Review: Detective Anna (Anna-detektiv)

Aleksandra Nikiforova in Detective Anna (Anna-detektiv)

Detective Anna (Anna-detektiv) is a Russian series now on Amazon Video. It features a 19 year old detective with the ability to communicate with the dead.

The series is organized so that each crime takes two episodes. With 16 episodes, there are 8 crimes. Each episode is about 45 minutes, so the series is rather like seeing 8 movies with the same main characters.

Anna (Aleksandra Nikiforova) is a well-to-do young woman in the Russian town of Zatonsk. The time is 1888. Anna is a free spirited young woman who rides a bicycle – something daring and unheard of at that time.

Dmitriy Frid in Detective Anna (Anna-detektiv)

Into Anna’s small town comes a new detective from the big city, Iakov Shtolman (Dmitriy Frid). He joins the police department and begins training the inexperienced officers there.

Since childhood, Anna has had “visions.” She’s learned to keep them secret, but as she reaches maturity she realizes that the things she sees are actually visits from the spirits of the dead. Those spirits are telling her things about crimes committed against them.

Anna tries to help Detective Shtolman with clues, but without telling him how she knows what she knows. Eventually the two of them begin to work together as a crime solving duo.

I found Aleksandra Nikiforova as Anna quite charming and Dmitriy Frid as the policeman believable. But some of the secondary character actors struck me as stilted and not very good actors. It could be a cultural difference, however. Or a lack of experience watching Russian-made television.

All in all the series was an interesting look into a different time and place which I enjoyed. These stories about Anna take place as the same time as stories by Tolstoy and Chekhov, so readers familiar with the social customs of that time from those writers may be intrigued by this look into the past.

It’s in Russian with English subtitles. The setting is beautiful.

I’m delighted that Amazon (and Netflix) are bringing such foreign language content to American audiences.

4 thoughts on “Review: Detective Anna (Anna-detektiv)”

  1. It’s a great show but Amazon chopped it up and doesn’t bother to tell you….. So you watch 1-2, 7-10, 19-20, 29-30, 39-40….and you know something’s wrong, but then it becomes obvious when you start episode 49…..SO frustrated with Amazon right now. Amazon, if you are listening, please put the FORTY missing episodes up!!!!!

  2. I watched the whole series with 56 episodes on YouTube (I’m Russian). Let me tell you this, the show starts wonderfully, however around episode 25 it turned into something else. Became boring, crimes were silly, Anna and Shtolman kept on doing this weird dance, one moment sparks are flying everywhere and the next nothing. Their relationship was sooooo stretched that I lost interest. I think they should have hooked them up somewhere in mid season. Anyways, the end left the viewers with too many questions, very dissatisfying ending, and apparently there is no season 2. So I was upset but whatever I got over it. The show should have been no more than 20 episodes in my opinion. They stretched it and it lost its point.

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