The Bridge (Danish/Swedish TV series)

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For other uses of this title, see The Bridge (disambiguation). For the international adaptations of this series, see below.
The Bridge
Series one DVD for the Australian release
Also known as Bron, Broen
Genre Serial crime drama, thriller
Created by Hans Rosenfeldt
Written by Hans Rosenfeldt
Starring Sofia Helin
Kim Bodnia
Dag Malmberg
Ellen Hillingsø
Puk Scharbau
Composer(s) Johan Söderqvist
Patrik Andrén
Uno Helmersson
Country of origin Sweden
Original language(s) Swedish
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20
Executive producer(s) Stefan Baron
Klaus Bassiner
Tomas Eskilsson
Wolfgang Feindt
Tone Rønning
Producer(s) Gunnar Carlsson
Bo Ehrhardt
Anders Landström
Editor(s) Sofia Lindgren
Kristofer Nordin
Margareta Lagerqvist
Location(s) Malmö, Sweden
Copenhagen, Denmark
Running time 58 minutes
Production company(s) Nimbus Film
Filmlance International
Distributor ZDF
Original channel SVT1, DR1
Original run 21 September 2011 (2011-09-21) – present
External links
Official Danish website

The Bridge (Danish: Broen; Swedish: Bron) is a Scandinavian crime drama television series, co-produced by Sveriges Television and Danmarks Radio as well as German ZDF, two seasons of which have so far been completed. The first season started with a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the Øresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. It was first broadcast on SVT1 and DR1 during the autumn of 2011.

The Bridge was a joint creative and financed production between Sweden and Denmark. It was created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt.[1]

The second season aired in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland over ten weeks from 22 September to 24 November 2013,[2][3][4] and began airing in the United Kingdom on BBC Four from 4 January 2014.[5]

The series is renewed for a third season, production started end of 2014.[6]


Series One[edit]

What appears to be the body of a female Swedish politician is discovered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmö in Sweden. The body, cut in half at the waist, has been placed precisely on the border between the countries, thus falling under the jurisdiction of both the Danish and Swedish police agencies. After further examination, it turns out that the body is that of two separate corpses, with one half belonging to a Danish prostitute. Saga Norén, from the Swedish side, and Martin Rohde, from the Danish, lead the investigation to catch the murderer.[7][8]

The investigation quickly escalates as a journalist, Daniel Ferbé, whose car was used in the crime, begins receiving phone calls. The caller, who becomes known as the "Truth Terrorist", claims to be committing his crimes in order to draw attention to various social problems. A social worker, Stefan Lindberg, whose sister becomes a victim of the Truth Terrorist, becomes an early suspect. However, events soon lead the Danish and Swedish teams to conclude that the killer has connections to the police.

In the course of the investigation, Martin and Saga develop a close working relationship, although they are very different people. Martin has an eighteen-year-old son from his first marriage, August, who is now living with Martin and his current wife, Mette, by whom Martin has three children; after Martin has had a vasectomy, Mette discovers that she is expecting twins. Saga lives alone and does not seem to feel she needs a serious relationship, instead picking up men in bars for casual sex. She displays symptoms consistent with Asperger syndrome (unconfirmed by the show's creators[9]), such as above-average intelligence and a good eye for detail, poor social skills and difficulty empathising with others. She does have difficulty in establishing relationships and feels inadequate in being able to manage people. For this, she refuses a promotion. In addition, her superior, Hans - and later Martin - provides her with supervision whenever she struggles or messes up in social situations.

After the killer has murdered several people, his true motivation begins to seem personal.[10] They discover that the crimes have been planned over a period of several years. The trail eventually leads them to Jens, a Danish policeman and former close friend of Martin's, who was thought to have committed suicide after an accident on the bridge caused the deaths of his wife and son. Jens, now calling himself Sebastian Sandstrod, now begins acting against Martin, having learned of Martin's affair with his late wife. He first approaches Mette, who is susceptible to his advances as a result of learning that Martin has slept with Charlotte Söringer, a woman who is peripherally involved in the investigation. Jens lures Mette and her children to a remote spot where he subjects them to a terrifying ordeal, locking them in a room and giving her a hand grenade with its pin removed to hold as long as she can. However, Saga realises that August is the real target, but is too late to prevent Jens from arriving and kidnapping him. Jens forces Martin to pull out of the investigation and go off on his own, while secretly imprisoning August in a sealed container. Saga eventually works out where August is, and races to the bridge, where Jens has finally led Martin. She arrives as Jens is goading Martin into shooting him - the final stage of his plan - by telling him that August died a slow, painful death. Saga insists that August is being treated in the hospital, but Martin sees at once that she is not telling the truth. He presses her further, and eventually asks her if she can promise him that August is alive. Her face crumpling, Saga shakes her head. Enraged, Martin turns his gun on Jens, but Saga shoots him in the shoulder and subdues Jens, preventing Martin from killing him.

