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‘Unforgotten’ Star Nicola Walker Hunts Killers in New Police Series ‘Annika’ | Entertainment

Nicola Walker is back on the case. After four seasons as London police detective Cassie Stuart in the PBS dark mystery unforgettablethe british actress is now hunting killers in Annika a new crime drama that combines wry humour, literary references and a cool Scandinavian film noir sensibility. It is available to stream on PBS Passport and PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel beginning Sunday, April 17 and will air as part of Masterpiece in the fall.

Set in Scotland, the six-episode series is an animated vehicle for Walker, who plays newly promoted Detective Inspector Annika Strandhed, head of the Navy’s Homicide Unit. She has a bunch of crack buddies who investigate when bodies are found on boats and in the water, plus a teenage daughter, but her closest relationship is with the viewer. Annika frequently shares her thoughts by speaking directly to the camera, house of cards style.

That’s because she started life as the main character in a BBC Radio series, for which Walker recounted the adventures of the detective in a monologue. The actress credits writer Nick Walker (no relation) with planning to bring some of that into a fourth-wall-breaking TV adaptation.

“He came up with the idea early on to maintain that intimacy with the audience that Annika always had on the radio,” says Walker. I thought it was really brilliant because [the viewer is] her confidante Ella isn’t just talking to you for effect. She is talking to you because that is how she gets by in her life.”

And their cases. A man harpooned to death in the first episode makes Annika think of obsession and revenge in dick moby — and quipping mischievously: “The harpoon kill suggests someone is trying to get a point across.” She will reflect on themes from Ibsen and Shakespeare in future episodes.

She is also another one of the capable, flawed and relatable women that Walker excels at in her portrayal. On the job, Annika leads a team that includes Detective Sergeant Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives), who was passed over for Annika’s job, DS Tyrone Clarke (Ukweli Roach), and Detective Sheriff Blair Ferguson (Katie Leung). At home, she is the only mother to Morgan (Silvie Furneaux), a defiant teenager who Annika takes to school in a speedboat, which Walker had a blast learning to pilot for the series.

“I was sent to a course with the most incredible teacher and I came out with a license, which I am very proud of,” she declares. “It was very, very difficult, and I loved every second of it.”

Walker’s family was even inspired to follow in his footsteps. “My husband and son were so jealous that they went out and got licenses too,” reports the actress, adding that she’s not sure what they’ll do with them: “We live in a completely landlocked area in the south of England. .”

Nicola Walker, Ukweli Roach, Katie Leung, and Jamie Sives (PBS)

filming of AnnikaHe did, however, bring Walker to Glasgow for the winter of 2020-21, when Britain was in lockdown, the weather was cold and darkness came early. Still, Walker speaks fondly of his time there.

“The Scottish climate toughened me up,” he says. “I used to be that person who complains about being cold at work, at home. Now it has to be really sub-zero temperatures for me to raise an eyebrow. And the Scottish landscape is incredibly beautiful. Due to the lockdown, she was seeing places where no one was.”

Right now, Walker is seeing hundreds of people every night as the star of Emlyn Williams’ play. corn is green at the National Theater in London, and completed a couple of other TV projects where he doesn’t wear a badge: the third and final season of cleavageas divorce attorney Hannah Stern, and Marriage, opposite Sean Bean, about a couple dealing with the ups and downs of their 30-year union. But she hopes to return to Scotland for a second season of Annika.

“I’ve been living in Annika’s head and she’s been living in mine for several years,” says Walker. “I think there’s a lot more to it, and Nick Walker is a phenomenal writer. He is very aware of the tropes that we are all used to in police series. He is interested in playing with them and I think he would push it even more the second time.”

AnnikaSeries Premiere, Sunday, April 17, PBS Passport/PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel

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