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Amazon Prime’s ‘Trapped’ explores Nordic noir

Dan Webster

A few years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to drive the Ring Road around Iceland.

Starting in the capital city of Reykjavik, we drove clockwise, stopping along the way to spend nights in the towns of Akureyri, Hofn and Vik before touring the famed Blue Lagoon – where we bathed in a luxurious geothermal pool – and returning to our Reykjavik hotel.

I’ve been reminded of that trip over the past few days as we have binge-watched another in our recent quest to explore everything that Nordic noir has to offer. In the past we have watched seasons of the Swedish-Danish series “The Bridge,” the Danish series “The Killing” and the Norwegian series “Varg Veum.”

Now we’re about to finish the first season of “Trapped,” an Icelandic two-season (so far) series we’re streaming through Amazon Prime that is set in a remote coastal town set in the country’s far north. (The series was filmed in the town of Siglufjörður, which is about 50 miles up the fjord from Akureyri.)

Described as the most expensive Icelandic television series ever produced, “Trapped” is every bit the claustrophobic experience the title suggests. It focuses on the town’s police chief, played by the actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, who is investigating the murder of a man whose armless, legless, headless torse has been fished out of the sea.

That investigation, which gets complicated when a severe winter snowstorm cuts the town off from any outside help, leads to a number of other deaths, a drastic avalanche that cuts all power, suspicions that everything is tied to a ring of international sex trafficking and long-held secrets that involve the town’s emotional “abyss.”

In other words, it represents the heart and soul of Nordic noir. And besides the fact that it’s good to watch snowy landscapes when the temp outside rests at 100 degrees, “Trapped” is perhaps the most appropriate thing we could find to watch in this time of quarantine.

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