I was caught, as I often am, by a stunning opening titles sequence. The appeal of the peeling silver birch landscape and a savage blood red river flowing through it and I knew this first of an inevitable series based on the John Cardinal Mysteries books was for me.
This weekend's buzzword is Savage! Well it is if you're a comedy kid on Britain's Got Talent.
In complete contrast, BBC Four is showing over 3 weekends a 6 part crime drama called Cardinal. The serial killings are Savage! The beauty of the below-zero First Nations wildnerness is Savage! I just wish Billy Campbell's voice was a bit more savage rather than its whisper-like quality. He's Detective John Cardinal, a troubled soul a bit like Wallander. Demoted because of an obsession with an unsolved child crime, he's called back because the child's ice-clad body has now been found. A complicated past that threatens to catch up with him, a complicated present with a partner investigating him as well as helping in the race to catch up with the serial killer. You can catch up on iPlayer.
Warning: scenes of extreme violence...
The first two episodes of Canadian crime drama Cardinal are available on iPlayer online or in the Apps on the YouView box. Episode 3 and 4 are showing tonight (10th June) on BBC Four and will be on iPlayer later. The final two episodes 5 and 6 will be next Saturday (17th June) BBC Four and iPlayer.
Well, I bought in completely to the stark, savage, blood spattered silver birch north Ontario snowscapes. I'm firmly expecting BBC Programme Acquisitions to buy in series 2 and 3 that have already been commissioned by Canadian broadcaster CTV.
Production is underway for series 2 with locations in Sudbury and North Bay, Ontario. It's the same 6 episode format and based on 'Black Fly Season' the third of the books of John Cardinal Mysteries.