Series Two[edit]

The second series starts thirteen months after the end of the first series. Martin and Mette have separated, and he has taken up residence at a hotel, while continually having paranoid visions of his son, August's killer, Jens Hansen. Saga, meanwhile, has recently gotten a new boyfriend, Jakob, who has recently moved in with her. She and Martin have not seen each other for the entire thirteen months that have passed.

A coaster veers off course and rams into the Øresund Bridge. Saga arrives on the scene and finds the ship deserted save for five people – three Swedish and two Danish – chained below deck. Saga arranges to have Martin assigned to the case. After the victims on the coaster die from pneumonic plague, a viral video appears in which four disguised eco-terrorists claim responsibility for the incident. They embark on further attacks, including blowing up a petrol tanker and distributing poisoned food. As the police close in on the group, they are all found dead in a shipping container, thus raising the question of whether there are other terrorist cells or a larger group.

The keynote speaker of an upcoming EU climate conference is one of those killed by poisoning. Caroline Brandstrup-Julin, the head of the conference, appoints Viktoria Nordgren, head of the Medisonus pharmaceutical company, as his replacement. While arranging the congress, Caroline's sister Bodil arranges to have her sister meet up with a gigolo called Claudio as a birthday gift. Caroline invites him to her home, but backs out when he makes his advances. Bodil is asked by Oliver Nordgren, Viktoria's brother and a shareholder of Medisonus, whether she would be willing to write Viktoria's biography; Viktoria has been diagnosed with an incurable disease and has about six months to live.

Meanwhile, during the retrieval of a sunken boat, seven corpses are found inside. The owner of the boat is Marcus Stenberg, the same person who owned the coaster. The investigation discovers the identities of the dead and finds that some of them had previously been volunteers in medical studies undertaken by Medisonus, but who had gone missing. Further attacks take place; Claudio is found poisoned in a Copenhagen park and the plague is released in a scheduled passenger plane out of Copenhagen. Saga and Martin question Gertrud Kofoed, Oliver's wife and a chief scientist at Medisonus. The company's security chief tells them that a possible industrial spy gained access to their headquarters.

Bodil and Viktoria meet to discuss the content of the biography. Oliver, who lives in the house next to his sister and has secretly installed cameras in her house, watches them make love. When Viktoria asks Oliver to keep out of her life, he confesses that he is responsible for the eco-terrorist acts. When he tries to kill her, Gertrud arrives to save Viktoria and kills Oliver. The police assume that Oliver acted alone as the ringleader of the plot, but Saga then turns up further evidence that there must be at least one more accomplice. Rasmus, an inexperienced detective who has been removed from the team for jeopardizing the investigation, tries to find the murderer independently, and comes up with a theory that Bodil is responsible.

A pathologist shows that two of the dead bodies contain a deadly virus, which causes internal bleeding and becomes airborne once the victim's blood escapes the body; Saga and Martin guess that Gertrud has developed the virus and infected Viktoria with the intent of spreading it at the EU conference. They manage to alert Caroline, and command her to evacuate the building and turn off the ventilation. Eventually, the police arrive at the conference and begin searching for the dying Viktoria. She is eventually discovered in a bathroom by Pernille, one of Martin's colleagues, who handcuffs her to a pipe to help contain her. Before she can leave, however, Viktoria starts coughing blood, infecting Pernille with the virus. As the area is contained, Martin and Saga communicate with Pernille over the radio, and as Viktoria dies painfully, Pernille decides not to go the same way, and commits suicide with her gun. Meanwhile, Gertrud drives to a secluded warehouse where she shoots a video confessing her actions, but is executed by a mysterious figure who castigates her for the failure of her plot.[11]

