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Netflix announced today the cast for the new British crime drama series Department Q.

Matthew Goode Department Q
Department Q: Matthew Goode — Photo courtesy of Netflix

Based on the “Department Q” crime novels by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen, the new Department Q mystery-crime drama series centers on Carl Morck, a detective who is effectively demoted to set up Department Q, a new cold case department.

The first six novels have been adapted into Danish films, initially starring Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares (The Keeper of Lost Causes, The Absent One, A Conspiracy of Faith, and Journal 64, aka The Purity of Vengeance), followed by Ulrich Thomsen (The Marco Effect, Boundless). (I’ve seen the first three, which are terrific, and the fourth is on my to-watch list on Viaplay.)

Netflix’s Department Q series moves the action from Denmark to Scotland, and features a star-studded lead cast that includes Matthew Goode (The King’s Man, The Offer), Chloe Pirrie (Under The Banner of Heaven, The Queen’s Gambit), Alexej Manvelov (Jack Ryan, Top Dog) Kelly Macdonald (Line of Duty, Operation Mincemeat), and Leah Byrne (Call The Midwife, Nightsleeper).

Matthew Goode as DCI Carl Morck

The life of the brilliant but impossible Carl Morck is turned upside down after a violent incident leaves his partner paralyzed and another police officer dead. Upon his return to work, the former top-rated Edinburgh detective is tasked with setting up Department Q, a new cold case department, which is little more than a PR exercise. At first, being sidelined suits Carl; he’s happy to waste his days playing solitaire and skiving. But Carl’s detective instincts are reawakened, and his new department down in the basement becomes an unlikely magnet for the misfits and mavericks of Chief Superintendent Moira’s police team.

Chloe Pirrie as Merritt Lingard

Merritt, a ruthless and ambitious prosecutor, has quickly risen the ranks in the Crown Office. Raised by her absent father on the Isle of Mull, she had a troubled childhood, but after her brother William suffered a severe brain injury, she turned her life around and dedicated her life to him while striving for justice in her role as prosecutor. However, in the wake of the biggest case of her career, Merritt decides she needs to make a change. As a result, Merritt and Carl’s paths collide.

Alexej Manvelov as Akram Salim

Akram was an officer in the Syrian police force when civil war broke out, and he decided to flee to Europe with his family. Unable to work as a cop in the UK, he petitions for work at Edinburgh’s police station, becoming Carl’s assistant. Akram keeps his past life in Syria private, but as the series goes on, Carl realizes that he has underestimated his new partner.

Kelly Macdonald as Dr Rachel Irving

Dr Rachel Irving is the therapist charged with getting officers back on the front line. She’s smart, and she soon gets the measure of Carl, his trauma, and his superiority complex. Intrigued by one another, the two develop a deeper connection across the series.

Leah Byrne as Rose

Rose was a top police cadet with a promising future on the force, but a mental health-related breakdown during her first year as a detective constable has left her on shaky ground. Demoted to a desk job, the stigma has followed her ever since. With Carl setting up Department Q, Rose appeals to him for a spot on his team for a chance to prove herself again.

Additional Cast

The cast also includes Mark Bonnar (Napoleon, Guilt) as Stephen, Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, Bridget Jones) as Clare Marsh, Jamie Sives (Guilt, Crime) as DS Hardy, and Kate Dickie (Inside Man, The Witch) as Moira.

A production of Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Outlander), the series is written by Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit, Godless), Chandni Lakhani (Dublin Murders), Stephen Greenhorn (Doctor Who), and Colette Kane (Broken), and showrun and directed (Episodes 1 and 2) by Scott Frank. It is executive produced by Rob Bullock, Scott Frank, Chandni Lakhani, and Andy Harries.

The series is currently in production in Edinburgh.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Department Q book series by Jussi Adler-Olsen“Department Q” book series by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Dept. Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (English Subtitled)Dept. Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (English Subtitled)

Dept. Q: The Absent One (English Subtitled)Dept. Q: The Absent One (English Subtitled)

Dept. Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (English Subtitled)Dept. Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (English Subtitled)

Department Q: Netflix Announces Cast of New Crime Drama Series
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