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Wee jauntie for Jussi: Netflix to set ‘Department Q’ TV series in Scotland

Ben Hamilton
April 27th, 2023


Many will be asking why Edinburgh is being preferred to Copenhagen for the proposed Jussi Adler-Olsen small screen adaptation

Jussi Adler-Olsen is hugely popular in Denmark (photo: Hasse Ferrold)

Anything HBO Max can do, Netflix can do better – or at least if you’re asking Denmark’s most celebrated contemporary novelist Jussi Adler-Olsen.

Just last week, HBO Max announced huge plans to televise all of the Harry Potter books, and now Netflix has confirmed the same regarding Adler-Olsen’s ‘Department Q’ series – initially a first season of eight episodes will be made.

However, there’s a twist most thriller writers would be proud of: the action will be switched from Copenhagen to Edinburgh.

Not filmed in Denmark either
Not only will the proposed series be set in Scotland, but it will also be filmed there, confirms Netflix.

“Each of the novels is a terrific mystery with great potential for a good season of television,” stated director/showrunner Scott Frank, a double Emmy winner for his work on ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. Also tied to the project are scriptwriter Chandni Lakhani and Leftbank Productions.

But presumably the Danish setting wasn’t to Netflix’s liking – surprising given that both cities have almost identical latitudes, giving them the same mix of long, dark winter evenings (perfect for noir, as ‘Forbrydelsen’ proved) and bright summer nights.

No scheduled transmission date yet
It’s well documented that Adler-Olsen wasn’t a huge fan of the Department Q films, of which there have been five since the first came out in 2013.

In fact, after four films the lead two actors were completely swapped, opening the door for Ulrich Thomsen to replace Nikolaj Lie Kass as Detective Carl Mørck.

“Carl Mørck is one of the classic detective antiheroes – funny and dark at the same time, which I can’t get enough of,” added Frank.

It is unknown when the series will air on Netflix, but it’s a safe bet the series will be delivered with English-language subtitles – as was the case with ‘Borgen’ – should there be any need.


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