10 Nordic TV series based on true events

With three new Nordic series being released based on true events we pick out some of our favourites and which new ones to look out for – here is our 10 Nordic TV series based on true events.

The Investigation | Denmark | AMAZON | Available to Buy

The Investigation was a huge series when it came to Danish television; aside from the fact that it had an astonishly good cast with many old faces from the beloved Borgen series getting back together, this was before the fourth season even happened),].

The series is based on a shocking murder that happened in Denmark involving Swedish journalist Kim Wall, and a man with a submarine that she visited to interview. Some may remember the reports in the news in 2017.

There are no guns blazing, full throttle car chases, or fist flying – this delicately showed the true investigation into the complex murder and the investigators determination to find enough evidence to put away the accused. Utterly gripping!

Read our interview with Soren Malling who discussed the series with Nordic Watchlist at the time of release.

Pilou Asbæk (Left) and Søren Malling (Right) reunite again for HBO’s The Investigation

The Hunt for a Killer | Sweden | VIAPLAY | Out Now

The Hunt for a Killer was beautifully summed up by Charlie Brooker, a UK journalist and creator behind Black Mirror, who said something along the lines of the series being just people on telephones chain smoking and yet it is totally gripping.

His synposis is practially spot on, but being based on true stories about real homicide investigations in the south of Sweden between 1989-2004 and thanks to a brilliant cast, this true crime drama was voted as one of our favourite Nordic series when it was released (alongside The Investigation).

We are happy to report that since it dropped off BBC iPlayer it can now be found on Viaplay.

Read our interview with the lead actress Lotten Roos from the series

The Lørenskog Disappearance | Norway | Netflix | OUT NOW

Following the true story of a woman who disappeared from her home in Norway under strange circumstances in 2018, the Police were initially stumped before suspecting her millionaire husband. Find out what happened and why they couldn’t solve the mystery.

This is part true-crime drama, part psychological study of human behaviour when dealing with the unknown.

Find out more about the series by hearing from one of the directors involved – HERE

Viking: Downfall of a Drug Lord | Denmark | Viaplay | OUT NOW

This series is all about the so far untold true story of the Danish drug king, Claus Malmqvist. Following his fascinating life from drug dealer in Valby to a multi-billionaire in Brazil to his ultimate downfall. Watch now on Viaplay!

Read our interview with Danish star Alex Hogh Andersen

The Unlikely Murderer | Sweden | Netflix | OUT NOW

Based on the true events surrounding the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, in the 1980s, this is an intriguing portrait of a character believed to have committed the crime, but the police just can’t seem to prove it.

The series delves into the private life of Stig Engstrom, the events that unfolded the night Olof was murdered, and the seemingly confusing investigation that ensued – in which Stig positions himself as a key witness and continuously pokes his nose into the proceedings. But did he in fact get away with murder in plain sight?

The Unlikely Murderer (Photo Credit: Johan Paulin/Netflix © 2021)

The Nurse | Denmark | Netflix | OUT NOW

The Nurse had us absolutely gripped from the start, even though it’s a slow burn, being only four episodes it wasn’t hard to get through the series in one sitting.

Those who have seen another show called The Good Nurse, which was based in the US and released on Netflix last year, might think this story sounds similar. Terrifyingly, it’s about a similar incident that happened in real life in Denmark, and this series tells that story.

A nurse in Denmark gets a job at a new hospital and quickly becomes friends with a fellow female nurse who seems charismatic, popular and highly competent at her job. But soon, strange things start happening and the new nurse suspects something isn’t quite right when patients keep dying who shouldn’t. Can she figure out what is going on?

Alex spoke with the cast members from the series

The Nurse (Photo Credit: Netflix © 2022)

Riding in Darkness | SWEDEN | Viaplay | OUT NOW

I had not clocked that this was based on a true story until I started the first episode. At first I thought this looked like quite a light fluffy series but there is a point in the halfway mark of the first episode where I was left gobsmacked, feeling uncomfortable and totally hooked.

The series follows the events of what happened over a decade and with each episode you can’t quite believe what is happening, but it is!

You can watch this now on Viaplay but be warned this is not comfortable viewing!


A six-part fictionalised account that focuses on the people who played key roles in the creation of music player Spotify – and how the tech changed how people listened to music forever.

Using quite a unique format, each episode is titled after the role of each character, who tells their version of events. The first episode is based on the founder and entrepreneur, Daniel Ek, showing some of his life from his first job experiences before coming up with the idea for Spotify.

The final episode showcases the viewpoint of the music artists whose art is available via the platform, how do they feel and what do they get in return?

Read our brilliant interview with four of the main stars from the series

Mobile 101 | FINLAND | Walter Presents | OUT NOW

This story starts in 1988 when a small company called Nokia are looking to take over the world with their new mobile phone technology. Things get interesting when two lawyers are brought into an international court case with the US company Motorola, who are suing Nokia for patent infringements.

This six-part series is based on the true story of the mobile giants going head to head. Fans of 2022’s The Playlist might well enjoy watching how things unfold in this drama series.

Mobile 101 is out now on Walter Presents via C4 Streaming

Barracuda Queens | SWEDEN | NETFLIX | Released 6th JUNE

Something a little lighter and more fun is Netflix’s Barracuda Queens, a series out in a couple of weeks that sees a group of friends begin to steal from the rich so they can pay off their credit card debts, and enjoy their partying lifestyle.

The series is based on the real crimes that were committed in Sweden in the 90s, complete with a thumping cheesy 90s soundtrack. This one is going to be good fun and one for fans of The Bling Ring.

Look out for our interview with three of the stars next month!

Meet the Barracuda Queens (Photo Credit: Ulrika Malm / Netflix)

Feature by Alex Minnis

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