Young Wallander Season 1 Primer: Everything to know before you watch

Young Wallander - Courtesy of Johan Paulin/Netflix
Young Wallander - Courtesy of Johan Paulin/Netflix /

Young Wallander Season 1: What is it about?

If you’re familiar with the best-selling Kurt Wallander novels by Henning Mankell, then you probably already know the gist of what Young Wallander Season 1 will entail.

The Netflix series is a “modern reimagining” of the stories, which brought legendary detective Kurt Wallander to life. His story begins in present-day Sweden after he witnesses a horrific attack on a teenager. Overcome with guilt at not being able to stop the attack, Wallander becomes obsessed with solving the crime and finding justice for the teen in death.

Young Wallander Season 1: What should you watch or read before the show begins?

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As mentioned above, Young Wallander is based on the popular novels by Henning Mankell. Kurt Wallander is a fictional Swedish police inspector who has starred in 12 books to date, multiple films, and at least two television adaptations.

Since the prequel series is just that, a prequel, it seems it will serve as an edgy, modern access point for new fans of the show.

I would not stress about trying to cram in as much content as you can before the new show launches. If you watch Young Wallander and find yourself fascinated by the story and wanting to watch more, then you can start looking into the various other adaptations.

Another easily accessible show is the British television series Wallander, which starred Kenneth Branagh in the starring role. It also starred actors like Tom Hiddleston, Sarah Smart, and Richard McCabe. There is also the Swedish series that ran parallel to the BBC one, both of them are streaming right now on services like HBO Max and Hulu.

Young Wallander Season 1: A list of cast members and who they play

  • Adam Pålsson as Kurt Wallander
  • Richard Dillane as Superintendent Hemberg
  • Leanne Best as Frida Rask
  • Ellise Chappell as Mona
  • Yasen Atour as Reza
  • Charles Mnene as Bash
  • Jacob Collins-Levy as Karl-Axel Munck
  • Alan Emrys as Gustav Munck
  • Kiza Deen as Mariam

Young Wallander Season 1: How many episodes? What is the runtime?

It looks like there will be six episodes total for the first season of Young Wallander. If I had to hazard a guess for the runtime, I would imagine the show will run for a full 50 minutes to an hour. The series comes from the same production company — Yellow Bird — that produced the other two Wallander series in Sweden and the U.K., so if you did see those shows and enjoyed them, Young Wallander should be right up your alley.

Young Wallander Season 1
Young Wallander – Courtesy of Andrej Vasilenko/Netflix /

Young Wallander Season 1: What are critics saying?

Reactions from critics thus far are mixed, with most saying the series is gripping and a serviceable thriller, but has a few flaws. It is a reasonably typical police thriller that should appease newcomers to the genre who are not familiar with the character, although it is not incredibly innovative.

Den of Geek commented, “what does set Young Wallander apart is its political conscience. More than anything, this is a series about modern politics and the breed of people who exploit bigotry and fear for their own ends.”

“The plot itself is fairly gripping, if not particularly original, which means the six episodes are enjoyable enough despite various flaws that ensure the series can’t quite match up to more successful Scandi-noir dramas of its type,” wrote Radio Times.

Will Young Wallander return for Season 2?

Right now, it’s too early to tell if the series will return for a sophomore season. However, it is part of a successful franchise and starring a popular character. There is a good possibility that the new show will attract a big audience of international fans who are curious to see how this modern adaptation of the beloved Kurt Wallander unfolds. It could become yet another successful international series for Netflix.

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Are you planning to watch Young Wallander Season 1 when it debuts? What do you think about the trailer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Young Wallander Season 1 debuts on Netflix on September 3.