The Bridge (Danish/Swedish TV series)
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|
|Country of origin||Sweden
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Executive producer(s)||Stefan Baron
|Running time||58 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nimbus Film
|Original channel||SVT1, DR1|
|Original run||21 September 2011– present|
|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.
The second season aired in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland over ten weeks from 22 September to 24 November 2013, and began airing in the United Kingdom on BBC Four from 4 January 2014.
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.
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). Saga does have difficulty in establishing relationships and feels inadequate in being able to manage people. For this, she refuses a promotion.
After the killer has murdered several people, his true motivation begins to seem personal. 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. Sebastian 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. The investigation culminates in a confrontation on the bridge, where she cannot help but tell Martin what happened to August and has to fire at him in order to prevent him from destroying his career by killing Sebastian, the killer's final intention.
The second series starts thirteen months after the end of the first series. 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 Victoria 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, Victoria's brother and a shareholder of Medisonus, whether she would be willing to write Victoria's biography; Victoria 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 Victoria 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 Victoria 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 Victoria 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; Saga and Martin guess that Gertrud has developed the virus and infected Victoria with the intent of spreading it at the EU conference. Attempts to reach a dying Victoria result in the death of a policewoman, Pernille, but the police manage to contain the virus and keep the conference safe. 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.
Martin, in an attempt to get over the death of his son August, has been visiting his son's killer Jens Hansen in prison and feels ready to start again when he sees that his visits have made an impression. However, when Martin's wife Mette announces that she no longer loves him, 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)
- Emil Birk Hartmann as August Rohde, Martin Rohde's eldest child
- Dietrich Hollinderbäumer as Goran Söringer, a property developer
- Ellen Hillingsø as Charlotte Söringer, Goran Söringer's wife
- Maria Sundbom as Sonja Lindberg, Stefan's sister
- 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 Victoria 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 Victoria, 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 Victoria 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).
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. 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. 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.
Series One Episodes
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.
|Official TNS Gallup
|1||2011-09-28||876,000 + 108,000 DR HD||2011-09-21||1,030,000||2012-04-21||1,262,000 (excl. BBC HD)|
|2||2011-10-05||660,000 + 128,000 DR HD||2011-09-28||970,000||2012-04-21||1,093,000 (excl. BBC HD)|
|3||2011-10-12||712,000 + 57,000 DR HD||2011-10-05||787,000||2012-04-28||1,020,000 (excl. BBC HD)|
|4||2011-10-19||589,000 + 79,000 DR HD||2011-10-12||865,000||2012-04-28||890,000 (excl. BBC HD)|
|5||2011-10-26||652,000 + 86,000 DR HD||2011-10-19||925,000||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||2012-05-05||858,000 + 118,000 BBC HD|
|7||2011-11-09||668,0000 + 71,000 DR HD||2011-11-02||834,000||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||2012-05-12||930,000 + 127,000 BBC HD|
|9||2011-11-23||803,000 + 89,000 DR HD||2011-11-16||945,000||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||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.
Sveriges Television reported that up to November 2013, the first series had been purchased for broadcasting in 134 countries worldwide and the Daily Telegraph reported in February 2014 that The Bridge was on screen in 174 countries.
In the UK, the series was shown in weekly two-episode blocks on BBC Four and BBC HD from 21 April 2012. In Germany, it was shown by broadcaster ZDF from 18 March 2012. 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, where the first episode had overnight ratings of 101,000 viewers. 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. In Ireland, the show will air on TG4 beginning in autumn 2013.
Series Two Episodes
Denmark and Sweden (DR1/SVT1)
UK (BBC Four)
|UK Overnight ratings||Official BARB
|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|
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. Norway's NRK1 and Iceland's RÚV air episodes the following day, with the first episode airing there on 23 September.
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.
The opening and closing music is Hollow Talk by Choir of Young Believers from Copenhagen, Denmark.
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 has previously worked on Cold Case and Elwood Reid of Hawaii Five-0 are involved in the production. The series stars 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, Deadline.com 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. On 24 September 2013, FX renewed the American version of The Bridge for a 13-episode second season to air in 2014.
British and French
In January 2013, sister production companies Kudos and Shine France announced a joint Franco-British production called The Tunnel. 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. It began airing in October 2013, on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Canal+ in France.
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- Top of the Lake takes clean sweep at Monte Carlo's Golden Nymph Awards
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- Jones, Ellen E. (16 October 2013). "TV review: The Tunnel, Sky Atlantic". The Independent (London).