DVD News: The Bridge – The Complete Season Three


Arrow Films has announced the the critically acclaimed crime-drama series The Bridge The Complete Season Three will be released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday December 21st. The Bridge Trilogy Boxset will also be released on December 21st on DVD and Blu-ray.


The series premièred on BBC Four on Saturday evening to a record audience of 1.2m viewers, continuing from the record breaking 3.2 million viewers that tuned in to the premiere episode in Sweden. The hit series stars Sofia Helin as the enigmatic, unorthodox Swedish detective Saga Noren.

Saga once again partners-up with a Danish officer, this time the equally troubled Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt), as they unravel a series spectacular murders.

The Bridge – The Complete Season Three will be released on DVD & Blu-ray through Arrow Films on Monday 21st December.

Arrow Films will also be releasing The Bridge Trilogy Boxset on DVD & Blu-ray for fans to enjoy the beloved series in its entirety, from Saga and Martin first meeting on the infamous bridge, to the gripping third season finale. The boxset release will coincide with the release of Season 3 on December 21st.

The Bridge – The Complete Season Three  is available to pre-order from Amazon:



The Bridge Trilogy is available to pre-order from Amazon:



Download your personal Bridge mini guide to Malmö here:



Bridge Over Nordic Water


How a TV series is helping transform Malmö into a must visit destination: Sweden’s third largest city is the backdrop to a hit Scandi-crime series.


Showing no signs off running out of steam the third season of Danish-Swedish crime series The Bridge has been a critical and ratings success throughout Scandinavia.

One of Scandinavian TV’s biggest exports, The Bridge has been screened in 174 countries. Interest in the series is at an all time high cementing the third season’s status as one of 2015’s most anticipated returning dramas.

Since The Bridge first aired on BBC Four Malmö has had an allure for fans of Nordic Noir eager to follow in the footsteps of Saga Norén and Martin Rhode. In tandem with the launch of the third season a series of events and activities have been organised that that will satisfy even the most ardent Saga Norén fans. 

Malmö Museer’s display of props, costumes, and set designs is a must visit destination for aficionados. Running until September 2016 the exhibition is entitled ‘A Non-Existent Malmö’. As the title reflects, The Bridge represents a Malmö that does not exist. The collection of exhibits invites visitors to consider what The Bridge’s success may say about contemporary Nordic society.



Alongside Saga Norén’s costume and mustard coloured Porsche, the centrepiece of the exhibition is a concrete bunker which represents cracks in the welfare state. Visitors that peer through the fractured edifice will see props and costumes from all three seasons including amulets and animal masks from the second series.


The exhibition also includes photographs, video clips, a map of Malmö locations featured in the series, and a large production bible which details the series creators’ key creative choices offering a revealing insight into the workings behind a hit TV series. Illuminating and engaging, the exhibition provides an exhaustive overview of The Bridge and its place in modern Scandinavian society.


Fans eager to take the experience of being in Malmö to an entirely different level should book a place on the location tour.

Travelling around the city’s hotspots, its backstreets and deserted industrial plants, a guide reveals behind the scenes stories, explains how Malmö has been transformed in recent years, and offers insights into Swedish culture.

An on board DVD player screens clips enabling fans to compare locations with their appearance on screen.

The tour lets fans follow in the footsteps of on-screen detectives Saga Norén and Martin Rohde. Viewers will be surprised to discover that a doctor’s surgery doubles as the city’s police station in the series. Taking in Malmö locations featured prominently in the series the tour visits the exterior of Saga Norén’s apartment block and offers fans spectacular views of the Öresund Bridge. 


Backdrop to three seasons of murder, intrigue, and international police co-operation, the Öresund Bridge is a symbol of cross-border harmony. Opened in 2000, the ten mile crossing has a deep meaning for Denmark and Sweden. Until 1658 Skåne County was part of Denmark and in the years between 1521 and 1814 the two nations went to war 27 times. An architectural triumph, the bridge represents close cultural and economic ties between countries that once waged war but have now found a lasting peace.

The Facts:

Fans making a pilgrimage to Sweden’s southern capital to inspect scenes of crimes featured in the series will experience a metropolis more vibrant than its small screen counterpart. A cosmopolitan city undergoing expansion and renewal, previously an industrial district Malmö is now at the forefront of cutting-edge developments in design. An international centre for innovation and culture, Malmö ranked fourth in Forbes 2013 list of the world’s most innovative cities. This future-facing metropolis is home to a diverse populace, the city’s residents speak 176 languages.

