The Dutch mystery series The Oldenheim 12 (De 12 van Oldenheim) is a compelling and unpredictable ride full of tension and surprises. It’s currently steaming on Acorn TV.
I found The Oldenheim 12 (De 12 van Oldenheim) impossible to stop watching. Well, at least that’s true for the first 11 episodes. I didn’t like the way the season resolved in episode 12. It was long-winded, unbelievable, and trite. But the first 11 episodes! Real doozies!
We’re carried into the story on a bus as Peggy Jonkers (Noortje Herlaar) returns to her (fictional) hometown of Oldenheim, The Netherlands. She’s been absent for 8 or 9 years, some of it spent as a journalist in Iraq. She has the PTSD to prove it. She left without a word to anyone and her return upsets the folks she traumatized by leaving. She tries to reconnect with her drunken father Ruud Jonkers (Aus Greidanus) and her germaphobic sister Suus (Gaite Jansen).
On the day Peggy arrives home, people start to disappear in Oldenheim. The first is Nine Veldhoven (Roos Wiltink). She sneaks out in the middle of the night to meet her boyfriend Rick Klinkspoor (Ko Zandvliet) and disappears.
By the time the season ends, 12 people in the small village have vanished without a trace. There are no witnesses, no CCTV. When one of them returns, hope flares that the others are all right.
When Nine disappeared, a cop from Amsterdam, Sharif Dahmani (Nasrdin Dchar) was called in. He worked with the local police, lead by Rob (Michiel Nooter). The disappearances kept coming. The clues lead nowhere. The vanishings made no sense.
Peggy took the tiniest bit of information and decided she knew who the perpetrator was. She accused everyone, including her own father. Then a new clue would surface and she’d be off on a new tack. She stuck her nose into the police’s business and made a lot of mistakes. But the police were getting nowhere either.
The village was small. Everyone was interconnected. They were brothers, mothers, sons, lovers, dealers, users, thieves, therapists, patients, teachers, students, swindlers, and liars. Everyone had history with everyone else. When the clues to the disappearances lead nowhere, people turned on one another. They accepted far-fetched possibilities such as alien abduction one minute, then turned on a specific person the next minute.
Eight of the episodes were directed by Anne van der Linden.
As a mystery fan, I was enthralled by this series. It’s in Dutch with English subtitles. According to The Euro TV Place, the series will have a second season but set in a different village and with different characters. I couldn’t find a trailer with subtitles, but here’s a peek at how the series looks and feels.