The Bridge (2011 TV series)
Series one DVD for the British 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||60 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 television series created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt. It is a joint creative and financed production between Sweden's Sveriges Television and Denmark's DR. It has been shown in over 100 countries.
Three series have been broadcast, all starring Sofia Helin as the Swedish police detective Saga Norén. In the first and second, her Danish counterpart, Martin Rohde, is played by Kim Bodnia, and in the third Thure Lindhardt plays Henrik Sabroe. The bridge is the Øresund Bridge, which links Malmö with Copenhagen. The first series begins with the discovery of a dead body exactly on the centre of 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 the following spring.
The second series aired in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland during the autumn of 2013, and in the UK in early 2014. The third series was aired in Denmark, Sweden and Finland during the autumn of 2015, and in the UK in late 2015. It has been confirmed that the fourth season is in production and is scheduled to air in 2018.
When a body, cut in half at the waist, is discovered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmö, placed precisely on the border between the two countries, the investigation falls under the jurisdiction of both the Danish and Swedish police agencies. It is not one corpse but two halves of two separate women: the upper-half being that of a female Swedish politician; the lower-half being that of a Danish prostitute. Two detectives, Saga Norén from Sweden, and Martin Rohde from Denmark, lead the murder investigations.
In the course of the investigation, Martin and Saga develop a close working relationship. Martin has had a vasectomy. August, an eighteen-year-old son from his first marriage is now living with Martin and his current wife, Mette, with whom Martin has three children, Mette discovers that she is expecting twins.
Saga lives alone and rather than have serious relationships, she prefers to pick up men in bars for casual sex. Her poor social skills, her difficulty in empathising and her inability to channel her emotions makes her appear cold, insensitive and blunt but she is completely honest and forthright in all aspects.
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 crimes in order to draw attention to various social problems. A social worker, Stefan Lindberg, whose estranged sister is a victim, becomes an early suspect. Working together, the Danish and Swedish police conclude that the killer must have a connection with them. After the killer has murdered several people, his true motivation begins to seem personal. They discover that he has been planning his campaign 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 cancer 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 opposite to his sister's 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, Oliver's wife 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, 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 and is executed by a man who arrives and castigates her for the failure of her plot.
Martin, in an attempt to get over the death of August, begins visiting Jens 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. When Martin moves back in with his estranged Mette, ready to start again, Mette admits that she no longer loves him. A distraught Martin blames Jens, and begins to suffer renewed symptoms of paranoia. Saga hears that Jens has died in prison, apparently a suicide, she suspects Martin of having poisoned him after she finds evidence. Martin is arrested.
Series three starts 13 months later.
When a female body is found on a construction site in Malmö, Sweden – posed in a tableau representing a traditional family – Saga is assigned to the case. The victim is identified as Helle Anker, a resident of Copenhagen. 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 vlog posts by right-wing lawyer Lise Frise Andersen, whose husband owns the facility where Anker's body was discovered. While attempting to question Anker's son Morten, 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.
Another murder is linked to Andersen's blog. Hans Petterson is abducted and Linn Björkman takes over as his replacement. The murders are described on the television news, leading Emil Larsson, an art gallery employee,to come forward and show that they may have been staged to look like artworks from a collection owned by multi-millionaire Freddie Holst. The police suspect Holst's former business partner, Claes Sandberg. Holst had legally gained control of his company and art collection.
Saga's mother challenges the assumption that 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 claims that Saga has been to her home and threatened her. At first when Marie-Louise is found dead, the assumption is suicide but later it is considered it could be murder. Saga is interviewed by Internal Affairs. The pressure of her mother's investigation and her grief when Hans dies causes Saga to make a serious error. Linn temporarily suspends Saga and replaces her with Rasmus. Jeanette with her new-born baby is kidnapped and Annika is discovered. Freddie outfoxes his security detail, goes to the secluded location that the killer has instructed and finds himself with Emil Larsson who explains that he has been enacting justice on those who wronged him during his childhood. Freddie was the sperm donor used to conceive him. He takes Freddie and the baby to Saltholm where he has prepared the final artwork. Saga and Henrik are following up on a lead and arrive in time to save the lives of all three.