After he persuades her not to read her self-help books, Saga spends most of the season struggling to adjust to sharing her living space with Jakob, and to being in a relationship. Her repeated efforts to remedy the situation only make things worse and often upset, disturb or annoy him. Ultimately, Jakob decides to break up with her. And Martin, in an attempt to get over the death of August, begins visiting Jens in prison, to try and get through to him. He is satisfied when he sees that his visits have made an impression, and Jens begins to feel remorse for his crime, and Martin eventually moves back in with Mette, ready to start afresh. At the same time, his son, Nikolaj, comes down with a mysterious illness, and eventually lands up in hospital. While visiting, Saga's suspicions are aroused when she notices that Nikolaj's nanny, Anna-Dea has a somewhat unhealthy attachment to him. She breaks into Martin's house and goes through Nikolaj's drawers, where discovers evidence that Anna-Dea has been poisoning him with blood-pressure pills, revealing that she suffers from Münchausen by Proxy. Martin becomes curious about Saga's familiarity with the condition, and upon probing into the suicide of her sister, discovers that her mother had it as well. When he mentions it to Saga, she becomes uncharacteristically angry, putting a strain on their friendship. Towards the end of the season, Martin's wife Mette admits that she no longer loves him. A distraught Martin blames Jens, and begins to suffer renewed symptoms of paranoia. When Saga hears that Jens has died in prison, apparently a suicide, she suspects Martin of having poisoned him. After she apparently finds evidence, the series ends with Martin being arrested and taken away by the police, but without his guilt being established.


  • Sofia Helin as Saga Norén, the lead homicide detective in Malmö
  • Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde, the lead homicide detective in Copenhagen
  • Dag Malmberg as Hans Petterson, a senior criminal police officer in Malmö
  • Sarah Boberg as Lillian, a senior criminal police officer in Copenhagen
  • Rafael Pettersson as John Lundqvist, IT-expert for Malmö police (recurring season 1, main season 2)
  • Lars Simonsen as Jens Hansen/Sebastian Sandstrod, a former police colleague of Martin Rohde turned serial killer
  • Christian Hillborg as Daniel Ferbé, a journalist at Aftonposten in Malmö (season 1 only)
  • Magnus Krepper as Stefan Lindberg, a social worker in Malmö (season 1 only)
  • Puk Scharbau as Mette Rohde, Martin Rohde's wife
Recurring (Series 1)
Recurring (Series 2)
  • Vickie Bak Laursen as Pernille, Danish junior police detective involved in the case
  • Henrik Lundström as Rasmus Larsson, Swedish junior police detective involved in the case
  • Tova Magnusson as Viktoria Nordgren, owner of the Medisonus pharmaceutical company, diagnosed with an incurable disease and with six months to live
  • Sven Ahlström as Oliver Nordgren, brother of Viktoria, shareholder in Medisonus
  • Camilla Bendix as Gertrud Kofoed, chief scientist at Medisonus and wife of Oliver
  • Fredrik Hiller as Marcus Stenberg, shipping owner
  • Lotte Munk as Caroline Brandstrup-Julin, head of the Copenhagen EU environment summit meeting
  • Lotte Merete Andersen as Bodil Brandstrup, publishing editor, biographer of Viktoria Nordgren and sister to Caroline Brandstrup-Julin
  • Peter Christoffersen as Julian Madsen, owner of Copenhagen IT Consulting


Series two started shooting in October 2012, and began to air in Denmark and Sweden on Sunday 22 September 2013 (20.00 in Denmark and 21.00 in Sweden).[12]

Series Three[edit]

The writer of the show, Hans Rosenfeldt, revealed in January 2014 that he is writing series three, with a return of most of the main characters, including Martin Rohde.[13] Filming will start in September 2014 with an expected air date in Scandinavia starting in Autumn 2015. In June 2014 it was announced that Kim Bodnia who plays Martin Rohde, would not appear in the third series. Initially it was reported that Bodnia left after becoming unhappy with the way his character was evolving.[14] Bodnia and Helin later clarified that his character was not written into the script and that series 3 will focus on Saga coping with losing her only friend. Both suggested the possibility that Bodnia's character may return in the future.[15]


Series One Episodes[edit]

Series one consisted of ten episodes. Each episode is 60 minutes in length. They were first broadcast on Wednesday nights at 8pm in Denmark and 9pm in Sweden.

