I confess to loving a really great Nordic Noir style crime drama. I don't care what language it's in or where it is set, if there's a gritty crime to be solved, I'll watch it. And that's exactly why I tuned into Signs or Znaki in it's native Polish.
Following on from Polish hits such as Ultraviolet or The Woods, I had high hopes. For the most part, I was duly rewarded. Signs is set in a small country town in the heart of Poland where a new Chief of Police has been transferred from Warsaw amid speculation that it was his drinking that got him booted out. But there to do a job to be done and quite quickly the town is shocked by the murder of a local woman. To make matters worse, it's exactly the same as a crime that took place ten years earlier.
But this town is full of people with secrets and nobody is talking. Affairs, dodgy politicians, corrupt businessmen, and odd religious leaders all blend to create a scene of carnage when it comes to solving a crime. Throw in a few teenage misfits and soon Chief Trela (Andrzej Konopka) is getting nowhere and fast.
So what exactly is going on in the town of Owl Mountain and will the crimes ever actually be solved? The answer is both yes and no. And without spoiling anything, the story continues into season 2 so don't expect it to all get wrapped up after just eight episodes.
When it comes to intriguing characters with real flaws and a plot that bubbles and simmers, Signs excels. My only issue was that it might have simmered a little too long. That said, it is incredibly true to real life so don't expect the Chief to roll into town and solve the case in 10 minutes. It's far more detailed than that, I just wish there was a little more light to temper the enormous amount of darkness in the show.
Otherwise, it is a clever, well-acted and intriguing ‘whodunnit' that is well worth watching.