In the realm of detective crime thrillers, certain productions distinguish themselves for various reasons. Helmed by Daniel Jaroszek, this six-episode Polish TV series, ‘Detective Forst’ unfolds in the obscure, perplexing, and rugged terrain of the Tatra Mountains in Poland. The narrative revolves around Wiktor Forst, a detective who stumbles upon a lifeless body atop a mountain. However, his investigative methods don’t align with the preferences of his superiors, leading to his removal from the case. With an unwavering resolve to unravel the murder and his instincts hinting at the presence of a serial killer with potential additional victims, Detective Forst takes matters into his own hands.
Working independently, Forst delves into the investigation. Unexpectedly, a journalist named Olga Szrebka, intrigued by the case’s ongoing developments, becomes an unconventional companion for Forst. The duo collaborates on connecting leads in their pursuit of the perpetrator. However, the rising body count suggests they are far from closing in on the elusive killer. The realistic depiction of the gripping narrative of the detective thriller keeps the audience at the edge of their seats, leaving many with the burning question: is it a true story?
The Forst Series Books Inspired Detective Forst
‘Detective Forst’ is an adaptation of the ‘Forst Series,’ a collection of books penned by the Polish author Remigiusz Mróz. Consisting of six books in total, the first season draws inspiration from the initial two volumes titled ‘Ekspozycja’ (Exposure) and ‘Przewieszenie’ (Overhang), released in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and met with immediate success. Reflecting on his writing approach, Mróz described how he allows ideas to naturally unfold as the narrative takes shape. Having previously studied and practiced law, he emphasized the importance of understanding the psychology of perpetrators, recognizing that even good people can commit wrongful acts.
The understanding enables Mróz to craft well-defined, complex negative characters in his books. In ‘Detective Forst,’ the portrayal of a serial killer’s behavioral patterns is strikingly realistic. The killer consistently leaves a gold coin in the mouth of each victim, establishing a distinctive signature move that becomes a hallmark throughout the series. This attention to detail mirrors the eerie realism found in the tactics of actual serial killers.
In real-life criminal cases, some serial killers such adopt signature behaviors or rituals that distinguish their crimes. These patterns may include specific ways of arranging the crime scene, distinctive methods of disposal, or unique objects left with the victims. Some of the most notorious serial killers known in history such as ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy also had their own trademarks. Such behaviors often become crucial elements in identifying and understanding the motives of serial offenders. Borys Szyc’s portrayal of Wiktor Forst and Zuzanna Saporznikow’s role as Olga Szrebska stands out as a testament to their exceptional performances. The chemistry between the two actors elevates the feel that the series seeks to incite, creating a compelling dynamic that captivates the audience.
The Tatra Mountains, a captivating and authentic setting in Poland, serve as the backdrop for ‘Detective Forst.’ Nestled on the border between Poland and Slovakia, the Tatra range is part of the Carpathian Mountains and is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse terrain. The region features rugged mountain peaks, deep valleys, and dense forests, creating an unpredictable and challenging environment. The geographical complexity allows the investigative thriller to become even more convoluted, as anything could be concealed within the folds of the landscape.
The haunting reality of the story is heightened by the wild, untamed nature of the Tatra Mountains, making it an ideal setting for an attention-grabbing crime drama to unfold. Additionally, the strategic use of music and lighting within the series contributes to the overall sense of realism, immersing viewers in the tense and mysterious atmosphere of the series. While the show may not be rooted in real events, it skillfully constructs a believable world that resonates with viewers.
The pursuit of catching a killer and achieving triumph within the narrative taps into a universal desire for justice, echoing the horrifying real-life incidents that highlight the imperative need to apprehend perpetrators of such crimes. Though fictional, ‘Detective Forst’ reflects the collective yearning for resolution and closure in the face of heinous acts, offering a storyline that aligns with the shared societal consciousness surrounding crime and the pursuit of justice.