Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the 2021 film Operation Mincemeat. Anne’s genealogy research took her to the turn of the 20th-century in England to follow the life and career of Claude Raul Champion de Crespigny, a decorated army officer. In later life, he became the 5th baronet of Champion de Crespigny.
Nicola Walker is one of my favorite actors. I first encountered her in Scott & Bailey. I loved the very unusual role that she played in River and the complicated one she played in Collateral. Of course, she was unforgettable in Unforgotten.
I’m not sure how I missed Annika when it showed up on PBS. Fortunately, I have PBS Passport so I can watch it from the PBS page.
I knew I was going to love the show from the first scene when Annika (played by Nicola Walker) breaks the fourth wall to summarize Moby Dick for us. Annika Strandhed is the Detective Inspector for the newly formed Marine Homicide Unit in Glasgow. On her first case in this new job, the victim was killed by a harpoon. Thus, Moby Dick. Each episode gets its own literature or mythological analogy that Annika explains to the audience along the way.
Annika is the only character who talks directly to the camera, but she plays alongside a terrific cast of characters. Her teenage daughter, Morgan, struggles to get along in her new school. It’s clear from the first scene that Annika has a history with her second in command, DS Michael McAndrews, which gets gradually revealed over the six episodes. The two lower-ranked members of the team have their own talents and quirks — I’d love a second series to get to know them better.
I don’t know much about Glasgow. I had to look it up on a map to see why it might need a Marine Homicide Unit. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, spreading out on both sides of the River Clyde. The River Clyde runs into the Firth of Clyde, the deepest coastal waters in the British Isles. Glasgow remains an important port in global shipping. Annika was filmed on location in and around Glasgow. I enjoyed getting to know this city better.
Have you seen Annika? What did you think?