Inside the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is a special unit dedicated to improving domestic safety by locating and apprehending dangerous fugitives: FAST (Fugitive Active Search Team), consisting of elite criminal investigators with special training. This fugitive unit is what sets the action in the crime/police procedural FAST, from Nurses and Arctic Circle producer Yellow Film & TV.
Each episode follows one fugitive case from escape to arrest. The opening sequence is seen from the point of view of the fugitive(s). Information about the escape is then relayed to the FAST team, which maps out the location and apprehension strategy.
The unit leader is a former murder squad boss who is able to put herself in the position of the fugitives. To her, every offender is an individual with their own history, motives and goals. She is supported by a team of diverse characters, each with a different background and motivation of their own.
Global Screen is taking FAST out to the international market and is touting the series’ episodic structure as a key selling point. It’s a show that’s easy to grasp, topical and universal, making it also ripe for remakes.
World Screen’s Kristin Brzoznowski spoke to Tatiana Elf, creator of FAST; producer Pietari Vappula; and Ulrike Schröder, VP of acquisitions and co-productions at Global Screen, for a behind-the-scenes look at how the series came together and what gives the show its international appeal.
Elf explains that the seed of the idea was a show about a team of police officers who go after fugitives. “I started gathering materials, doing research, going to prisons and talking to prison officials, police officers and some criminals,” she says of her initial approach to crafting the series.
“The show tells about the value of teamwork,” says Elf, and highlights the diverse group of five that makes up the team tracking down fugitives in each episode.
“There’s always a ticking clock, with 48 hours to apprehend the fugitive before the trail gets cold,” says Vappula in highlighting what drives the action. “Our team is working toward that deadline. They’re trying to figure out the motives for the escape and who around the fugitive might have helped.”
Schröder adds, “From a distributor’s point of view, buyers prefer programs with clear genres, and FAST is most definitely a straight crime show. At the same time, every crime show contains a social comment. In this case, the social comments are evident and range from diversity to issues of how to deal with offenders in a society and much more. This is what makes FAST so appealing to a broad audience, apart from being a whodunit.”
“There are a lot of action scenes and high-quality exterior shots, with drone shots and high-speed car chase scenes,” she continues. “It’s a classic format that will always work and is sought-after.”
See Global Screen’s Spring 2021 Showcase here.