Arctic Circle - The Invisible Death

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Television series
German title Arctic Circle - The Invisible Death
Original title Ivalo
Arctic Circle
Country of production Finland , Germany
original language Finnish , English , German , Russian
year 2018
Yellow Film & TV,
Bavaria Fiction
length 45 minutes
Episodes 10 in 1 season ( list )
genre Thriller
Director Hannu Salonen
idea Olli Haikka ,
Petya Peltomaa
script Joona Tena ,
Jón Atli Jónasson
production Milla Bruneau ,
Moritz Polter
music Vladislav Delay
camera Mikael Gustafsson
cut Iikka Hesse
First broadcast December 21, 2018 on Elisa Viihde
first broadcast
February 16, 2020 on ZDF

Arctic Circle - The Invisible Death (international title Arctic Circle , Finnish original title Ivalo ) is a Finnish-German television series by Hannu Salonen with Iina Kuustonen as Finnish police officer Nina Kautsalo and Maximilian Brückner as German virologist Thomas Lorenz. The original version was published in ten episodes from December 21, 2018 on the Finnish streaming platform Elisa Viihde . The first broadcast on ZDF ran in five double episodes from February 16, 2020. The title is given by the English name for the Arctic Circle .


Parts 1 + 2

In Ivalo , in the Finnish part of Lapland , the Finnish policewoman Nina Kautsalo finds the almost frozen prostitute Evgenya in a cellar of the farm owner Elias Raunola while searching for poachers. During a follow-up examination of the house, she and a colleague come across two other dead women in the ice. The victims are Russian prostitutes who were traveling through Lapland with mobile brothels. A manhunt for the farm owner Raunola begins, which initially remains unsuccessful.

After it turns out that the blood of the discovered prostitute contains a deadly virus that causes malformations, the Center for Disease Control is switched on. The investigation leads Nina Kautsalo to women traffickers and to the German virologist Thomas Lorenz. The first victim was infected with the Yemen virus , which in pregnant women leads to child deformities or miscarriages and death. Entire villages in Yemen were wiped out by the virus. Thomas Lorenz initially investigates alone and tries to examine patients in Lapland and to find infected people. Nina Kautsalo's sister Marita Kautsalo is recognized as having a virus and is placed in quarantine .

When Raunola's snowmobile is found in an accident, it becomes apparent that there is more to the case. The poacher Reidar, who is holding another prostitute named Irina, is found murdered, whereupon Nina Kautsalo suspects a connection between Reidar and Raunola. As part of the investigation, she comes across Reidar's brother, who makes himself suspicious and seems to know more about the events. When Raunola unexpectedly shows up at the police station, a dangerous situation arises for Nina Kautsalo.

Parts 3 + 4

He initially threatens her, but is then arrested surprisingly. At the police station he demands protection for the confession of having killed, but does not want to admit anything concrete and has nothing to do with the kidnappings. Meanwhile, the trapped prostitute is still trying desperately to break free and not freeze to death in the junkyard.

The screening tests are being expanded under the pretext of testing for hepatitis . The prostitutes killed are tested positive for the virus. In addition, the locations of the prostitute buses are found and people are interviewed. When Thomas Lorenz tries to test these prostitutes too, a pimp intervenes, destroys samples and is arrested, but is then able to escape.

Nina Kautsalo has meanwhile been withdrawn from the murder case, but was reassigned after the surprising departure of a Russian investigator. In another interrogation, Raunola offers to confess to all the killings after Nina Kautsalo suggested to him that he was at risk in pre-trial detention and that placement in a psychiatric institution would be safer. According to an investigation, Raunola is surprisingly not infected with the Yemen virus, which is why the identity of the patient is zero again.

Reidar, who has growing financial problems, goes back to his brother's junkyard in search of poached fur, takes pity on the captured prostitute, gives her food, but does not free her, but gets drunk and leaves again. She finds a nail with which she begins to break free.

Nina Kautsalo is increasingly confronted with private problems. She takes care of her daughter Venla, who was born with Down syndrome , and whose ex-husband Esko Kangasniemi does not want to have anything to do with her. But he offers her to take care of the daughter in exchange for sex with her. He later resigns from it, but continues to reject it.

