European co-production partners are Belgium’s Potemkin, Ireland’s Vico Films and Iceland’s Sagafilm. 

The 8-part thriller series is based on the award-winning crime novels by Pekka Hiltunen, adapted for the screen by Bafta nominated David Joss Buckley (Hinterland) and Brendan Foley (Johnny Was).

Sweden’s Agneta Fagerström Olsson (Wallander, Annika Bengtson: Crime Reporter) and Belgium’s Kadir Balci (Marry Me) direct. Pihla Viitala (Deadwind) and Sofia Pekkari (Arne Dahl) play the title roles as two young Finnish women in London, Mari and Lia, drawn inexorably together via the Studio – a clandestine group dedicated to bringing down powerful wrongdoers. Doctor Who’s John Simm plays Arthur Fried, a businessman and right-wing politician.

Other key roles are played by Antti Reini (Liberty, Deadwind), Arsher Ali (Line of Duty), Jakob Eklund (Johan Falk), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), Caroline Goodall (The Dressmaker) and Matteo Simoni (Call Boys).

“The series deals with the political chaos in present Europe and how a group of ordinary people put their forces and minds together to challenge the big powers”, said producer Markku Flink. Co-writer Foley describes Cold Courage as a complex and contemporary series of interconnected plots: "The two Finnish female protagonists who collide in present-day London could not be more different, yet both turn out to have a toughness and resilience that makes them fascinating. Where toughness ends and ruthlessness begins is where they start to diverge. And the charismatic British populist politician they both seek to bring down, equally can be a crusader one minute and a manipulator the next. Those great ambiguities are all around us, and the different responses of the characters in Cold Courage to the tough choices they face are what makes them compelling." 

Flink told that filming just started in Kainuu, Northern Finland, after several shooting days in Ireland and in London. Sanna Reunanen, Head of NENT Group’s streamer Viaplay in Finland said: “We invest in producing our own content, and Cold Courage is a valuable addition to our slate of original Nordic series. Our aim is to provide our viewers with the best of Nordic drama and this TV series, among Finland’s most significant television productions, is a great step towards achieving our ambition.”

US group Lionsgate is handling world distribution outside the Nordics, taking over from Global Road Entertainment. Síminn will handle the premiere in Iceland.

The launch on Viaplay is set for spring 2020.