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|
|Opening theme||"Hollow Talk" by Choir of Young Believers|
|Country of origin||Sweden
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Executive producer(s)||Stefan Baron
|Running time||58 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nimbus Film
|Original network||SVT1, DR1|
|Original release||21 September 2011– present|
|Official website (Sweden)|
The Bridge (Danish: Broen; Swedish: Bron) is a Scandinavian crime drama television series created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt. It is a joint creative and financed production between Sweden's Sveriges Television and Denmark's Danmarks Radio. It has been shown in over 100 countries.
Three series of the show have so far been broadcast, all starring Sofia Helin as the Swedish police detective Saga Norén. In the first and second, her Danish counterpart is Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia), and in the third, Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt). The series is primarily set in Malmö and Copenhagen and uses the Øresund Bridge that connects the two cities as a plot device. The first series begins with a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge. It was broadcast on the Swedish SVT1 and Danish DR1 during the autumn of 2011 and on the United Kingdom's BBC Four in spring 2012.
The second series aired in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland in autumn 2013 and in the UK in early 2014. The third series was aired in Denmark, Sweden and Finland in autumn 2015 and in the UK in late 2015. The fourth and final series will be shot late 2016, probably airing in 2018.
What appears to be the body of a female Swedish politician is discovered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmö. 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 what appears to be one body is two halves of two separate corpses, the lower half belonging to a Danish prostitute. Two detectives, Saga Norén from Sweden, and Martin Rohde from Denmark, 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 is completely honest and forthright in her work, behaviour and social interactions. She displays symptoms consistent with Asperger syndrome or a similar autistic spectrum disorder, including poor social skills, difficulty empathising with others and an inability to channel her emotions, which leads to her coming across as cold, insensitive and blunt; the show's creators have stated that they have been intentionally vague on the exact nature of Saga's social issues, not wanting a generic diagnosis to define expectations of the character. Saga has nonetheless been noted as a positive representation of a character apparently in the autistic spectrum as, despite her social ineptitude, she is clearly of above-average intelligence, with a fine eye for detail and strong analytical skills. She is clearly not a malicious person, genuinely making an effort to learn from her mistakes and apologise for any offence she may have caused. Nevertheless, she does have difficulty in establishing relationships and feels inadequate in being able to manage people. For this reason, she refuses a promotion. In addition, she at one point explains to Martin that her coworkers confuse her lack of outward emotion for emotional detachment, and their comments about her behaviour often hurt her feelings. Her superior, Hans - and later Martin - provides her with supervision whenever she struggles or messes up in social situations, usually through interrupting her or whispering in her ear afterwards.
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.
Series two starts 13 months later.
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 and in poor condition below deck. Saga arranges to have Martin assigned to the case, though he has gone through a nervous breakdown following his son's death. 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 in Copenhagen 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 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.
During the retrieval of a sunken boat, seven corpses are found inside. The owner of the boat is Marcus Stenberg. 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. 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.
The police pathologist shows that two of the dead bodies found earlier 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 Danish 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 arrives and castigates her for the failure of her plot.
Throughout the season, Martin, in an attempt to get over the death of August, begins visiting Jens (his son's murderer) in prison, to try to 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. Martin eventually moves back in with his estranged Mette, ready to start afresh. 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.
Series three starts 13 months later. A body is found murdered and posed on a construction site in Malmö, Sweden, in a tableau meant to evoke a traditional family. Saga is assigned to the case, and proceeds to Denmark when the victim is identified as Helle Anker, a resident of Copenhagen. Hanne Thomsen (Kirsten Olesen), the Copenhagen police officer assigned to work with her, appears not to like her, but denies that this is due to Saga's role in the incarceration of Martin Rohde, who is serving 10 years in prison for killing Jens. On investigation it is discovered that Anker, a lesbian married to a Swedish woman, was the pioneer of Denmark's first gender-neutral preschool. Her work had been the target of numerous threats, including several vlog posts by right-wing lawyer Lise Frise Andersen (Sonja Richter), whose husband owns the facility where Anker's body was discovered. While attempting to question Anker's son Morten (Asbjørn Krogh Nissen), a mentally unstable veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Thomsen is wounded by a booby trap. Saga is then assigned a new Danish partner, Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt), whose private life seems murky. Henrik recognises Saga's neurological condition almost immediately, and is more accommodating than Hanne. As the investigation progresses, Saga's bond with Henrik becomes deeper and more emotional.
