The Martin Beck Series

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Episodes

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SD01Roseanna2012102720140823
20130708 (BBC7)

is the first in the Martin Beck series, written over ten years from 1965 - 1975 by the husband and wife writing team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Featuring the intriguing, dogged, intuitive complex figure of Detective Inspector Martin Beck and his colleagues in the National Police Homicide Department in Stockholm, the books set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandinavian crime fiction, and for much of the best crime fiction in Britain and America written since the 1960s. The books have been admired and imitated by crime writers and readers ever since their publication; now Radio 4 offers audiences the opportunity to discover just why the books have been so acclaimed by those in the know.

The use of crime and police procedure to hold up a mirror to society and its most dysfunctional elements is commonplace now, but that's because Martin Beck paved the way for subsequent generations of European crime writers whose fallible heroes - Kurt Wallander, John Rebus etc. - make the best fist they can of their own lives whilst trying to tackle the violence around them.

The books were written deliberately to give an unsentimental, realistic portrait of Sweden in the mid-sixties: not the liberal place it was thought to be, but a society suffering from a stifling bureaucracy and a creeping rottenness behind the surface sheen. Confronting the dark side of this society are stubborn, logical, anti-social Detective Inspector Martin Beck, his closest friend Detective Inspector Lennart Kollberg - overweight, hedonistic, opinionated; Detective Inspector Frederick Melander, with a memory like a card-index file and a noxious pipe clamped in his jaws, and their colleagues in the murder squad.

In Roseanna, they are faced with the body of an unknown girl found in a canal dredger. The long investigation ends with a risky and frightening sting.

Dramatised for radio by Jennifer Howarth

Original music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Sara Davies.

SD02The Man Who Went Up In Smoke2012110320140830
20130709 (BBC7)

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Dramatised for radio by Katie Hims.

Having just arrived on a beautiful, remote island for his much-needed Summer break with his wife and young children, Detective Inspector Beck is summoned back to Stockholm, where he is sent on a seemingly pointless and unofficial mission to Budapest, in search of a missing journalist. It is only when Beck has pretty much given up on the case that the truth finally emerges.

Original Music composed by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate.

SD03The Man On The Balcony2012111020140906
20130710 (BBC7)

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

translated by Alan Blair

Dramatised by Katie Hims

Someone is assaulting and killing young girls in the parks of Stockholm. With only a brutal mugger and a three year-old boy for witnesses, the investigation is stalling. It's only a tiny detail surfacing in Beck's mind that puts the murder squad on the trail of the killer, but will they get him before he strikes again?

Original Music composed by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate.

The Martin Beck Series, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. 3/10. The Man on the Balcony: Someone is assaulting and killing young girls in the parks of Stockholm. Beck investigates

SD04The Laughing Policeman2012111720130711 (BBC7)

In the fourth of the Martin Beck Killings, Beck is now a Detective Superintendant. But his promotion hasn't made him any more cheerful; if anything, it's only confirmed his gloomy belief that the best way to solve crimes is by hard slog, dogged persistence, a grimly realistic view of human nature - and the occasional flash of sheer intuition. His team of colleagues, headed by Lennart Kollberg and Frederick Melander, are used to his stubborn ways and his frequent colds. His wife Inga isn't as tolerant.

The Laughing Policeman begins on the evening of a big demonstration in Stockholm against the Vietnam war; as the police are dealing with protesters outside the American embassy, a mass shooting on a bus in a suburb ends with nine dead, including one of Martin Beck's team. The trail to find the murderer leads Beck back to an unsolved case from the past that had puzzled the Swedish police for years.

Dramatised for radio by Jennifer Howarth

Original Music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Sara Davies.

SD05The Fire Engine That Disappeared2012112420130712 (BBC7)

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translated by Joan Tate

Dramatised by Katie Hims

The apartment of a suspect being staked out by Gunvald Larsson explodes, killing three people. Arson and murder isn't at first suspected - much to Larsson's fury - but when it becomes clear that the fire was started on purpose, the case hinges on the needle-in-a-haystack chance of finding a man who fits an impossibly vague description who was somewhere in the area around the time of the fire.

