Trapped S1 ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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Photo montage of characters and scenes from Trapped S1. Central image is the theatrical poster for the show.

🇮🇸 TRAPPED S1 🇮🇸

TRAPPED S1 aka Ófærð is an Icelandic crime drama available for free on Amazon Prime U.K. U.S. SBS On Demand Aus, Netflix Can. 10 x 50-53 min episodes. Cert 15 U.K.


“In a remote town in Iceland, Police desperately try to solve a crime as a powerful storm descends upon the town.” IMDb


Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Andri Ólafsson
Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir as Hinrika Kristjánsdóttir
Ingvar Sigurðsson as Ásgeir
Elva María Birgisdóttir as Þórhildur
Þorsteinn Gunnarsson as Eiríkur Davidsson
Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir as Agnes Eiríksdóttir
Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Trausti Einarssson
Bjarne Henriksen as Søren Carlsen
Baltasar Breki Samper as Hjörtur Stefánsson
Pálmi Gestsson as Hrafn Eysteinsson
Jóhann Sigurðarson as Leifur
Guðjón Pedersen as Bárður
Rúnar Freyr Gíslason as Sigvaldi

English language poster for the show Trapped S1


Creator: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Clive Bradley, Sigurjón Kjartansson & Baltasar Kormákur (storyline)
Director: Börkur Sigþórsson, Baltasar Kormákur, Óskar Þór Axelsson, Baldvin Z (Zophoníasson)
Music: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guðnadóttir & Rutger Hoedemaekers


The Icelandic economic crisis 2008-2011:–2011_Icelandic_financial_crisis

Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969-2018) wrote the music score for Trapped season 1 with assistance from Hildur Guðnadóttir & Rutger Hoedemaekers. He is well known for his other work on such projects as The Theory of Everything, Sicario, Joker and The Handmaid’s Tale (the last two as a performer). He died in Berlin on February 9, 2018.

Ófærð means “impassable”.

“Most of the filming took place in Siglufjörður, a small fishing village in North Iceland. Other filming locations include the Eastfjords, in a town called Seyðisfjörður, and a suburb of Reykjavík. Due to severe weather, the cast and crew were trapped in Siglufjörður several times.” (Reykjavik Cars, Sept 5 2020)

Series one of Trapped cost around one billion Icelandic Krona to make (€6.5m); the most expensive Icelandic television series, ever. The first episode premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Icelandic poster for the show Trapped S1


Trapped was the first Icelandic TV series to make an impact internationally. Having watched both series a while back I was intrigued as to what my reaction might be upon a revisit to season 1.

Created by Baltasar Kormákur Trapped initially revolves around the discovery of a human torso by a fishing vessel in the fjord of a remote small town in Iceland. We also have a fatal fire back in 2008 and the arrival of a Danish ferry with 300 passengers. And then… a massive storm hits! For much of this series, the town is isolated. This is the situation faced by the local police chief, a bear of a man called Andri Ólafsson and his team of just two officers, Hinrika and Ásgeir.

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Andrí Ólafsson in Trapped S1

As a premise for the start of this story I just loved the idea of knowing that the culprit/s for the murder and other subsequent crimes and unexpected events HAD to be people within the town. The lack of outside help for much of the story certainly increases the sense of tension, pressure and understandable fear. No one in, no one out! A play on a classic “locked room” mystery.

Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir as Agnes Eiríksdóttir in Trapped S1

I do not want to spend too long on the subplot of Andrí’s “it’s complicated” relationship with his ex-wife and the impact it has on his mental state and actions, but suffice to say we can see why his job adversely affects his relationships.

Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir as Hinrika Kristjánsdóttir in Trapped S1

The involvement in the investigation of “outsiders” with a history is a bit of a trope in crime dramas but it is an interesting and slightly different dynamic here which has a massive effect upon a part of the storyline. We do get a little more of Andri’s history as a professional and why he left Reykjavik through this part of the storyline too.

This is a small town that looks like a backwater with very few dirty secrets hidden away… Oh, how could we be so wrong in that assumption? Not only are there some very dirty secrets of all kinds hidden away there are clear assumptions made about individuals that make them immediately on the suspects’ list or assumed to be innocent (again, big mistake). The joys of living in a small town!

Ingvar Sigurðsson as Ásgeir (Left) in a scene from Trapped S1

Trapped is not only a crime drama, we see the whole gamut of human failures and vices through this story lust, betrayal, greed and jealousy. There are a lot of morally bankrupt people in this town.

The stunning natural landscape, weather and the power of nature in Iceland are like other characters in this series. The horrendous weather conditions as the storm hits and an avalanche are brilliantly filmed. Contrasting are the stark, still, beautiful scenes of the snow-covered surrounds of the town.

Baltasar Breki Samper as Hjörtur Stefánsson (Left, fore) and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Andrí in a scene from Trapped S1

The visuals through the superb cinematography and direction are amazing and these combined with a strong, ambient and evocative music score and a great sound design make for a visual and aural delight. If you can possibly watch this with a decent pair of headphones or sound system, you will be thankful that you did so.

The stunning opening credits are a marrying of visuals to sound, with a haunting, stark and somewhat other-worldly music score which combining with a series of images which are a visual comparison between parts of the human body and images of the Icelandic landscape. There is also an emphasis on the sea towards the end which emphasises that this is indeed an island! These are credits that I have no inclination to skip, ever. They set the tone and atmosphere perfectly.

I have not mentioned performances yet, so let me rectify that now. The central performance of Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Andri is truly impressive as he shows a great range in his acting, never chewing the scenery and often using micro-expressions. A powerful and masterful performance. The supporting actors are all, without exception, excellent.

Trapped is a slow-burning, noir, Icelandic treat of a show. Everything about it screams “Iceland!” Trapped often looks so bitterly cold, nay freezing, that it seems as if you should be wearing a nice warm Icelandic sweater and drinking a hot chocolate by a toasty fire.

I thoroughly enjoyed my rewatch of Trapped and picked up some aspects I had totally missed before. I can highly recommend watching this show.

Trailer S1:

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