More murders take place linked to Andersen's blog posts, but the trail of victims diverges when Hans Petterson (Dag Malmberg), Saga's chief, is abducted and wounded. His replacement, Linn Björkman (Maria Kulle), knows about Saga's condition and is sympathetic, but does not accept her personality unquestioningly as Hans did, and is not adept at handling her. An art gallery employee, Emil Larsson (Adam Pålsson), comes forward to show that the murders, as described on TV news, all seem to have been staged to look like artworks from a collection owned by multi-millionaire Freddie Holst (Nicolas Bro). This leads police to suspect Holst's former business partner, Claes Sandberg (Reuben Sallmander), from whom Holst had legally gained control of their joint company and art collection, as well as acquiring Sandberg's former wife. Emil himself begins to be suspected until he is abducted but freed, leading the police to the home, full of incriminating evidence, of Annika Melander (Louise Peterhoff), a woman who had been stalking Claes Sandberg.
Saga is also faced with the sudden appearance in her life of her estranged mother, Marie-Louise (Ann Petrén). She challenges Saga's narrative that her sister Jennifer was the victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, suggesting that it was Saga's inability to connect with her sister emotionally that drove her to suicide. Marie-Louise tells Linn that Saga has been to her home and threatened her. When Marie-Louise is found dead, the police are uncertain whether the death is suicide or murder, and Saga is interviewed by a representative of the Internal Affairs department. With no alibi and some forensic evidence against her, she begins to be suspected of murder. The combined pressure of the job, the investigation and Hans's ultimate death from his injuries begins to take its toll on Saga, and eventually causes her to make a serious error, resulting in the young daughter of a fellow police officer being shot in the arm. After this incident, Linn temporarily suspends Saga, in order to force her to take leave. She is replaced by Rasmus, who jeopardizes the investigation by failing to follow orders. When it is discovered that Jeanette, the surrogate carrying Freddie's child, has been kidnapped, and the child born and held for ransom, all resources are called in, including Saga. Annika is eventually discovered, but it becomes clear that she has been kidnapped as well, and the real killer framed her, in order to throw the police off their trail. Eventually, Freddie manages to outfox his security detail and travel to the secluded location that the killer has ordered him to come to alone. There, he finally finds himself face-to-face with the killer: Emil Larsson. Emil explains that his killing spree was designed to enact justice against the people who wronged him throughout his childhood, and that Freddie is his biological father, having been the sperm donor that his mother had used to conceive him. He takes Freddie to the island of Saltholm, where he has prepared the final artwork: a double hanging, so that he, Freddie and the baby can die together. Saga and Henrik, who happened to be on the island themselves, following up their final lead, arrive and manage to save Freddie and the baby, and Saga reluctantly saves Emil, although he later succeeds in committing suicide in prison.
Upon the conclusion of the case, Henrik learns that his wife's body has turned up, six years after she disappeared, causing him to spiral into depression and overdose on his drugs, before Saga rescues him while calling round his house. Shortly after, Saga is informed that a preliminary hearing is being scheduled on her case and, despite Linn's belief that it will not proceed further than this, she worries that she will lose everything as a result. Henrik, wanting to find his two missing daughters himself, resigns his job and goes to find Saga, intending to ask her to join him. He eventually finds her at the train tracks where her sister killed herself, and realises she is about to do the same thing. He pleads with her not to give up, insisting he needs her expertise to help find his girls. As he approaches, Saga draws a gun on him and seemingly steps into the path of the train. When it passes, however, Henrik sees that she has not gone through with it, and goes to comfort her as she begins sobbing. The series concludes with the two preparing their search.
