While Borgen beats The Killing, The Bridge becomes The Tunnel
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
16/01/2012 - Aired in the UK by BBC Four, Danish television series The Killing – with Sofie Gråbøl as Detective Inspector Sarah Lund - has already been recognised by UK Prime Minster David Cameron, who said he would most like a DVD of the second series for Christmas (”I love Lund and her jersey”).
But this month the UK channel launched Danish public broadcaster DRTV’s political series Borgen (aka Government), reaching 629,000 viewers (a 2.6% audience share), beating The Killing’s opening figure (393,000) in January 2011, before it reached cult status.
Also picked up by BBC Four is The Bridge – a ten-part thriller series jointly backed by DRTV and Swedish pubcaster SVT – has meanwhile ended its first run in Denmark and Sweden, where top rated episodes took up to a 16.3% share.
While DRTV is preparing The Killing 3 for 2012 autumn and Borgen 3 for next year, Borgen 1 starring Sidse Babett Knudsen as woman party leader Birgitte Nyborg received rave reviews in leading UK media including The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Independent.
Nyborg’s idealism and huge efforts have just secured her faction a surprise landslide victory in the elections. Main author Adam Price depicts the personal sacrifices and consequences of a top politician – and prime minister - on and behind the political stage.
The Bridge follows the investigation of an unusual murder: the dead body of a woman is found on the Øresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden, on the border – the top half is of a Swedish high-ranking politician, the bottom from a Danish prostitute.
Top detectives from the Danish (Kim Bodnia) and Swedish (Sofia Helin) police are assigned to the case, and in Swedish conceptual writer Hans Rosenfeld’s screenplay they soon realise that their murder is linked to a whole string of killings with political motives.
Danish producer Bo Ehrhardt of Nimbus Film, which realised the project with Sweden’s Freelance International, is preparing the second season of the thriller, reuniting the Danish-Swedish team of Bodnia and Helin.
British production outfit Kudos is busy transplanting the series to the UK and France. The new working title is The Tunnel – the Øresund has been replaced by the English Channel, and the bridge by the 50.3-kilometre Eurotunnel between Folkestone and Calais.