Mountain Rescue ~ Non-Spoiler Review

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Photo montage of scenes from Mountain Rescue (First Responders) Central image is a poster for the show.


MOUNTAIN RESCUE (2021) aka as First Responders and Åreakuten is a Swedish drama show on Walter Presents U.K. 10 x 42-44 min. Subtitled.


“Drama about the lives of first responders in the seemingly idyllic town of Åre, Sweden.” IMDb


Nadja Halid as Zara Dawit
Karin Bengstsson as Åsa Lindström
Tiril Eeg-Henriksen as Sofia Björkhaug
Göran Gillingar as Tomas Sundberg
Mårten Svedberg as Markus Skogland
Ana-Yrsa Falenius as Kerstin Sjölin
Henrik Lundström as Daniel Sjölin
Anderz Eide as Espen Nordnes
Isa Aouifia as Yosef Lippman
Andréas Utterhall as Johan Hansson


Directors: Richard Jarnhed, Lena Koppel
Writers: Joakim Hansson (creator), Henrik Sylvén (creator), Kristina Svärd, Nina Eremar, Lena Koppel, Jimmy Lindgren, Åsa
Cinematographer: Andres Rignell
Music: Bengt Nilsson

Mountain Rescue poster for the show. Göran Gillingar as Tomas (background) Mårten Bengtsson as Markus (foreground)


This series was filmed in Åre, Jämtlands Iän in Sweden and also in Vilnius in Lithuania.


I looked forward to this series with great anticipation as its premise is so different from any other Nordic show I have seen. Luckily I was also aware that the title for Walter Presents, Mountain Rescue, was potentially misleading and that the title First Responders was likely far more accurate. This story involves all the emergency services, including the use of helicopters.

Scene from Mountain Rescue with Nadja Halid as Zara (right) and Mårten Svedberg as Markus (left)

I thought performances were solid throughout this series even when the script didn’t quite hit the mark. Nadja Halid impressed as the newly arrived doctor, Zara as did Karin Bengstsson (Åsa). These along with Göran Gillinger (Tomas) and Mårten Svedberg (Markus) are the heart of the medical and rescue side of the show. It is through these characters that we see the psychological and physical impact of the work that they do. I enjoyed the character development of all these and that of Kerstin (Ana-Yrsa Falenius).

Scene from Mountain Rescue with Göran Gillingar as Tomas (background) and Tiril Eeg-Henriksen as Sofia (foreground)

The side plot of the potential development of the town is lighter and gives a degree of comic relief through the character of Daniel (Henrik/Hank Lundström) along with the romancing-while-negotiating Espen (Anderz Eide).

The incidents and accidents are varied and I shall probably NEVER look at duct tape in the same way again (painful and hilarious). Some of the accidents are truly tragic and do have an emotional impact upon the viewer as well as characters, both main and the loved ones of victims. Some of these incidents are definitely of use as advisories on what, and what not, to do! Some are gory and kudos to the Make-up Department, stunts and FX teams.

One thing I loved was the accuracy of the technical parts of the rescues, everything from getting an injured paraglider safely down from a tree to recovering drowning victims. No quick rescue and recovery here. Some of the scenes such as taking a loaded stretcher through sections of forest must have been gruelling, especially bearing in mind multiple takes.

Both the melodic music and the visuals strongly set the tone in this series, this is not a Nordic noir show, and for some who expect that from anything coming out of the region could be an issue. However, I will admit to being open-minded in the shows I watch from all over the world.

The scenery in Mountain Rescue is fabulous but I also loved seeing the everyday town with its inhabitants and visitors.

This show has an overall lighter feel to it than the Scandi noir we usually get offered in the U.K. (though comedies from the region are universally hilarious!) and this will make this a bit of a Marmite show. For me, it was a different experience and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it all.

I am saddened that this has been cancelled by Viaplay due to insufficient room on their slate. Hopefully, it may be greenlit again in future as I would love to see what a winter season in beautiful Åre brings in the way of incidents, along with the main characters and their stories.

Scene from Mountain Reacue in the Police Station. Cast includes Andréas Utterhall as Johan and Karin Bengtsson as Åsa

Trailer (with subtitles):

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