- Sofia Helin as Saga Norén, the lead homicide detective in Malmö
- Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde, the lead homicide detective in Copenhagen (seasons 1-2)
- Thure Lindhardt as Henrik Sabroe, the lead homicide detective in Copenhagen (season 3)
- Dag Malmberg as Hans Petterson, a senior criminal police officer in Malmö, Saga's boss, later married to Lillian
- Sarah Boberg as Lillian, a senior criminal police officer in Copenhagen, later married to Hans Petterson
- Rafael Pettersson as John Lundqvist, IT expert for Malmö police (recurring season 1, main seasons 2-3)
- Lars Simonsen as Jens Hansen/Sebastian Sandstrod, a former police colleague of Martin Rohde (seasons 1-2)
- Puk Scharbau as Mette Rohde, Martin Rohde's wife (seasons 1-2)
- Maria Kulle as Linn Björkman, acting senior criminal police officer in Malmö (season 3)
- Recurring (Series 1)
- Emil Birk Hartmann as August Rohde, Martin Rohde's eldest child
- Christian Hillborg as Daniel Ferbé, a journalist at Aftonposten in Malmö
- Dietrich Hollinderbäumer as Goran Söringer, a property developer
- Ellen Hillingsø as Charlotte Söringer, Goran Söringer's wife
- Magnus Krepper as Stefan Lindberg, a social worker in Malmö
- Maria Sundbom as Sonja Lindberg, Stefan's sister
- Johan Hedenberg as Axel Mössberg
- 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
- Gabriel Flores Jair as the Malmö police pathologist
- Recurring (Series 3)
- Henrik Lundström as Rasmus Larsson, Swedish junior police detective
- Kirsten Olesen as Hanne Thomsen, lead homicide detective in Copenhagen
- Gabriel Flores Jair as the Malmö police pathologist
- Katrine Greis-Rosenthal as Alice Sabroe, wife of Henrik Sabroe
- Sonja Richter as Lise Friis Andersen, a Danish politically active vlogger
- Olaf Johannessen as Lars Andersen, a Copenhagen businessman and husband of Lise Andersen
- Ann Petrén as Marie-Louise Norén, Saga's mother
- Nicolas Bro as Freddie Holst, a wealthy Copenhagen businessman and art collector
- Adam Pålsson as Emil Larsson, art gallery guide
- Reuben Sallmander as Claes Sandberg, self-help guru and former business partner of Freddie Holst
- Louise Peterhoff as Annika Melander, a funeral parlor proprietor
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).
Hans Rosenfeldt revealed in January 2014 that he was writing a third series retaining most of the main characters including Martin Rohde. Filming started 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. Helin and Bodnia indicated that series 3 would include Saga coping with losing her only friend and suggested that Bodnia's character might return later. Hans Rosenfeldt also confirmed that Bodnia left the show as Bodnia was not happy about the way that his on-screen character was evolving.
The Scandinavian launch of Series 3 took place on 27 September 2015. In a nod to Bodnia's departure, the titles in the opening episode of the series posted Sofia Helin's name alone, with the spot that had been occupied by Bodnia's left vacant. From episode two, the opening credits showed Sofia Helin and Thure Lindhardt as the two protagonists of the series. The names, along with the Swedish and Danish titles, were separated by three lines, indicating the third series (they had been separated by one line in the first, and two in the second series).
While a fourth series has not officially been commissioned, Rosenfeldt has started working on a script for it, stating "I'd be very surprised if they [SVT and DR] said no." In an interview with The Guardian he announced that the fourth series would be the show's last, and has not ruled out the possibility that Bodnia may yet return "if it makes sense."
Series one consists 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||668,000 + 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, 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 Spain is broadcast on AXN it is broadcast on Wednesdays from 8 January 2014 until present waiting for the third season. 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 were also keen to participate in the production of the second series. In Ireland, the show aired on TG4 in autumn 2014.
Series two consists of ten episodes. Each episode is 60 minutes in length.
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 were aired close to the Danish/Swedish premiere in the other Nordic countries. Finland's YLE TV1 aired new episodes on the same day 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.
Series three consists of ten episodes. Each episode is 60 minutes in length.
|Official TNS Gallup
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 Juárez, 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. 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, 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 that aired in 2014. The series was not renewed for a third season.
The Tunnel (TV series)
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.
In February 2015, Sky announced that a second series of the show was set to air in early 2016, titled The Tunnel 2: Debris, which will focus on the crash of an airliner into the English channel. Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy are set to return as Karl Roebuck and Elise Wasserman.
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