1 There’s a wide variety of exciting new series to watch in lockdown. Take Icepick, the latest gripping Scandi noir from Finland. A serial killer is on the loose in the snow-locked town of Bblleak.
Hard-drinking detective Sven Svennsson is tasked with tracking him down and bringing him to justice. In the second episode, the bearded Svennsson is told to drop the case by his well-connected superior — or face dismissal.
2 For something a little lighter, try Amazon’s Crushed Skull, the latest gripping Scandi noir from Sweden. In the opening sequence, a half-naked young woman is chased through a moonlit wood. After a torchlit search, her corpse is found hanging from a tree. Hard-drinking, bearded detective Olaf Aline suspects murder.
But will he be supported in his quest to identify the criminal by his boss, Det Insp Lars Chanss, whose VIP associates seem determined that the case should be dropped?
3 As an alternative, Channel 4’s Walter Presents is screening Abandoned, a stunning new drama from Germany, adapted from the Norwegian bestseller of the same name.
A half-naked young woman is found hanging from a tree in a snowbound forest. Studying her bloodied corpse, hard-drinking, bearded detective Klaus Santa grows suspicious. Might it be murder?
After an hour, his boss, Det Insp Kovverup, orders him to drop the case, before setting off for a sumptuous dinner with his well-connected friends in the local Freemasons’ Hall.
4 True crime series have soared in popularity during lockdown. But demand has exceeded supply. By late spring, every case involving a serial killer or high school shooter had already been filmed. This meant producers were forced to settle for one-off murderers and, when they had all been filmed, for those found guilty of lesser offences.
Forthcoming true crime series include the ten-part Frosties Heist, a gripping minute-by-minute account of one mild-mannered housewife’s plot to steal a family-sized packet of breakfast cereal from a Midlands supermarket.
5 From Sky Atlantic comes the long-awaited The Tunnel, tracking the notorious case of family man Robert Parker.
A pillar of his local community, Parker drove through the Dartford Tunnel in June 2020 in his Volvo, forgetting to pay. Armed with the very latest in sophisticated radar technology, the tunnel authorities were able to track him down to a four-bedroom house in Nuneaton — and the Sky Atlantic crew captured the pursuit on film.
From Sky Atlantic comes the long-awaited The Tunnel, tracking the notorious case of family man Robert Parker
This 12-part series follows Parker on his fateful trip through the tunnel, and later records his startled reaction upon receiving his notice of payment. Finally, Parker decides to pay a fine of £35 within 14 days, thus avoiding a more substantial charge of £70, rising to £105 after 28 days.
‘For those who like their true crime series based around motorists who forget to pay bridge and tunnel charges, The Tunnel makes for a compelling watch,’ says Empire magazine.
6 Series about weird cults have been very popular during lockdown. Following shows about the controversial Rajneesh cult, the Branch Davidians in Waco, Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple cult, two different series about the NXIVM sex cult, and numerous films about the Manson Family, documentary makers have been obliged to look further afield for less offbeat subjects.
Forthcoming cult-based documentaries include Circle Of Cards, Netflix’s shuffle-by-shuffle account of a disparate group of people drawn together by their shared obsession with card games. Having been lured into heavy-duty games through easy-going rounds of Snap and Beggar-my-neighbour, an innocent 19-year-old joins her local Gin Rummy circle, which meets twice a month in her village hall.
But is the so-called Rummy Circle exactly what it appears to be? After ten hour-long episodes, the answer is unavoidable: yes.
The success of Tiger King, which chronicled the violent goings-on at private zoos in America, has given rise to numerous animal-based crime documentary series
7 The success of Tiger King, which chronicled the violent goings-on at private zoos in America, has given rise to numerous animal-based crime documentary series. These include the long-awaited Who Stole Hammy?, a six-part investigation into the sudden disappearance of Hammy, a family hamster based in Carshalton, Surrey.
Hammy’s owner, seven-year-old Jemima, is distraught when the cage door is left open and Hammy goes missing. Spoiler alert: after dogged investigation by the family, Hammy turns up behind the sofa in the sitting room, happily tucking into a discarded cream cracker.