From Nordic Noir to Euro Noir: Nordic Noir Influencing European SVoD Serial Drama

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What has been termed Nordic Noir has performed a significant influence on serial drama production outside the Nordic region during the past decade. Already shortly after the wide distribution of the Danish television serial Forbrydelsen (The Killing, 2007-12), distributed increasingly after the BBC broadcast in 2011, Creeber pointed out that Nordic Noir was not only “gradually influencing TV drama made elsewhere”, Nordic Noir as a style and brand has also played a “crucial role in creating a new form of contemporary miniseries” (Creeber 2013, 22). According to Hill and Turnbull (2017), Nordic Noir as a style and form now reaches far outside the geographical confines of the North European Nordic region. Hansen and Waade reveal that “it is not the places, the clothes, the furniture, the architecture, the Nordic landscapes and cityscapes that have travelled to other places”, although they have done so too in foreign productions taking place in the Nordic region, “rather, what has travelled is technique, style and character traits” (Hansen and Waade 2017, 302). In other words, several scholars have emphasized the international influence of Nordic Noir, especially within original serial drama production, adaptation strategies and remake interests.

In this chapter, I will further this argument by exploring Nordic Noir as an influential factor and European location-based market driver for global SVOD services. Firstly, I will highlight the notion of ‘influence’ as a strategy less legitimately signaled or credited in drama production. Instead, other productions and general generic awareness may exist at a level inspiration rather than direct appropriation and adaption. Secondly, I will highlight the ‘missing children topos’ as the most influential narrative device in Nordic Noir serial drama production. Thirdly, I analyze the impact of Nordic Noir in HBO Europe’s Pustina (Wasteland, 2016) and Netflix’s Dark (2017), including raising awareness about one of the most widespread contemporary variations of crime serials, that of supernatural noir. Lastly, I will stress that manifestly localized settings – similar to those in Nordic Noir’s distinguishable sense of place – have become an SVOD strategy for entering and maintaining local affiliation and brand loyalty.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordic Noir, Adaptation, Appropriation
EditorsLinda Badley, Andrew Nestingen, Jaakko Seppälä
Place of PublicationCham, Schweiz
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dateMay 2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-38657-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-38658-0
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
SeriesPalgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture


  • Adaptation
  • appropriation
  • influence
  • Nordic Noir
  • Euro Noir
  • TV serials
  • Netflix
  • HBO
  • SVOD services


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