She also feels responsible for her older sister Marita Kautsalo, who used to be a drug addict. She is unhappy in her quarantine, moves away without permission and goes to a party where she makes an acquaintance. The following day, Thomas Lorenz confronts her with the fact that she has a virus and that the disease only does not break out if she does not become pregnant. She makes a list of her lovers, and it becomes apparent that she had a long affair with a Nicolas Muscat. She breaks up with Nina Kautsalo because she has kept the consequences of the virus from her.

Nina Kautsalo and Thomas Lorenz also get closer privately during the joint investigation. Thomas Lorenz's wife is jealous and follows him. She meets both of them together. She confronts him. After she is back in Helsinki, she files for a divorce and also demands sole custody of their daughter.

Nina Kautsalo is now officially assigned to the virus case and deducted from the murder case, but wants to continue investigating because she sees connections. Thomas Lorenz, who is financed by the multimillionaire Marcus Eiben, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, is also trying to expand the research. He accidentally discovers the financier in front of the hotel and speaks to him without revealing the real reason for his stay.

He is skeptical about the attitude and talks to a colleague. It is becoming increasingly clear that threads are being spun in the background from there and something is to be covered up. Raunola is freed by strangers during the police transfer and kidnapped. It becomes apparent that he was assigned to kill all prostitutes. He is tortured, questioned about his knowledge of the police and further detained.

After an argument with his wife, Reidar shows up at the junkyard to take possession of the prostitute. He drugged and kidnapped her in his car. But she is able to free herself and flee, while his wife decides to report him. Then the police discover the hiding place and go in search of her.

The prostitute runs into a vehicle on her escape in the dark.

Parts 5 + 6

With the help of Reidar's wife, Nina Kautsalo learns about a holiday home where Reidar was once the caretaker. Once there, Nina Kautsalo and a colleague can overwhelm him and free the prostitute whom he had apparently picked up. In the further course it turns out that this one does not have the virus.

However, a pregnant woman comes to the hospital in Ivalo, where Thomas Lorenz is forced to try to save her baby - but it is badly deformed and dies. The mother also dies in childbirth, and it turns out that both of them are infected with the virus. The husband had previously had contact with prostitutes. The couple are members of a religious community that hold annual meetings that are sexually permissive.

An attempt by Thomas Lorenz to also have other members tested fails because of the attitude of the community as well as the resistance of Nina Kautsalo's head, Reino Ylikorpi. Other responsible persons in the vicinity of the health center are also undermining its efforts to provide information.

Marita Kautsalo stormed out of the clinic again and spent the night with a stranger. She increasingly lets herself go and refuses to accept the disease because it shows no symptoms.

Thomas Lorenz's wife Gunilla Lorenz makes hints of alleged neglect and sexual violence and control thinking of her husband to her lawyer Stenström and wants to file for divorce. This forbids Thomas Lorenz to deal with his daughter Hanna Lorenz.

Nina Kautsalo tries to identify Nicolas Muscat, but is unsuccessful and worries about her sister's infection and whether she could be sick herself, which Thomas Lorenz denies.

In Murmansk , Raunola is tortured and forced to help Lazar Cevikovic in his activities because he is inconspicuous as a local. He receives a new snow vehicle and is sent to Finland. His son is used as a bargaining chip.

Dubious people around a Marcus Eiben discuss their next steps in an underground bunker with video technology. The exact goals remain in the dark.

The prostitute Irina is interrogated by Nina Kautsalo. After initial resistance, she says that as a party girl in Murmansk, she had to be willing to go to a Russian hunting party. She and three other girls were also taken to a junkyard and gradually brought to Finland individually for abuse as sex slaves. She identifies both Raunola and one of the men from the bunker as the perpetrators. It is the mastermind behind the action.

In her private life, Nina Kautsalo gets into an ever-increasing emotional chaos. The headmistress advises her to move her disabled daughter Venla to another school, where she can get “more support”. After talking to her sister, Nina Kautsalo's state of mind improves. She accepts an invitation from Thomas Lorenz to eat.

On top of that, the truck of Nina Kautsalo's ex-husband Esko Kangasniemi, who often smuggles liquor, is checked by border guards and diverted to Ivalo, where it is discovered that he had loaded other Russian prostitutes.

Raunola returns to the junkyard, where he suspects the last prostitute, but finds nothing. All women are gone. He goes looking for them.

Thomas Lorenz contacts his daughter Hanna Lorenz because he wants to prevent the divorce. He later meets Nina Kautsalo to pick her up for dinner and inform her that her test is negative. He also gets to know their daughter and mother. They get closer at dinner and start an affair.

