This new thriller from Walter Presents stable was shot a year before covid. That in itself is unusual, because it’s the story of a new deadly virus that is easily transmitted between people and wreaks havoc on a community. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? There are so many parallels between this fictional tale and what we all experienced during the pandemic – all too familiar.
If you want to avoid all spoilers, stop reading this article now.
The story in ‘Sløborn’ (originally known as Unkunft) follows the intertwining journeys of various individuals, each connected by a connection to a small island in the North Sea. We meet writer Nikolai Wagner (Alexander Scheer), who is invited to the island by a superfan and bookstore owner. Following the unexpected success of his debut, Wagner is now fighting a deadline for his second novel. He has a violent nature, does not help with drug addiction, and is disgusting to the hostess and her family from the get-go.
Evelyn Kern (Emily Kusche) is a student who returns to the island after a school trip. She is feeling sick, but refuses to explain her symptoms to her vet father or her indifferent mother. Her worst fear is confirmed when a pregnancy test is done.
Magnus and Jan Fisker (Roland Moller and Mads Hjulmand) are brothers, but they are at odds over an inheritance. Jan is a local drug dealer who frequently houses obnoxious drunks. Magnus returns to the island to claim his share of the inheritance and convince his brother to change his lifestyle – in Jan.
We also see a seemingly abandoned yacht – the Rachel II – floating around the sea. Before washing on the beach, he runs into a small sailing boat. Fans from one of Fisker’s parties will discover the ship and its gruesome contents. And this discovery will have serious implications for the islanders in the following episodes.
Like all productions with a large number of characters and different storylines, the opening episode (there are eight in total) is mainly about getting to know you and introducing the cast. But it’s clear from the start that the acting and direction are top quality; This seems like a slow burn as we learn more about the disease, how it affects the islanders, and how they cope with the stigma to keep the disease from spreading further.
Some people shy away from watching series that are too close to the terrible few years we’ve had globally. But if you can get past that and enjoy what this series is – an excellent thriller with excellent acting – you will be rewarded.
This is a small introduction to Walter’s Gifts. But a little variation is always a good thing when it’s this good. I noticed there is a second season.
Definitely one to watch.
Walter Presents: ‘Sløborn’ is now available on C4 streaming as a complete box set.