Nent Group’s Nordic streaming service  Viaplay has boarded “With One Eye Open,” partnering Twelve Town and Nice Drama on the Swedish drama series which brings a fresh look to Swedish and Russian ties.

The eight-part series is based on Martin Österdahl’s “Ask No Mercy,” the first of three books in the Max Anger suspense trilogy.

First pitched at Lille’s Series Mania in May, the project is set in 1996 Saint Petersburg on the run-up to Boris Yeltsin’s election. Max Anger, a former attack diver for the Swedish navy now works for think tank Vektor, set up to help Swedish companies open up shop in Russia. When his Russian/Swedish girlfriend suddenly goes missing, while investigating a neo-Stalinist plot against Sweden, he goes on a mission to rescue her and at the same time, uncovers secrets about his own past.

In the lead-up to TV Drama Vision on Jan. 30-31, Christian Wikander, director of co-production at London-based development, production and financing company Twelve Town, said he will be looking for co-financiers and distributors at the TV drama confab.

“With One Eye Open” is the second Swedish series focusing on Swedish and Russian’s relations during post-Soviet era, together with Mikael Håfström’s “Moscow Noir.”

“This trend confirms there is a real interest and potential in the topic,” said Wikander who expects to get a greenlight in the Spring.

“In today’s tight market with an oversupply of content, high quality and A talent are not necessarily enough; you also need a unique perspective or take on stories,” said the former head of drama at Swedish pubcaster SVT.
Twelve Town’s previous Swedish drama “Conspiracy of Silence” was one of the most successful original shows for Viaplay.

Other series co-produced by the StoryFirst PST-owned Twelve Town include Sweden’s “Jordskott” Season 2 and Benedict Cumberbatch’s English-language drama “The Child in Time,” which premiered on PSB last spring and earlier on BBC1.