Wallander: The Final Season

(Rochester, NY) – One of the world’s most remarkable actors brings a stirring detective series to an end as Kenneth Branagh plays his last season as Inspector Kurt Wallander, based on the novels of Henning Mankell, who died in 2015. MASTERPIECE Mystery! charts the final exploits of the brooding Swede in three nail-biting concluding episodes, on Wallander, The Final Season, airing Sundays, May 8 - 22, 2016 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

From Wallander’s first season on MASTERPIECE in 2009, the protagonist’s days have always seemed numbered. Dealing with northern Europe’s most violent and deranged criminals, Wallander also battles personal demons and appalling health habits, which led him to be diagnosed with diabetes. Now, as he starts to lose his memory, his greatest fear is that he is succumbing to the same disease that felled his father: Alzheimer’s. Branagh’s portrayal of this terrifying struggle is a heartbreaking performance.

Branagh has previously won BAFTA’s Best Actor award for Wallander plus Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominations, also for best actor. The series’ uniform excellence was recognized with six additional BAFTAs, including Best Drama Series, Best Director, and Best Photography, as well as an Emmy® nomination for Best Miniseries.

Season III unleashed more critical acclaim, with Entertainment Weekly praising the premiere episode as “satisfyingly twist-filled and chilling in every sense.” And The Wall Street Journal cited Branagh’s renown for Shakespearean roles as perfect preparation for the melancholy Swede: “Branagh has never been better cast.”

Returning with Branagh in the Final Season are longtime ensemble members Jeany Spark (Da Vinci’s Demons) as Wallander’s daughter, Linda, now married and a mother, bringing a ray of light to her detective dad, who makes a very doting grandfather; and Richard McCabe (Indian Summers) as the gloomy but good-hearted forensic pathologist, Sven Nyberg.

Introduced last season and back for this is Ingeborga Dapkunaite (Prime Suspect 6) as Baiba Liepa, a beautiful Latvian musician and police widow, who teamed up with Wallander in Riga to escape a death squad run by one her late husband’s colleagues. And MASTERPIECE’s Downton Abbey fans will recognize a new cast member, Harry Hadden-Paton (Edith’s gentleman friend in Season 6), who plays Linda’s workaholic husband, Hans.

In the Final Season, Wallander keeps burning his candle at both ends, dodging knives, bullets, vicious dogs, homicidal motorcyclists, and a sense that he is losing his focus. Will mishap, medical leave, suspension, or a well-earned retirement be his final exit from this punishing profession?

Pictured: Wallander
Credit: Masterpiece Mystery

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