Swedish TV series With One Eye Open to be pitched at Séries Mania
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Based on Martin Österdahl's book Ask No Mercy, the upcoming Scandinavian TV drama is being co-produced by Nice Drama and Twelve Town
After its unexpected success across Germany, Scandinavia and the United States, Ask No Mercy, Martin Österdahl’s first bestseller, is poised to become a TV series consisting of six one-hour episodes, penned by Lars Lundström, creator of the Swedish sci-fi TV series Real Humans, and Anders Sparring, the author of animated feature films such as The World of Dolores and Gunellen and Little Anna and the Tall Uncle.
Set in Stockholm, the story of With One Eye Open aims to combine suspense with geopolitics. The plot centres on Max Anger, a Soviet spy hired by the Swedish think tank Vektor. Anger is searching for his girlfriend and colleague Pashie, who has mysteriously disappeared from Saint Petersburg. Around the same time, there is an attack on the telephone network in the Swedish capital, which puts the country's security at serious risk. During his desperate search, Anger will find out that a shady organisation is working towards the creation of a totalitarian regime and will be forced to confront an even greater threat.
Produced by Stefan Baron (Midnight Sun, Thicker Than Water [+see also:
film profile]) for Mikael Wallén's Nice Drama (Sweden) and Christian Wikander (Midnight Sun, Bonus Family) for Twelve Town (United Kingdom), With One Eye Open has also received development support from SVT – Sveriges Television, the national public broadcaster. Baron revealed that the series was inspired by a historical event that took place on 22 February 1944, when Soviet forces bombed Stockholm, Strängnäs and Södertälje. After that tragedy, a Soviet spy, who had been imprisoned in Sweden, was mysteriously released. “This makes for an incredible thriller story when this event, inspired by a true occurrence, is interwoven with the story set in 1996. The novel Ask No Mercy is partly set in the 1990s, an exciting time for Russia, and the presidential elections of 1996 were particularly crucial. No one knew what the world would be like after the elections,” he added.
With One Eye Open will be pitched at the next edition of Lille's Séries Mania Festival at the beginning of May, where the producers will be looking for European partners and will be competing for a development grant of €50,000, awarded by a professional jury chaired by Christophe Riandee, vice-CEO of Gaumont International.
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