The prostitute Evgenya wakes up from a coma and is questioned with little consideration. In shock, she reacts to the photo of Raunolas. In panic, she escapes from the clinic in Rovaniemi . Despite the use of sniffer dogs and a large-scale search, it remains disappeared. She wanders through the night.

Parts 7 + 8

The escaped prostitute Evgenya Belova is found frozen in the ice, which means that she can no longer testify against the backers. Two other prostitutes are being returned to Russia, with the Russian commander asking strange questions and making hints.

The arrest of Nina Kautsalo's ex-husband Esko Kangasniemi seeps through and brings Nina Kautsalo into trouble, although the police have no real clues that they are involved in the case of the hidden women and consider him a petty crook.

Nina Kautsalo searches for further evidence in the house of the killed Reidar. She is surprised by Elias Raunola, who overpowers her, ties her up and finally sets the house on fire. Nina Kautsalo is able to free herself from the burning house. Then he tries to murder the last of the 4 prostitutes, Irina, in the hospital in Ivalo. Thomas Lorenz can intervene, but not prevent her from being seriously injured. Thomas Lorenz is also injured. In further attempts to clarify the background and to obtain cooperation with the Russians, he is officially obstructed.

Marita Kautsalo is concerned about what is going on in the hospital and flees the quarantine again. In her hiding place with Lana, however, she is discovered and overwhelmed by Raunola. While trying to kidnap her, there is an argument at the airport, in which Raunola falls into an ice ax while wrangling with Nina Kautsalo and dies, which is received positively by the Russians. She is also left to believe that Irina has been killed. Nina Kautsalo brings her sister to her mother Elina Kautsalo.

Marcus Eiben lets Thomas Lorenz know the background in order to win him over to the operation: During the Bosnian War , a group of infected Serbs were supposed to rape Bosnian women in a targeted manner and thus infect them with the Yemen virus, so that the population could be decimated while avoiding obvious war crimes can. However, this did not succeed because the war ended too quickly. Soldier Lazar Cevikovic was the only survivor. He is patient zero. One of the women he raped was later married to Marcus Eiben. When his wife died in childbirth, the virus was discovered. Since then, Marcus Eiben has been doing everything possible to find Lazar Cevikovic.

Thomas Lorenz is unsure about the revealed facts, but passes them on indirectly. He is officially called back and advised of lifelong confidentiality agreements. He is late for the hearing about custody of his daughter and she is awarded to his wife Gunilla. After his lawyer intervened, he was able to see his daughter again and explain to her that he had to leave urgently.

Nina Kautsalo is assigned by the head of the investigation to protect Irina, who is hiding, and speaks to her about the unreliability of the Russians and a possible mole in their own ranks.

Nina Kautsalo's daughter Venla comes to the hospital when she suddenly coughs up blood. Marita Kautsalo suspects that she could have infected Venla with the Yemen virus. An examination shows that she is infected even though she had no blood contact with the infected person. The virus has mutated and, like herpes, can now apparently be spread more easily. The entire family is quarantined. The blood tests show that Nina Kautsalo is negative. She influences Thomas Lorenz to support his clients. He meets with Marcus Eiben and they all decide to work together in a secret action. In a few days they want to go to patient zero in Murmansk.

Awakened from anesthesia, Irina remembers the incidents in Murmansk and tells Nina Kautsalo about a lonely property by the lake and about Konstantin Agapov who hosted the parties. This seems to be identical to Lazar Cevikovic. Nina Kautsalo learns from the head of the investigation that the Russians are planning a raid against Konstantin Agapov, who is said to belong to the local mafia. She can inform Thomas Lorenz immediately. There is a rush to reschedule.

Parts 9 + 10

The handed over prostitutes all seem to be disappearing in Russia, so the success of the command is of vital importance in saving everyone. Thomas Lorenz and Nina Kautsalo meet Marcus Eiben in the underground base. Thomas Lorenz makes it clear that there has to be an antidote that the command should find. Nina Kautsalo is allowed to come along after initial resistance, but she is not given any protection if something should go wrong. The squad set off and try to find Lazar Cevikovic on snowmobiles. The first time they meet his guards, there is an exchange of fire in which there are numerous dead. Lazar Cevikovic was not around because he might have been warned. At Nina Kautsalo's instigation, he is to be tracked down to another place where he is celebrating his parties. There the command overwhelmed some of the guards. By scanning a face they get into a vault with medical equipment, in which they discover a small coffin.

