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M/S Estonia disaster TV series planned, billed as Finland's priciest-ever drama

The series will depict the ferry's tragic sinking, rescue operations and ensuing investigation.

 M/S Estonia Tallinnan satamassa, kuva päiväämätön
File photo of M/S Estonia docked in Tallinn Harbour. Image: Li Samuelson / EPA
Yle News

A dramatic TV series about the fatal sinking of the Baltic ferry M/S Estonia, and its subsequent investigation, is set to start production in May.

According to the creators behind the series, the effort will be the most expensive drama series produced in Finland.

Behind the effort is streaming service C More, production firm Fisher King, Sweden's TV4 and MTV Finland, in cooperation with Beta Film.

C More's drama and development chief, Jani Hartikainen, said the programme's budget will be nearly 15 million euros.

On a nighttime voyage from Tallinn to Stockholm on 28 September 1994, the M/S Estonia sank in Finnish waters off the Baltic Sea, claiming 852 lives. Just 137 people survived the accident, which was the deadliest sea disaster of the 20th century.

Producers of the eight-part series plan to depict the ferry's sinking, the rescue operations and ensuing investigation.

The series will be shot in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, with water scenes filmed on a set in Brussels, Belgium, according to entertainment news outlet Variety.

The series' chief writer and showrunner is Mikko Oikkonen and directorial duties will be shared between Måns Månsson and Juuso Syrjä.

According to Variety, Fisher King's Matti Halonen said the character-driven narrative will deliver a “gripping but also highly emotional story.”

"Almost 30 years have passed since the accident and with the help of fiction we can tell new perspectives on what happened. The work of the investigation committee was very difficult and highly political. The final report, released three years later, met with controversy," Halonen said, according to Variety.

The series is scheduled to premiere by the end of this year.

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