Given the succession of iconic series that have swept across the international broadcast landscape in the  last three years, an innocent bystander could be forgiven for assuming that Danish television drama sprang into the world, fully fledged, in January 2011.

That’s when a BBC executive took a punt on a dark murder story with a complex female lead character, slipped it into BBC4’s Saturday night schedule.  And the rest is history.

The Killing had actually aired in its home country four years earlier. But suddenly, it was . . .

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Piers Ford is a British journalist specialising in the arts, culture and media. He has contributed to numerous titles including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, the Independent, BBC Music magazine, The Singer and Gramophone.