PBS’ brilliant Masterpiece series enters its 40th season in a few weeks with a stellar line-up of both familiar faces and newcomers. Sunday, October 3, on PBS stations nationwide will see the return of Kenneth Branagh in the role of police inspector, Kurt Wallander. Based on the novels of Swedish novelist, Henning Mankell, Branagh’s portrayal garnered not only critical acclaim, but was recognized with both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Branagh’s description of the Wallander begins with his describing the character os “an existentialist who is questioning what life is about and why he does what he does every day, and for whom acts of violence never become normal. There’s a level of empathy with the victims of crime that’s almost impossible to contain, and one of the prices he pays for that sort of empathy is a personal life that’s a kind of wasteland.”
Broadcast in the UK at the beginning of 2010, American viewers will get their opportunity beginning in October on PBS stations nationwide. For those on both sides of the pond, there is speculation that a third season has already been commissioned, although not confirmed.
Branagh, who is primarily known for his acclaimed work in numerous adaptations of the works of William Shakespeare, has a long history of working on both sides of the camera with extensive director, writer and narrator credits to his resume. His brilliantly calculated portrayal of Wallander fits right in alongside the likes of Henry V, Hamlet, Ernest Shackleton, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, FDR and Victor Frankenstein. October 3, 10 and 17 on PBS. Put it on your calendar.