Easily accessible via Copenhagen Airport. The average rail journey time between airport terminal and Malmö Central is 20 minutes.

Further Information

Scandinavian Airlines offer direct flights to Copenhagen from London Heathrow, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Manchester:


For more information about Malmö:


Find information about The Bridge exhibition at Malmö Museer and tickets for The Bridge Tour here:


Download your personal Bridge mini guide to Malmö here:


The Öresund Bridge: Photo © Janus Langhorn /imagebank.sweden.se

DVD Review: The Bridge – The Complete Season Two

With The Killing and Borgen now consigned to the immortality of DVD boxsets naysayers might have been tempted to inaccurately predict that the Scandinavian TV phenomenon had peaked. From Stieg Larsson through to the closing moments of our window in Birgitte Nyborg’s personal life and political career, Danish and Swedish culture has been covertly invading our high streets and TV screens. Retail outlets now routinely stock Faroese inspired sweaters to customers who may be unaware of their precise cultural significance and the relatively recent television series Broadchurch has demonstrated that creative professionals are studiously paying attention to how their Nordic counterparts craft quality popular drama.

High turnout to the recent Nordicana event and consistently impressive viewing figures for The Bridge‘s second season is testament that interest in all things Danish and Swedish remains buoyant. Fans will take additional comfort in the knowledge that not only is BBC Four committed to maintaining its now traditional Saturday foreign language slot throughout 2014, it will soon be complemented by programming from More4 and Sky Arts who have purchased the promising Mammon and The Legacy.

Once TV schedules were a barren wasteland, devoid of interesting programming from Europe, now the broadcast landscape has been energized by supreme shows from Europe characterised by complex storytelling, exemplary acting, and production values which frequently outclass any dramas currently being produced within the Anglosphere. Proving that aficionados of subtitled series are being rewarded with a golden age of exemplary titles and visible support from both BBC and Arrow Films, the pain of saying farewell to Borgen was soothed by unleashing the peerless second season of The Bridge onto a viewing public ill prepared for the emotional turbulence they would experience over the course of five weeks.


As actor, presenter, screenwriter, and crime novelist, Hans Rosenfeldt has worked on, or been responsible for, some of the most intriguing series, films, and books to have appeared in Sweden over the last decade. No stranger to crime fiction, in partnership with Michael Hjorth he co-authored three Sebastian Bergman novels and scripted the Rolf Lassgård starring TV adaptation. Asked to create the first Danish-Swedish drama co-production Rosenfeldt pitched the highly original idea of placing a bi-sected corpse directly at the mid point of the Øresund Bridge, ensuring that police forces from neighbouring countries must co-operate in the investigation. The inception may pre-date The Killing, it took six years before Rosenfeldt’s ideas could be brought to screen and in that he time he honed the overall story arc ensuring that all subplots were integrated into the primary investigation with the right degree of poignancy.

A relatively hands off showrunner, at least in British terms, Rosenfeldt views dailies but doesn’t set foot on set, preferring not to inhibit the director’s freedom. Creative decisions about the overall tone of an episode and significance of specific scenes in terms of the overarching plot are worked out during production meetings which take place in the days and weeks before cameras roll on Saga and Martin’s investigation.

The hard work and determination displayed by Rosenfeldt and his core creative team, both in front and behind the lens, was justly recompensed with the news that the first season had been exported to one hundred and seventy four countries. Additionally, several remakes of varying quality were produced including Fox’s US-Mexican adaptation, and Sky Atlantic’s Anglo-French co-production The Tunnel.


After a hair-raising finale to the first season, fans might have had reasonable cause for concern about the possibility of any new instalments diluting the impact of such an emotionally potent denouement. With Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) trapped by the near insanity of grief and guilt the series could have ended with his primal screams leaving viewers to conclude he would be forever-more be held prisoner within a personal hell without any possibility of salvation or redemption. The curtain was brought down on the show with such honest writing and depth laden performances a second series seemed inconceivable. Flying in the face of the law of diminishing returns, The Bridge‘s sophomore outing is an ingenious sequel which honours the previous batch of episodes before going on to trounce them and become a strong contender for finest Nordic drama to air on British TV screens since BBC Four opened up its schedules to European programming.

Highly accomplished acting and subtle plotting have delivered an ambitious series that accomplishes the near impossible trick of simultaneously telling a high concept story and an intense emotional tale.

Practically demanding a second viewing to spot the precise moments where specific incidents were first seeded, The Bridge delivers a complex narrative rich with subtext. Closer inspection reveals each line of dialogue is laden with additional layers of meaning, the significance of which is only fully revealed after watching the intensely charged climax. Offering no wastage, each moment of screen time is filled with intricately constructed character moments that riff on the season’s thematic subtext of unintended consequences.

