Everything Goes Back to the Beginning: television adaptation & remaking Nordic noir.

Authors: Berger, R.

Editors: Hand, R. and Minier, M.



Journal: Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance

Volume: 9

Issue: 2

Publisher: Intellect

ISSN: 1753-6421

DOI: 10.1386/jafp.9.2.127_2

As television drama undergoes a renaissance across Europe and the US, this article focuses on remakes of ‘Nordic noir’ crime serials. The genre has its origins in contemporary literary fiction, and became a cinema cause célèbre with the Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium novels, and the controversial US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

While adaptation scholars have long discredited comparative approaches based on the source/target text binary organised along value-judgement lines, in terms of television remakes, the opposite is fast becoming the case; comparisons between different versions of the same narrative becomes playful and almost vital aspect of contemporary adaptation. While some theorists have argued that remakes often attempt to efface previous versions, in television, the opposite can be true.

In examining the remakes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Broen/Bron (The Bridge & The Tunnel) and Broadchurch (Gracepoint), this article proposes that a new type of ‘synchronous’ or ‘active’ adaptation invites some audiences to engage in a far more playful exchange of textual moments, augmented and overseen by social media, and that television remakes are now reflecting this.

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