Trapped (2015) – TV Thriller from Iceland

So you’re in the process of hauling up the fishing nets from the water. You’ve snagged something big, but it doesn’t look like a large fish. Rather, it is a human torso – headless and limbless. It hasn’t been in the water all that long. There would have been more damage to this ‘corpse’ after an extended period in the sea.

So begins the TV series Trapped which is set in Iceland. Now that’s something you don’t see all that often in your TV listings or in the offerings from Amazon and Netflix. Created and directed by Baltasar Kormakur who had been at the helm of the thriller 2 Guns which starred Denzel Washington and Mark Walhlberg, this is the story of the police desperately trying to solve the crime as a severe snow storm arrives.

The storm effectively traps the murderer within the town as well as keeping the police forensics professionals from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, from reaching the town.

Seyðisfjörður, Iceland is a small town (population is 700) on the northeast side of Iceland and serves as the arrival port for the ferry (above and below) from Denmark. The town and ferry terminal are not directly on the ocean. As you can see in the above image, the ferry must make its way up the fjord to reach the town.

The voyage takes 52 hours. This time, because of the headless and limbless corpse, the Chief of Police denies the passengers and the crew the ability to leave the ship. He wants to cross the passenger manifest and listed crew against the Interpol databases.

When the chief asks the Ferry Captain for permission to search the ship – the Captain refuses.

Do you have something to hide? asks the cop.

The Captain is forced to relent but only after requiring the cop to secure written authorization the authorities in Denmark. The body may have been found in the Iceland fjord, but the ship is registered as a Danish vessel.

That’s just the first hurdle that needed a resolution in this compelling and gripping saga of 10 episodes.

This little town has a police force of just three. The Chief called Anri and is played by Olafur Darri Olafssson. He was born in Connecticut but has lived most of his life in Iceland

If this huge dude looks a tad familiar, you may remember him from Season 1 of True Detective, or as the drunk helicopter pilot in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  In this series you will find yourself rooting for him. He’s not your standard leading man type, and in this series, he’s got some personalissues to deal with.

The Number Two copper is Hinrika. She’s played marvelously by Ilmur Kristjansdottir.  She usually accompanies Andri on police business in the field, and almost always ends up with tasks that she doesn’t much like to do, but she recognized the importance and is an excellent policewoman.

The third staff is Asgeir, and Ingvar Eggert Siguroson has the role. Though Asgeir does work in  the field on occasion, in the main he’s the administrative officer/IT guy – you know – securing warrants, ordering supplies, maintain the one-cell jail, etc.

Now the real charm of Trapped is that it isn’t just a police procedural, and the series isn’t just about solving who and why the murder happened.  There’s lots of involvement with families, a Lithuanian sex-trafficker was on the passenger manifest, and he would flee with a woman and her child in tow.

Then there’s a plot line about some shady deals involving the Chinese who wish to build a brand new port in town. Auto chases at the height of the storm, road closures, an avalanche, and much more.

The cast is excellent and their performances are all top shelf.

Baltasar has taken us into a world that most of us may never know and he does it well. The series is available on Amazon Prime and is well worth watching,


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