Six years after she disappeared, the body of Henrik's wife is discovered, but no trace of their two daughters; causing him to spiral into depression and to overdose on drugs. Saga goes to his house in time to rescue him. 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, looking visibly distressed. Realising she is about to commit suicide herself, Henrik desperately tries to talk her out of it, insisting he needs her expertise to help find his girls. When he attempts to approach her, Saga draws a gun on him and orders him to stay back, before seemingly stepping into the path an oncoming 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, lead homicide detective in Malmö
- Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde, lead homicide detective in Copenhagen (series 1-2)
- Thure Lindhardt as Henrik Sabroe, lead homicide detective in Copenhagen (series 3)
- Dag Malmberg as Hans Petterson, the Police Commissioner in Malmö, later married to Lillian
- Sarah Boberg as Lillian, the Police Commissioner in Copenhagen, later married to Petterson
- Rafael Pettersson as John Lundqvist, IT expert for Malmö police
- Lars Simonsen as Jens Hansen/Sebastian Sandstrod (series 1-2)
- Puk Scharbau as Mette Rohde, Martin Rohde's wife (series 1-2)
- Ann Petrén as Marie-Louise Norén, Saga's mother
- Gabriel Flores Jair as the Malmö police pathologist
- Henrik Lundström as Rasmus Larsson, Swedish junior police detective (series 2-3)
- Recurring (Series 1)
- Emil Birk Hartmann as August Rohde, Martin Rohde's eldest son
- Christian Hillborg as Daniel Ferbé, journalist at Aftonposten in Malmö
- Dietrich Hollinderbäumer as Goran Söringer, property developer
- Ellen Hillingsø as Charlotte Söringer, Söringer's wife
- Magnus Krepper as Stefan Lindberg, 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
- Tova Magnusson as Viktoria Nordgren, owner of the Medisonus pharmaceutical company
- Sven Ahlström as Oliver Nordgren, Viktoria's brother
- Camilla Bendix as Gertrud Kofoed, chief scientist at Medisonus, Oliver's wife
- Fredrik Hiller as Marcus Stenberg, shipping owner
- Lotte Munk as Caroline Brandstrup-Julin, the Copenhagen EU environment summit meeting's head organiser,
- Lotte Merete Andersen as Bodil Brandstrup, Caroline Brandstrup-Julin's sister
- Peter Christoffersen as Julian Madsen, owner of Copenhagen IT Consulting
- Recurring (Series 3)
- Kirsten Olesen as Hanne Thomsen, lead homicide detective in Copenhagen
- Maria Kulle as Linn Björkman, the Police Commissioner in Malmö
- Katrine Greis-Rosenthal as Alice Sabroe, Henrik Sabroe's wife
- Olaf Johannessen as Lars Andersen, Lise Andersen's husband, Copenhagen businessman
- Sonja Richter as Lise Friis Andersen, politically active vlogger
- Nicolas Bro as Freddie Holst, Copenhagen businessman and art collector
- Reuben Sallmander as Claes Sandberg, self-help guru, Freddie Holst's former business partner
- Louise Peterhoff as Annika Melander, undertaker
- Adam Pålsson as Emil Larsson, art gallery guide
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).
In January 2014, Hans Rosenfeldt was writing the third series and retaining most of the main characters. In June 2014 it was announced that Kim Bodnia, who plays Martin Rohde, would not appear in the third series. Helin and Bodnia suggested that series three would include Saga coping without her only friend, and suggested that Bodnia's character might return sometime in the future. Hans Rosenfeldt confirmed that Bodnia had left the show because Bodnia was not happy about the way that his on-screen character was evolving. Filming started during September 2014. 
The Scandinavian launch of the third series was 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).
Production of series four has begun, with broadcasting scheduled for the spring of 2018. Rosenfeld has confirmed that this series will be the last, and is being written so as to bring the previous storylines to satisfactory conclusion. Thure Lindhardt will return in the role of Henrik Sabo. The setting will be more Denmark-focused than series three.
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 July 2012, US network FX ordered a pilot episode to be made for the American audience. It is set in the US and Mexico, between El Paso and Juárez; the bridge being the Bridge of the Americas. The series starred Diane Kruger as U.S. Detective Sonya Cross. Deadline.com announced in February 2013 that FX had picked up the drama series for a 13-episode order and filming began in April. The 13-episode series aired between 10 July 2013 and 2 October. FX ordered a second series in September 2013, which aired in 2014. FX cancelled further series of The Bridge.
In January 2013, Kudos and Shine France announced a joint British-French production called The Tunnel, featuring the discovery of the body of a French politician at the half-way point of the Channel Tunnel. It began airing in October 2013, on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Canal+ in France. An eight-episode second season was broadcast in 2016.
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- Michael Idato. "Top of the Lake takes clean sweep at Monte Carlo's Golden Nymph Awards". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
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