Central to The Bridge‘s success is the relationship dynamic between Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) and Saga Norén (Sofia Helin), Playing with, and reversing, gender stereotypes an emotionally impulsive officer is partnered with a logician who sees social phenomena in terms of precise patterns.

In the thirteen months since events on the Øresund Bridge the only contact between Saga and Martin was at August’s funeral. Desk bound whilst he undergoes a therapy programme, Martin is still grieving for his son. Separated from his wife Mette (Puk Scharbau) and visibly tortured by feelings of remorse his colleagues treat him with kid gloves never expecting a return to active duty. Saga Norén is in charge of the investigating why a seemingly unmanned tanker piloted on a direct collision course with the Øresund Bridge. The mystery deepens when she discovers five youths chained up below the deck. Specifically requesting to be partnered once again with Martin, the pair reunite and try to deal with the consequences of what happened thirteen months ago whilst trying to solve the mystery.

Now a shadow of his former self, Martin is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Living in hope that he can reconnect with his family and silence the demons haunting his mind the opportunity to work with Saga is initially seen as a therapeutic exercise albeit one with considerable risks. Being partnered with the person who stopped him from killing Jens Hansen (Lars Simonsen) is fraught with dangers as the risk of confronting the past too soon, and without adequate medical supervision, has the potential to undo the recovery process and revert Martin to the state we saw him in at the closing moments of the first season.

Despite relatively minimal research, the producers were contacted by a Swedish aspergers charity that was very keen to praise the series’ representation of this form of autism. It is never explicitly stated within the narrative that Saga has this condition, but nonetheless this has become the most favoured diagnosis by fans and the popular press. Cast in the mould of a female Sherlock Holmes, Saga has a brilliant analytical mind coupled with an inability to break official regulations in the course of work.

The multifaceted script is replete with traps, shocks, reversals, and resets, the beauty of its construction becomes apparent after viewing the final episode. Playing games with the viewer, Rosenfeldt takes the viewer down seemingly blind alleys only to later reveal that the discarded information plays a vital part in the resolution. Emotional character arcs ground the series, preventing it from descending into an elongated logic game and assuring that the audience is able to enjoy the experiences of continually being thwarted in their attempts to double guess what links the disparate threats whilst becoming enthralled with the poignant voyage Martin and Saga take together and as individuals.

Trying to ascertain how five people listed as missing appear to be prisoners on a cargo ship opens up a panoply of enigmas and hazards. In reprising their professional relationship the mismatched pair of detectives inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that will take a sledgehammer to their friendship.

Despite being incarcerated within a maximum security prison in solitary confinement, Jens continues to make his presence felt. A force of destruction who thrives upon control and manipulation, he never expected to survive his confrontation with Martin at the end of the first season. Alone and dejected he feels impotent and seizes the opportunity to regain dominance when Martin asks to meet as part of a therapeutic exercise. Rejecting what appears to be an offer of redemption he remains an ever present opponent on the other side of the table.

Overflowing with ostensibly disconnected subplots that neatly dovetail as the series progresses. Mystification is continually augmented with the introduction of each new character, however as every scene and line of dialogue has been deliberately positioned to achieve a specific effect in terms of the narrative and the viewer’s enjoyment nothing has been left to chance by the writer, watching is initially akin to trying to piece together a jigsaw without a picture on the box for reference. Once the finale has been absorbed, the urge to immediately re-watch the series from beginning to end and savour the totality of a dense narrative with the benefit of enhanced knowledge is so strong it will take herculean powers of mental strength to resist.

A rusty ship drifting astray is the first in a series of puzzles that rapidly expands into a series of mysteries and tragedies involving poisoned food, eco terrorism, murder, industrial malpractice, and a threat to contaminate an entire EU conference with a virulent bacteria. Gathering clues whilst dealing with conflicting personal circumstances and a corrupted crime scene report, Saga and Martin race against the clock to discover who is behind the killings and prevent a disaster that could engulf the entire continent.

Wagnerian in scope, the second series of The Bridge delves into the darker moments of Saga and Martin’s psyches with contrasting outcomes. Whereas Saga is finally able to come to terms with a personal tragedy she has kept secret for many years Martin falls from grace and in doing so becomes a twisted reflection of Jens.

