder!
The reviews I’ve read have all been positive, commenting on the isolation, the claustrophobia, the vile weather, the sympathetic police chief and his ghastly children, and the biggest character of all, Iceland itself. However on social media there has been a more divergent response. For example: “I hate it when the police behave really, really stupidly… Shan’t bother with the rest.” and this was my reply: “I get your point, but often the police like all of us can be stupid and inept – and in a tiny place like that with a tiny police force who most likely only deal with burglary and drunkenness on every other day, I can believe they might be useless and make mistakes… It’s all down to taste though, isn’t it! I liked it!!” To which a second person added: “I know! I was screaming at the TV! Don’t do it, you Idiot!!!!! NOOOOOO!!! Then I thought that was actually sloppy plotting. Esp. As they used the same wheeze with the woman PC and she ignored it.”
Someone else complained that the murder victim was put in the deep freeze at a fish processing plant, and asked where there no hospitals or undertakers… well, no, there weren’t! In tiny towns in remote places, no there wouldn’t be hospitals and undertakers! The population of Iceland is not much more than 330,000… a great deal smaller than most cities in Britain! In fact about the size of built-up areas such as Reading and Birkenhead!
… but anyway… ‘Trapped’ is fiction and we the audience have to suspend belief… and in the end, it just comes down to personal preferences – some people will love it, some won’t!