Everything goes back to the beginning: Television adaptation and remaking Nordic noir | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1753-6421
  • E-ISSN: 1753-643X



As television drama undergoes a renaissance across Europe and the United States, this article focuses on the remakes of ‘Nordic noir’ crime serials. The genre has its origins in contemporary literary fiction, and became a cinematic cause célèbre with the Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium novels, and the controversial US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While adaptation scholars have long discredited comparative approaches based on the source/target text binary organized along value-judgement lines, in terms of television remakes, the opposite is fast becoming the case; comparisons between different versions of the same narrative become a playful and almost vital aspect of contemporary adaptation. While some theorists have argued that remakes often attempt to efface previous versions, in television, the opposite can be true. In examining the remakes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Oplev, 2009), Forbrydelsen (2007–2012), Broen/Bron (2011–) and Broadchurch, (2013–) this article proposes that a new type of ‘synchronous’ or ‘active’ adaptation invites some audiences to engage in a far more playful exchange of textual moments, augmented and overseen by social media. In this way, adaptations can act as ‘logic-gates’ upon each other, and television remakes are now reflecting this.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): active; adaptation; cinema; logic-gate; Nordic noir; remake; television
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