Most TV drama we see from Denmark has a moody, languid and morally complex storytelling style. But the latest to hit our screens is a plot-driven genre piece, more at home alongside The Walking Dead or In the Flesh.
The Rain, which just premiered at Series Mania in France, is an 8 episode drama that begins in some frenzy when high school student Simone (Alba August) is snatched from an exam by her father as the family escapes the city.
Simone has no idea why her parents are driving so maniacally until she hears a radio report that a nearby storm is mysteriously killing everyone in its path -with a virus carried in the rain.
As cars veer out of control the family of four is forced to run through a forest and find cover before the rain hits (it is very creatively photographed). But scientist Dad (Lars Simonsen) knows an underground bunker belonging to his company Apollon, and the family finds refuge.
After telling Simone she must take care of her younger brother Rasmus (Bertil de Lorenzi) Dad suits up in hazard protection to go back outside, vowing “I’m the only one who can fix this.” Without giving too much away, Mum also exits the scene early, in a somewhat clumsy scene designed to shock.
The end result is Simone and Rasmus are left to fend for themselves, isolated, scared and with limited knowledge of the dangers beyond their bunker perimeter.
But like all good teen heroes, Simone proves resourceful while Rasmus will do some quick growing up, in one of the episode’s most surprising leaps of faith.
There are also occasional flashbacks which indicate scientist Dad knew more than he was letting on and that somehow “Rasmus is the key.”
Later episodes will reveal other survivors and a catastrophic homeland that sees our heroes plunged into a fight for survival.
The Rain is pitched as a smart action drama for an older adolescent audience and there is enough here for adults to be entertained. Alba August is strong-willed in the central role, while the script by Jannik Tai Mosholt, Esben Toft Jacobsen and Christian Potalivo maintains the pace.
Not as gory as The Walking Dead, nor as youthful as Nowhere Boys, this is for grown-up kids who like a bit of terror.
The Rain premieres Friday May 4 on Netflix.