Martin Beck - Steven Mackintosh

Lennart Kollberg - Neil Pearson

Larsson - Ralph Ineson

Ronn - Russell Boulter

Gun Kollberg - Sally Orrock

Nadja - Christine Absalom

Mansson - Stuart McQuarrie

Zachrisson - Joe Sims

Stromgren - Harry Livingstone

Hammar - Patrick Brennan

Hjelm - Robert Blythe

Skacke - Sam Alexander

Mrs Borg - Susie Riddell

Ingrid Beck - Lauren Crace

Doris Martensen - Keely Beresford

Mats - Greta Dudgeon

Narrator 1 - Lesley Sharp

Narrator 2 - Nicholas Gleaves

Original Music composed by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate.

SD06Murder At The Savoy20130706

Beck is called to Malmo, when an industrialist is shot at the city's best hotel.

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translated by Amy and Ken Knoespel

Dramatised for radio by Jennifer Howarth.

Steven Mackintosh as Martin Beck and Neil Pearson as Lennart Kollberg return for a second series of the Swedish detective stories that inspired a generation of crime writers.

The Martin Beck books were written over ten years from 1965-75 by the Swedish husband and wife team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. They featured the dogged and complex figure of D.I. Martin Beck and his colleagues in the national Police Homicide Department in Stockholm, and were written to give a realistic, unsentimental portrait of Sweden at the time: a society suffering from stifling bureaucracy and the creeping corruption of a liberal society.

In Murder at the Savoy, Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg are called to Malmö in Southern Sweden when an industrialist is shot whilst having dinner at the city's best hotel. There are people in high places who want the case cleared up quietly and quickly, but Beck refuses to give way to pressure.

Original Music composed by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Sara Davies

SD07The Abominable Man20130713

By Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translator Thomas Teal

Dramatised by Katie Hims

Steven Mackintosh and Neil Pearson return as Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg in the Swedish detective series that inspired a generation of crime writers.

In The Abominable Man, Martin Beck is called in to work in the middle of the night to see the butchered body of a senior policeman. He begins to investigate, dogged by a sense that catastrophe is imminent. Once again, his instinct is correct.

Original music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate

Studio Managers: Caleb Knightley; Graham Harper, Mike Etherden; Martha Littlehailes; Alison Craig

Production Coordinators: Jenny Mendez and Hannah Robins.

SD08The Locked Room20130720

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translated by Paul Britten Austin

Dramatised by Katie Hims

Steven Mackintosh and Neil Pearson star as Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg in the Swedish detective series that inspired a generation of crime writers.

The Locked Room. On his return to work after recuperating from a bullet wound in the chest, Martin Beck's first case is a conundrum: the body of a man who has been shot dead is discovered in a sealed room, but there is is no gun. Meanwhile, Kollberg and Larsson are on the trail of a pair of bank robbers.

Original music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate

Studio Managers: Caleb Knightley, Graham Harper, Mike Etherden, Alison Craig.

SD09Cop Killer20130727

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translated by Thomas Teal

Dramatised for radio by Jennifer Howarth

The murder of a woman in a small village outside Malmö in Southern Sweden wouldn't normally warrant the attentions of Detective Inspector Martin Beck and his team. But this woman lived next door to a man who has already killed once, and the press are taking a lot of interest in the case. Beck and Kollberg aren't getting anywhere when a teenage shootout between two teenage boys and the police not far away starts a series of events that eventually leads them to the killer, and sets the seal on a significant decision for Lennart Kollberg.

Original Music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Sara Davies.

SD10 LASTThe Terrorists20130803

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

translated by Joan Tate

dramatised by Katie Hims

Martin Beck reluctantly takes on a security operation set up to protect a controversial American Senator from a terrorist attack whilst he is in Sweden on an official visit. Meanwhile, a young woman is accused of bank robbery.

Original music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate.