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Vienna Blood Season 3 (tv series, 2023): John C Adams Reviews

Show name: Vienna Blood

Release date: 2022

Genre: Murder mystery

Starring: Matthew Beard

Written by: Stephen Thompson

Studio: BBC2

Length: 90 minutes per episode

Rating: 5/5

If you like your crime drama dressed in period costume and with plenty of stylish interiors and architecture alongside, then Vienna Blood may be for you.

Vienna Blood is currently on season 3, which is set in 1908. Previous seasons were set in 1906 and 1907.

Austria at that time was still part of the Habsburg Empire, although within a few short years that would change dramatically.

For now, in 1908, Vienna is the confident centre of an emerging profession: psychiatry, and World War One does not yet loom on the horizon.

Max Liebermann (Matthew Beard) is a young student from a liberal Jewish family who hopes to become a psychiatrist.

His doctor’s training behind him, Max is studying psychiatry in Vienna and gaining practical experience at a local mental hospital.

Max has modern ideas inspired by Freud and these bring him into conflict with more traditional methods of treating mental illness.

He places great faith in the new ‘talking cure’.

By season 3, Max has been working with Leopoldstadt police for two years. His colleague, and now close friend, Oskar Rheinhardt (Jurgen Maurer) is a detective with the local police.

Max is now in practice as a psychiatrist, both in private practice and at the mental hospital.

Season 3 consists of three mysteries, each episode being about 90 minutes long.

In the first episode, ‘Deadly Communion’, Max and Oskar are called to investigate the murder of a young seamstress at a Vienna house of haute couture.

The autopsy establishes that the young woman was murdered during a tryst with her lover, whose identity is unknown.

The murder weapon was a hat pin, easily obtained in the Vienna of 1908. However, the insertion of the pin into the back her neck to kill her, with a miniscule wound that could easily have been overlooked, raises the likelihood of the murder being committed by someone with medical training or experience.

The glamour of the fashion house is set against the drudgery of the seamstress’s life. She is lonely, lives in a filthy rented apartment owned by a neglectful landlord and is not very well paid even though the dresses she makes are worn by some of the wealthiest women in Vienna.

On the other hand, the décor and dresses are extremely modern. A break from the traditional, cluttered design of earlier Austrian culture, the women’s clothes are free flowing and designed to be worn without a corset. Women’s liberation for a privileged few.

This is a Vienna that can still confidently look forward to the twentieth century that will unfold with the expectation that its power and influence will persist and that it will have a leading role in Europe as a generator of modern ideas.

Further consideration of other police cases establishes that a serial killer is on the loose in Vienna, and that at least one murder may be a copycat crime.

There are two other episodes in season 3: ‘The God of Shadows’ and ‘Death is Now a Welcome Guest’.

The former revolves around the influence of Austrian soldiers in China during the time of the Boxer Rebellion decades earlier. This is a welcome reminder to an English-speaking audience that the British Empire was not the only powerful player in the Far East at that time.

The other episode looks forward to the development of film and is set in a studio, where silent movies were just beginning to be made and shown commercially. The plot centres around the death of the leading lady and whether an American senator with far-right views may have been involved.

I really loved Vienna Blood. The décor and architecture were truly beautiful. Costumes and props amply demonstrated the sheer modernity of the Austrian capital at that time. Above all, each case is solidly based upon a Freudian foundation via Max’s integral part in the investigation. Each episode was a self-contained story and care was taken to create a unique scenario.

Highly recommended.

Thank you for reading my review.

Click on this link to buy this show from Amazon on DVD via affiliate marketing, for which I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting John C Adams Reviews blog in this way.

Here are the links for other formats and the earlier seasons:


Season 2 DVD

Season 1 DVD

John C Adams Reviews Vienna Blood

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