Ep.  Denmark  Sweden  United Kingdom
Official TNS Gallup
Official MMS
(BBC Four)
Official BARB
UK ratings
1 2011-09-28 876,000 + 108,000 DR HD 2011-09-21 1,030,000[17] 2012-04-21 1,262,000 (excl. BBC HD)
2 2011-10-05 660,000 + 128,000 DR HD 2011-09-28 970,000[18] 2012-04-21 1,093,000 (excl. BBC HD)
3 2011-10-12 712,000 + 57,000 DR HD 2011-10-05 787,000[19] 2012-04-28 1,020,000 (excl. BBC HD)
4 2011-10-19 589,000 + 79,000 DR HD 2011-10-12 865,000[20] 2012-04-28 890,000 (excl. BBC HD)
5 2011-10-26 652,000 + 86,000 DR HD 2011-10-19 925,000[21] 2012-05-05 1,084,000 + 102,000 BBC HD
6 2011-11-02 668,000 + 48,000 DR HD 2011-10-26 915,000[22] 2012-05-05 858,000 + 118,000 BBC HD
7 2011-11-09 668,0000 + 71,000 DR HD 2011-11-02 834,000[19] 2012-05-12 1,040,000 + 100,000 BBC HD
8 2011-11-16 610,000 + 120,000 DR HD 2011-11-09 880,000[23] 2012-05-12 930,000 + 127,000 BBC HD
9 2011-11-23 803,000 + 89,000 DR HD 2011-11-16 945,000[24] 2012-05-19 1,190,000 + 112,000 BBC HD
10 2011-11-23 803,000 + 89,000 DR HD 2011-11-23 935,000[25] 2012-05-19 1,110,000 (excl. BBC HD)

The first airing of the series was screened on Sweden's SVT1 weekly from Wednesday 21 September 2011 at 21.00. Denmark's DR1 followed a week later in their 20.00 slot every Wednesday. By screening the final episode immediately after episode 9, DR1 managed to screen episode 10 simultaneously with SVT1.

On several occasions, The Bridge failed to have sufficient viewers to be placed in SVT1's weekly Top 10 programmes. This was mainly due to competition from commercial broadcaster TV4 with its offering gaining over a million viewers. In Sweden, The Bridge won its time slot for the first five episodes against weak competition from Hawaii Five-0 on TV4. From episode 6, it aired against the popular reality show Berg flyttar in (sv), which would beat The Bridge until the final episode, when they virtually tied.

International distribution[edit]

Sveriges Television reported that up to November 2013, the first series had been purchased for broadcasting in 134 countries worldwide[26] and the Daily Telegraph reported in February 2014 that The Bridge was on screen in 174 countries.[27]

In the UK, the series was shown in weekly two-episode blocks on BBC Four and BBC HD from 21 April 2012.[7] In Germany, it was shown by broadcaster ZDF from 18 March 2012.[28] In Poland, the series was broadcast in double episodes from 2 May to 30 May 2012 on Ale Kino+. In Brazil, the series premiered on +Globosat channel on 13 August 2012 at 22h. The series premiered in Australia on Wednesday, 5 September 2012 on SBS Two,[29] where the first episode had overnight ratings of 101,000 viewers.[30] It was also screened in Israel on September 30 on HOT VoD. On January 9, 2014 it also started screening on yes VoD with both series 1 and 2 available. Co-producers NRK screened the series in Norway with audiences in excess of 600,000 viewers. NRK are also keen to participate in the production of the second series.[31] In Ireland, the show will air on TG4 beginning in autumn 2013.[32]

Series Two Episodes[edit]

Ep. First broadcast
Denmark and Sweden (DR1/SVT1)
Danish ratings
(TNS Gallup)[16]
Swedish ratings
First broadcast
UK (BBC Four)
UK Overnight ratings Official BARB
UK ratings
1 22 September 2013 818,000 1,287,000 4 January 2014 1,100,000 1,509,000
2 29 September 2013 908,000 1,232,000 4 January 2014 830,000 1,347,000
3 6 October 2013 871,000 1,105,000 11 January 2014 950,000 1,491,000
4 13 October 2013 854,000 1,290,000 11 January 2014 830,000 1,361,000
5 20 October 2013 924,000 1,237,000 18 January 2014 1,508,000
6 27 October 2013 940,000 1,205,000 18 January 2014 1,491,000
7 3 November 2013 1,125,000 1,318,000 25 January 2014 973,000 1,531,000
8 10 November 2013 920,000 1,163,000 25 January 2014 831,000 1,409,000
9 17 November 2013 989,000 1,243,000 1 February 2014 1,120,000 1,620,000
10 24 November 2013 1,088,000 1,367,000 1 February 2014 985,000 1,547,000

International distribution[edit]

Episodes are also aired close to the Danish/Swedish premiere in the other Nordic countries. Finland's YLE TV1 air new episodes as simulcasts with SVT1.[33] Norway's NRK1 and Iceland's RÚV air episodes the following day, with the first episode airing there on 23 September.[34]

It was shown in the United Kingdom on BBC Four and BBC Four HD on 4 January 2014, as with the first series, in two episode blocks at 21:00 and 22:00.[35]


The opening and closing music is Hollow Talk by Choir of Young Believers from Copenhagen, Denmark.


