Salamander series geared for international stardom
Salamander, the series televised on Flemish broadcaster’s Channel Eén on Sunday evening, will start a second career on BBC Four on Saturday evening. It will mark the first ever screening of a Flemish series on the English TV channel. Established in 2002, BBC Four has ‘made’ numerous international successes. When it first screened the Danish public broadcaster’s series The Killing and Borgen in original version and subtitled, it started a worldwide hype. Salamander’s Saturday screening is quite significant as it fits into the time slot of The Killing and Borgen. BBC Four programme director Sue Deeks, famed for ‘discovering’ The Killing, is excited about Salamander, describing the series as a tense and highly gripping political thriller which fits in perfectly with their Saturday evening programme offering. A North American remake of the series is currently being shot in Canada. Salamander’s first episode opens with a huge robbery at a private bank which sees top-secret documents stolen from 66 safe-deposit boxes belonging to top Belgian individuals. When police officer Gerardi played by Filip Peeters becomes suspicious that the content of these documents is a closely guarded secret and starts snooping around, he has to start running for his life. The series was produced by Skyline Entertainment, the production house which also released the series Aspe and De Rodenburgs for VTM and films like 'Groenten uit Balen' and 'De hel van Tanger'. “We continued to believe that quality and public success could be reconciled,” says Skyline owner Jan Theys. Congratulatory messages have been streaming in and even media minister Ingrid Lieten SP.A lauded the success in a press release, saying: “I’ve always felt that we should nurture the creative TV talent in Flanders. That’s why we established the Media Fund to give the talent an extra boost.” The brain behind the series and scenarios is former journalist Ward Hulselmans, who wrote the script for quite a few other popular Flemish series.