TV mini?series review: Trom (Viaplay, 2022)
tl;dr Enjoyable murder mystery set on a wet and windswept group of islands in the North Sea – no, not those ones.
Set in the Faroe Islands, the six-part crime drama Trom brings Nordic Noir to a place you don’t often see represented on TV – especially not here in the UK. It starts with the disappearance of a local environmental and animal rights activist Sonja á Heyggi (Helena Heðinsdóttir). Journalist Hannis Martinsson (Ulrich Thomsen) had previously received an urgent message from her about a big story and that she’s in danger, so he’s en route from Denmark to the Faroes to meet with her, but she’s nowhere to be found.
The missing persons case soon turns into a murder investigation, when Sonja’s body is found just as the annual whale hunt is about to kick off. Who killed her, any why? Is the richest man on the island, and owner of a variety of whaling-related businesses, Ragnar í Rong (Olaf Johannessen), perhaps involved? He certainly seems to think he’s above the law.
Local law enforcement Karla Mohr (Maria Rich), assisted by a heavily pregnant Anita Ravn (Mariann Hansen), are on the case, with Hannis also trying to investigate … when he doesn’t end up a suspect himself.
Mainstream UK TV channels that show foreign language shows are few and far between. BBC Four is one of them, and that’s where we found this. It’s a co-production between several countries, but it’s filmed on the Faroe Islands and the languages spoken are Faroese and Danish. Prior to watching this I had zero knowledge about Faroese, but to my untrained Swedish ears it kind of sounds like the missing link between Icelandic and Norwegian. It sounds so familiar, like I should be able to understand what’s being said, but without subtitles I wouldn’t have a clue. The really cool thing is that they speak Faroese and Danish interchangeably and both sides seem to understand each other perfectly. (Norwegian, Danish and Swedish are like kind of like long lost siblings, so we can all understand each other to some degree, depending on dialects, while Icelandic and Faroese are more like second cousins twice removed.)
The series is a great tourism ad, because it shows the islands to their best advantage. Stunning landscapes, rugged cliffs rising from the middle of the North Sea. Okay, it also looks wet and windy, but the knitted sweaters more than makes up for it.
There are plenty of twists and turns to this tale, and by the end of it, we’re left wanting more. At the end of the six episodes we find out who killed Sonja, obviously, but [something else I’ve redacted to avoid spoilers] still remains a mystery. Will there be a second season? Perhaps it’s a little too early to tell. I hope so. I enjoyed the characters, although Karla’s behaviour was incredibly and stupidly unprofessional at times, and it’s nice to see somewhere new, and hear a new language, on British TV.
4 out of 5 selkie necklaces.