They meet the grieving Lazar Cevikovic, who reveals to them that he was only following orders when he was raping. Nina Kautsalo prevents him from being shot and learns that Lazar Cevikovic also lost two children to the virus and was abused as a guinea pig by the scientist Micic. He tries to get protection for himself by suggesting that he is still alive and that he is the only one who knows where he is. He is drugged and taken away. Now you have samples of an infected person for the first time. In further conversations, Nina Kautsalo learns from him that he knowingly left the prostitutes to the Russians because they knew too much.

Nina Kautsalo's mother does not have the virus and takes care of Venla. When she lost consciousness, she was supposed to be relocated because she needed a partial liver transplant. But there is no donor available because Nina Kautsalo cannot be reached. Esko Kangasniemi is released and goes in search of his daughter Venla. He learns about Venla's problem and makes himself available as a donor. The operation begins, but turns out to be difficult.

Thomas Lorenz learns through his lawyers that Gunilla Lorenz claims to have been made mentally ill by him, while he suspects that this has been going on for some time. He doubts the future relationship with his daughter.

Nina Kautsalo finally finds out about the operation and decides to leave immediately. The command is tracked down and you split up. A wild hunt with the snowmobiles follows, in which Nina Kautsalo has an accident. Thomas Lorenz helps her and the two of them flee from the Russians. When his snowmobile breaks down, they are almost picked up by the Russians, but barely reach the border with Finland. Nina Kautsalo is missing from her boss because she is missing.

Thomas Lorenz carries the injured Nina Kautsalo far across the country through the snow until they hit a car. She wakes up in the hospital in the presence of her mother and learns that Venla is stable. Thomas Lorenz and Nina Kautsalo do not tell their mother the true background of their tour. Venla's surgery was difficult, but the acute hepatitis initially seems to have been overcome. Nina Kautsalo thanks Esko Kangasniemi for his commitment. They are getting closer emotionally.

Thomas Lorenz learns from his daughter that she would like to see him because she is afraid of the mother, but he refuses out of concern about complications. After talking to Nina Kautsalo, however, he sets priorities and wants to go to Helsinki. On his way there he receives a call from Gunilla Lorenz asking him to come back.

Thomas Lorenz and Nina Kautsalo tell their clients that Marcus Eiben kidnapped Lazar Cevikovic and that they have nothing in hand. Conversely, your boss also seems to be holding back information. But the fact is: You still have no rehearsals. Thomas Lorenz receives a call from Marcus Eiben. He then asks Nina Kautsalo to help him. He examines the samples in Marcus Eiben's underground laboratory. It comes to a showdown: Nina Kautsalo appears and overwhelms one of the guards. A threatening situation arises: you absolutely want the blood samples, but Marcus Eiben threatens to have the laboratory blown up. He wants to die with Lazar Cevikovic and leave no evidence behind. Shortly before everything explodes, Nina Kautsalo and Thomas Lorenz escape.

The next day they both wake up together. One of her bosses shows up and offers Nina Kautsalo a new job as an interface to the local people in Lapland. Her colleague also quits and she doubts about her possible future. First of all, she would like to take care of Venla, who is still in the hospital.

But it's not over yet:

Nina Kautsalo receives a call that she should meet a Nicholas at the airport. She suspects Lazar Cevikovic is behind it, but Marcus Eiben gets in touch, who apparently survived and explains to her that he wants to give her a second chance. She is ordered to the airfield, where she receives a box with blood samples. When Venla survives, she decides in favor of Lapland and the offer.


The German dubbing was done by Neue Tonfilm München . Ruth Deny directed the dialogue.

role actor Voice actor
Nina Kautsalo Iina Kuustonen Vanessa Eckart
Thomas Lorenz Maximilian Brückner Maximilian Brückner
Marita Kautsalo Pihla Viitala Lea Kalbhenn
Elina Kautsalo Susanna Haavisto Dorothea Anzinger
Venla Venla Ronkainen Livia rider
Niilo Aikio Janne Kataja Dominik Auer
Jaakko Stenius Kari ketones Markus Pfeiffer
Marcus Eiben Clemens Schick Clemens Schick
Lazar Cevikovic Aleksandar Jovanovic Aleksandar Jovanovic
Gunilla Lorenz Maria Ylipää Sophie Rogall
Esko Kangasniemi Mikko Leppilampi Stefan Günther
Irina Anna Ackerman Larisa Galiandin
Reino Ylikorpi Taneli Mäkelä Jürgen Jung
Raunola Jari Virman Josef Vossenkuhl
Jens Mathiesen Joi Johannsson Philipp Moog
Drako Chike Ohanwe Paul Sedlmeir
Sanjay Raili Raitala Katharina Schwarzmaier

Production and Background

The shooting took place from November 27, 2017 to May 31, 2018, locations were North Lapland , the Arctic Ocean and Helsinki .

