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Masterpiece Mystery! Wallander, Series II: The Man Who Smiled

Airs Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander in "Masterpiece Mystery! Wallander, Series II: The Man Who Smiled." In the bucolic but brutal seaside town of Ystad, Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander has been solving heinous crimes for his entire middle-aged career. Based on the international bestsellers by Henning Mankell, the second season premieres with a new trio of gritty cases.

Behind-the-Scenes Video

The second time is a charm for Kenneth Branagh and the cast of "Wallander," returning for three all-new episodes of the series. Kenneth Branagh, the cast and crew talk about coming back to their complex characters. Watch now

Swedish cop Kurt Wallander is back on the beat in the award-winning role created by Kenneth Branagh ("Henry V," "Hamlet," "Shackleton") and based on the international bestsellers by Henning Mankell. At odds with his family, friends, and fellow police, Wallander is in his element with serial killers and psychopaths, tracking them across the stark farm country of southern Sweden, which he does brilliantly in three new 90-minute cases: "Faceless Killers" (October 3), "The Man Who Smiles" (October 10), and "The Fifth Woman" (October 17).

In this episode, Gustaf Torstensson quietly chants "Mea culpa, mea culpa," as he drives to his death. His son Sten Torstensson, a friend of Inspector Kurt Wallander (Kenneth Branagh), begs the detective to investigate the suspicious case — Wallander is his last hope.

But hope has all but drained from Wallander's life, as he's now on indefinite leave from his work and has been all but forgotten after enduring an on-the-job trauma. When Sten is found dead, an apparent suicide, Wallander is drawn back to inquire. The clues and suspects are provocative enough — postcards with death threats, a respected and reviled philanthropist working in Africa and a former cop tormented by his own personal demons. But Wallander's reentry is an uneasy one, and even as the case comes together, his fragile stability and increasingly questionable judgment are severely tested. Rupert Graves guest stars in "The Man Who Smiled," based on the novel by international bestseller Henning Mankell. Alan Cumming hosts.

"Wallander Series II: Faceless Killers" is available for online viewing through November 2, 2010.

Video

Opening Sequence: Wallander, Series II: The Man Who Smiled

Above: Kenneth Branagh returns for a second season as detective Kurt Wallander. Based on the novels by best-selling author Henning Mankell, Wallander battles crimes, and his own demons, in the bucolic yet brutal seaside town of Ystad, Sweden. In this episode, "The Man Who Smiled," an old friend contacts Wallander with the belief that his father has been murdered, but subsequent events convince Wallander that there might be more to the case.