Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Feature
The Killing: A Guide To Making A Crime Classic
The show's creator, Søren Sveistrup on the ingredients for his cult TV show

submit to reddit

“I’m not missing Sarah Lund yet,” says The Killing’s creator and show-runner Søren Sveistrup. “Maybe that day will come. Now it’s a bit of a relief.” Having finished in Denmark in November and on Saturday night on BBC4, the finale of season three retires one of TV’s greatest detectives, Sofie Gråbøl’s Sarah Lund, and, especially in season one, one of TV’s greatest crime thrillers, a gripping mixture of mystery, miserablism, family, politics and knitwear. Here Sveistrup talks us through the ten key ingredients that made the show successful. “We are all suckers for a good crime story,” he says. “Maybe we feel attracted to it because as we live our normal lives and these stories take us to the edge. We get a chance to look into the abyss and then move back to the sofa and say, ‘Ooh, I’m happy that’s not me.”

Spoiler warning. If you haven't watched any of the three seasons of The Killing, major plot spoilers are contained within this feature.

WORDS IAN FREER
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1 of 10 Next

1. The Inspiration

Set in Copenhagen, The Killing debuted on Danish TV on January 7, 2007 — BBC4 didn’t run it until 2011 — and was initially built on the premise of following a crime investigation over 20 days in 20 episodes (seasons two and three tightened the focus to ten days/ten episodes). The first season dealt with the murder of 19 year-old Nanna Birk Larsen, the second explored the killing of lawyer Anne Dragsholm and the third followed the kidnapping of nine year-old Emilie Zeuthen.

The Killing

“I felt a bit bored with the usual shows. Many of them were shows depicting a detective who had 45 minutes to solve a murder mystery and there was a serial killer and the next episode was exactly the same. At the same time, the heroine had her private life. She was dating the forensic guy. I just felt disillusioned. I felt it was unrealistic and I felt it was a recipe actually. So I wanted to do something more epic, something more novel-like. I didn’t want it to be just a police HQ story. I wanted it to be one killing uniting some characters living in a city. Everything was built up around the image of domino pieces falling: when one piece falls, everybody falls. I had this thought we could maybe tell a more realistic story about a murder than we had seen before. But the banal thing is that I just like thrillers. I like the whole idea of sending Sofie Gråbøl into dark basements.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 
1 of 10
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
How To Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind The Creatures
DreamWorks' animator reveals the ingredients for the movie's dragons

Video: Mark Ruffalo On Begin Again, Science Bros And Underpants Acting
Plus Empire meets director John Carney and co-star James Corden

Movie Poster Mashups: The Wes Anderson Edition
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be appalled at the punning...

Film Studies 101: Ten Movie Formats That Shook The World
The pre-digital innovations that formed modern cinema

Exodus: Gods And Kings: Ridley Scott's Trailer Breakdown
The director talks us through his enormous Biblical epic

Jay Baruchel Talks How To Train Your Dragon 2
From The Human Centipede to the origin of 'Useless reptile'

Watch: Industrial Light & Magic's Greatest Hits
From Star Wars to Transformers, we run through some of the best individual moments from the special effects masters

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £18!
Special 25th anniversary offer for one month only! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)