The series was produced by the Finnish Yellow Film & TV (Milla Bruneau) and Bavaria Fiction (Moritz Polter). In 2019, ZDF acquired the broadcasting rights.

Susse Roos was responsible for the costume design, Kaisa Pätilä for the makeup and Katri Aksola for the casting.

Episode list

( total )
( St. )
German title Original title First broadcast in Finland German language first broadcast (DE)
1 1 The cellar Kellari December 21, 2018 February 16, 2020
1 2 Tracks in the snow Jäljet ​​Lumessa December 21, 2018 February 16, 2020
1 3 In the snowstorm Myrsky nousee December 21, 2018 February 23, 2020
1 4th eye to eye Silmä silmästä December 28, 2018 February 23, 2020
1 5 God's will Jumalan terve December 28, 2018 March 1, 2020
1 6th The first victim Ensimmäinen uhri December 28, 2018 March 1, 2020
1 7th The hunt begins Saalistaja December 28, 2018 March 8, 2020
1 8th The infected Taudinkantajat 4th January 2019 March 8, 2020
1 9 - Murmansk 4th January 2019 March 15, 2020
1 10 - Venla 4th January 2019 March 15, 2020


Sabrina Lohninger wrote in TV-Media that the series was convincing with fascinating landscape shots and an exciting start. The excitement quickly subsides, the story takes a few unnecessary turns. A little speed would have done the thriller good. Their conclusion : "TV enjoyment for Nordic Noir fans who have no problem with a leisurely splashing plot."

Kathrin Hollmer found in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that Arctic Circle quickly developed a strong pull, also because of the impressive landscape of Lapland. The synchronization is bumpy in some places, the series lives from its strong characters. The setting is reminiscent of the British crime series Fortitude .

Tilmann P. Gangloff wrote in the Stuttgarter Zeitung that the first two episodes were continuously captivating, but that a certain amount of fatigue set in with the other eight episodes. Some side strands would have offered to be shortened. In the long run, even the snowmobile trips lost their fascination, even if the almost black-and-white landscape shots remained exquisite. Gangloff saw similarities with Wind River (2017) by Taylor Sheridan . The enigmatic roles played by Clemens Schick and Aleksandar Jovanovic provided a certain attraction . The series only becomes exciting again when the two become the main actors.

Kevin Hennings criticized on synchronization, "which is otherwise absolutely remarkable production simply not fair and can drift too often scenes into involuntarily comic." Matching the week in which the coronavirus in China and also the Yaravirus in Brazil make headlines, the Finnish-German production uncover the fictional Yemen virus. The two storylines triggered by the dead prostitute and the released virus make Arctic Circle different from conventional thrillers. Hennings also found that the story could use a little more pace.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Arctic Circle - The Invisible Death at
  2. ^ "Arctic Circle" with Maximilian Brückner: International crime series soon on ZDF. In: . January 7, 2020, accessed February 12, 2020 .
  3. a b Nightmare in the Snow . TV-Media No. 8/2020, pp. 16-17, accessed on February 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Arctic Circle. In: German dubbing index , accessed on February 12, 2020 .
  5. Credits Arctic Circle. In: ZDF Mediathek. Retrieved February 26, 2020 .
  6. a b Arctic Circle - The invisible death at crew united . Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  7. ^ A b Bavaria Fiction GmbH: Arctic Circle. In: Retrieved February 12, 2020 .
  8. ^ ZDF acquires rights to the crime series "Arctic Circle". In: July 10, 2019, accessed February 12, 2020 .
  9. Kathrin Hollmer: Series "Arctic Circle": Ewiges Eis. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . February 13, 2020, accessed February 14, 2020 .
  10. ^ Tilmann P. Gangloff : "Arctic Circle" on ZDF: The Throat of Hell. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung . February 13, 2020, accessed February 13, 2020 .
  11. Kevin Hennings: Arctic Circle ": The next virus can lurk everywhere. In: . February 15, 2020, accessed on 17 February 2020 .