In the Shadows
Written by mother-and-daughter team Kirsti Manninen and Katri Manninen, Shadow Lines is a period spy thriller that transports viewers to 1950s Helsinki, the hottest spot in the Cold War, where CIA and KGB agents vie for control of Finland.
Helena, a student freshly returned from the US, is recruited by her godfather to join a top-secret Finnish task force in its ongoing missions: preventing the two global powerhouses meddling in the presidential election and keeping their homeland independent.
But as she begins to discover the truth about her past, Helena’s personal and professional lives collide. With long-kept secrets and political agendas coming to a head, the team must overcome lies and distrust if they have any chance of succeeding.
Directed by AJ Annila and Alli Haapasalo, the 10-part first season of the mixed-language (Finnish/English/Russian) series was first broadcast in October 2019. A second season is now in development, while the series has recently been picked up by international broadcasters including Sundance Now in the US, Canada and UK; SBS in Australia; Viasat World’s Epic Drama Channel across Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics and CIS; RTP2 in Portugal; Proximus in Belgium; AMC’s Sundance TV in Spain; and RTS and UPC in Switzerland.
In this DQTV interview, actors Emmi Parviainen (Helena) and Olavi Uusivirta (Julius) introduce their characters and the setting of the story, and reveal how the writers have blended fact and fiction.
They also talk about what makes the series visually ambitious and outline some of the challenges they faced, from boxing training and learning Russian to playing the piano.
Shadow Lines is produced by Zodiak Finland for Finnish streaming service Elisa Viidhe and distributed by APC. A second season is in development.