Annika is the new crime drama on Alibi that has already smashed their viewing records so far. The show stars Unforgotten's Nicola Walker and is the hot topic on everyone's lips.
If a show that breaks viewing figure records isn't enough of a draw, maybe Annika's lead actor will. Fans were devastated to see Nicola Walker leave Unforgotten, so it's no surprise they're chomping at the bit to see the actor back in the saddle solving crimes.
This time around she's jumped ship, pun intended, to get on board (sorry) a new marine-themed crime drama. The show is based on a BBC Radio 4 series, which was set in Norway. Annika Stranded, written by Nick Walker. For the onscreen version, the series has been adapted to be set in Scotland and move over Scandi Noir, it looks like Scottish Noir is taking off.
Discussing her character with Sweet Talk Productions (opens in new tab), who produced the show, Nicola said, "I fell in love with Annika immediately She just jumped at me off the page! Straight away it was obvious that Nick had created this woman who was fabulously complicated, funny, and totally unique. And she's ‘difficult’ in the most appealing way. I love difficult women.”
She added, “Annika is definitely my fantasy alter-ego! Her work and her private life are mashed up together and she's never anything less than true to herself. She's far bolder than me, far less concerned about other people's opinions, I love that about her. And I love her attitude to the darker, difficult parts of her job and her life.”
Here's everything to know about your new favorite show.
What is Annika about?
You might be bereft about not seeing Nicola in Unforgotten series 5, but this show might well help you get over it.
Based on the hit Radio 4 play, Annika Stranded, written by Nick Walker, Annika tells the story of DI Annika Standhed. She's a newly appointed head of the Marine Homicide Unit, thrown in at the deep end. Despite the new location, Nicola's character is still Norwegian. Another different element in the show is that there's a lot of Annika speaking directly to camera, making us viewers her secret side-kicks!
Nicola said in an interview with Virgin Media (opens in new tab), "Annika has a direct line to you down the barrel of the lens." She explained, "I imagined talking to someone sitting at home on their sofa as if they were my silent partner-in-crime and I reveal stuff to them, I hold stuff away from them."
The straight-talking DI is tasked with getting her brand new team onside when they head out on their very first case. The team is challenged with solving a brutal murder after a male victim is found dead with a harpoon in his head.
Nicola revealed that Annika isn't your regular old detective and that her USP is a bit more academic than that. "She has her own unique process of drawing on stories, whether they’re [from] Chaucer or Ibsen or Shakespeare. [She references Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick in episode 1]. She has a reputation for getting results with this way of investigating," the actor added.
Are Nicola Walker and Nick Walker related?
Nope! It's just a very funny coincidence that they have similar first names and matching surnames.
However, they've been working together for years. Apart from the Annika Stranded radio series, they also worked together when she starred in the 2010 BBC Radio 4 play Lifecoach.
Annika Cast: who's in it and where have I seen them?
Annika Strandhed—Nicola Walker
Nicola, who plays the eponymous lead role, is best known for her roles as Ruth Evershed in Spooks and the much loved DCI Cassie Stuart in Unforgotten.
The 51-year-old actor won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress back in 2013 when she starred in hit play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. As well as this she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for Last Tango in Halifax twice.
DC Blair Ferguson—Katie Leung
Katie hit the silver screen as Cho Chang, who was famously the first love interest for lead character Harry Potter in the Harry Potter books and films.
Katie also starred in the hit Scottish show The Nest, on the BBC, and another hit BBC show—Strangers.
DS Michael McAndrews—Jamie Sives
Scottish actor Jamie Sives has appeared as Jeb Colman in The Guilty, DCI Jack Gosforth in In The Dark, and McTaggart in Frontier.
DS Tyrone Clarke—Ukweli Roach
Ukweli has also starred in the hit US TV series Blindspot. Period drama lovers will remember him best for his roles on Grantchester and Dickensian.
DCI Diane Oban
Kate has established herself as a star of crime dramas and has also starred in The Nest and The Cry.
Where is Annika filmed in Scotland?
Annika is filmed in Glasgow. Locations along the River Clyde and on the West End of the city feature in the show.
As well as this, the beautiful Loch Lomond is a filming location. The Loch is a short distance from Glasgow and one of Scotland's most beloved beauty spots.
How to watch Annika
Annika is on Alibi. The show kicked off on Tuesday, August 17. It is due to air over six, Tuesdays from 9pm and is one hour long
Will Annika have a season 2?
Woman&home spoke exclusively to the team over at UKTV, who are the mothership of Alibi, and they told us that, " there’s no word on a second series yet."
However, considering what a hit the show already is, fingers crossed we'll see more of the show!
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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