In 2014, The Bridge won two Golden Nymph Awards: for Best European Drama Series, and Best Actor in a Drama Series for Kim Bodnia.[36]


United States and Mexico[edit]

In late July 2012, US network FX ordered a pilot episode to be made of the series for an American audience. It is set in the US and Mexico, between El Paso and Juarez, and the discovery of a body on the border of the two countries sets the story in motion. Meredith Stiehm who had previously worked on Cold Case and Elwood Reid of Hawaii Five-0 were involved in the production.[37] The series starred Diane Kruger as U.S. Detective Sonya Cross, Demián Bichir as Mexican Detective Marco Ruiz, Annabeth Gish, Thomas M. Wright and Ted Levine.

On 12 February 2013, announced that FX had picked up drama series The Bridge for a 13-episode order. It began filming in April and premiered on 10 July 2013, the 13-episode first season airing until 2 October.[38] On 24 September 2013, FX renewed the American version of The Bridge for a 13-episode second season that aired in 2014.[39] The series was not renewed for a third season. [40]

England and France[edit]

In January 2013, sister production companies Kudos and Shine France announced a joint Franco-British production called The Tunnel.[41] The plot involves the discovery of the body of a French politician at the half-way point of the Channel Tunnel between France and England.[42] It began airing in October 2013, on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Canal+ in France.[43]


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  2. ^ "Broen – DR". Dr. dk. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Broen – mest populær i Norge – NRK – Kultur og underholdning". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Silta teki Sofia Helinistä kansainvälisen tähden – Yle Uutiset –". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Bridge UK – Timeline Photos – Facebook". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
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  8. ^ "The Weekend's Viewing: The Bridge, Saturday, BBC4". The Independent (London). 23 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Hans Rosenfeldt (25 January 2014). "Blogs – TV blog – The Bridge: Writing my favourite scenes". BBC. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Donaghy, James (12 May 2012). "The Bridge: season one, episodes seven and eight | Television & radio". Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  11. ^ In an on-line chat arranged by SVT immediately after the final episode, the lead writer Hans Rosenfeldt stated that it was of no significance who this shadowy person was."Chatta med seriens skapare, 25 November 2013". 
  12. ^ Østrem, Veslemøy Hedvig (6 March 2012). "Hva skal vi se på nå?". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Schibsted ASA. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ekstra Bladet – Afsløring: Sådan bliver sæson 3 af 'Broen'". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Saga Norén får klara sig utan Rodhe (Saga Norén will be without Rodhe)" (in Swedish). Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Bridge: Kim Bodnia, Sofia Helin talk Martin's exit". Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
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  26. ^ "Därför älskar hela världen "Bron"". Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Clive James: The end of The Bridge? I might die of despair". Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  28. ^ "Sendungen und TV-Programm". 21 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "SBSTWO TV Guide for 5/09/2012". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  30. ^ "Dallas is a switch off TV Tonight". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "NRK vil ha mer "Broen"-krim". 28 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "Drámaí Eorpacha - TG4 - Irish language television channel - Teilifís Gaeilge". Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  33. ^ "Silta – toinen kausi". Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  34. ^ "Saga og Martin møtes igjen". NRK. "Brúin". RÚV. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "BBC Four – The Bridge". BBC Online. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  36. ^ Top of the Lake takes clean sweep at Monte Carlo's Golden Nymph Awards
  37. ^ "AMC Cancels 'The Killing' While FX Orders a Pilot for a Scandinavian Remake of Its Own". Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  38. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (12 February 2013). "FX’s ‘The Bridge’ Picked Up To Series". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  39. ^ Seat42f. "FX Renews The Bridge". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  40. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ Frost, Vicky (10 January 2013). "The Bridge becomes the Tunnel in Anglo-French crime thriller remake". (London). 
  42. ^ "Battle of the Bridge babes – London Life – Life & Style – London Evening Standard". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  43. ^ Jones, Ellen E. (16 October 2013). "TV review: The Tunnel, Sky Atlantic". The Independent (London). 

External links[edit]