The Bridge is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon:





DVD Review: The Protectors – Season Two


With two BAFTA awards under its belt and a nomination for The Bridge, Arrow Films has resisted the temptation to rest on its laurels and instead is captialising on the success it has had introducing UK audiences to contemporary based slices of Danish and Swedish drama by preparing to unleash the final glimpse into Birgitte Nyborg’s world, readying the ambitious period crime series Anno 1790, and releasing the Emmy winning second season of The Protectors.


An immensely popular series in Denmark, The Protectors ran for two seasons and left a legacy that is firmly embedded in all of the subsequently produced Danish crime shows which have been made available in English speaking territories. In terms of cinematography and the pacing of individual episodes, The Protectors established a template that is still being adhered to in 2013.

Far more than a police procedural, this is a series that holds a mirror up to modern day Denmark and asks existential questions about threats the country is facing in a globalized age. Co-created by Mai Brostrøm and Peter Thorsboe (Unit One), The Protectors is a highly intelligent show that never forgets human emotions are at the core of drama. Whilst the show may have been conceived as an intellectual exercise, its place as the final movement in a thematically linked trilogy necessitates synthesizing the differing perspectives on crime present in the previous installments, it buries any cerebral pretensions and focuses on telling stories that offer a commentary on contemporary Danish society and zooms in on basic passions showing them in both positive and negative lights.


Still set within an elite unit of the Danish police force (P.E.T), the second season of The Protectors paints on a broader canvas with a greater array of storylines. Thanks to some clever accounting practices and remarkably bold production decisions we are treated to to a show that is in equal measure a continuation and a reformatting. The expansion of the story-world, both real and physical, coupled with more consistent and engaging personal narratives elevates the series to heights that may have seemed inconceivable on the basis of the first year’s batch of episodes. A consistently strong run is eclipsed by a near peerless second season.

Viewers are filled in on all the main plot points from the previous series via a pre season clips compilation so are instantly able to engage with this fictional world without the need to have bought, and seen, the other volume. The primary focus remains the three recruits but subsidiary characters that were little more than animated furniture in the first season are now brought to the fore and given enough screen time and motivation to ensure that they directly impact upon the main narrative and we feel for them in their moments of crisis.


In contrast to the première run, we hit the ground at an intense pace. No longer saddled with the burden of having to establish the scenario and its cast, the writers instantly plunge the protagonists into real and emotional danger. What was once primarily the story of recruits being thrust into a new and dangerous working environment takes on a harder edge as the series escapes Copenhagen’s confines and traverses the globe. Our heroes are once again Jasmina (Cecilie Stenspil), Jonas (André Babikian), and Rasmus (Søren Vejby). Battling extremism, corruption, and intolerance, the team is constantly vigilant and aware that at any given moment they might be expected to take a bullet in the line of duty. Aided by a support staff that includes The Bridge‘s Ellen Hillingsø, the P.E.T tackles cases seemingly inspired by recent newspaper headlines.

The publication of a cartoon offensive to the Islamic world has affected Denmark’s international standing and the re-opening of the Islamabad agency is a tentative affair filled with the ever present fear of reprisals from fundamentalists. No matter how diligent members of the P.E.T may be sometimes they are powerless against the might and determination of terrorist organizations…


An exemplary scripted series shot with intelligence and tenderness. The frenzied and traumatic events are complemented and sometimes contrasted by nuanced cinematography. With talent in front and behind the camera working at the top of their game to produce the best possible show this is a DVD boxset that is equal to The Killing and Borgen.

The Protectors – Season Two can be ordered from Amazon:


DVD Review: The Protectors – Series One

Arrow Film’s recent releases of Unit One and Above the Street, Below the Water have been enthusiastically received by a voracious fanbase that is always happy to receive new shows but until 2013 had to make do with a strictly administered ration of content. The logistical hurdles involved in obtaining a licence to release series for the UK and Irish DVD market were such that it might not have made commercial sense to embark on a strategy of issuing titles from Scandinavia’s untapped mine of high quality back catalogue TV shows until now. Secure in the knowledge that sales are strong enough to justify bringing a series to our shores, Arrow Films continues its expansion of the Nordic Noir range with its latest title The Protectors.

First screened in 2009, The Protectors is an incredibly popular series in Denmark where it is known as Livagterne. Recognition and appreciation of the astounding level of craft displayed throughout this series has spread far beyond Scandinavia and in 2009 this production was recognized by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who awarded it the International Emmy Award for best non American television drama series.

Created by Mai Brostrøm and Peter Thorsboe, The Protectors is, alongside Unit One and The Eagle (coming to DVD later this year), part of a thematic trilogy exploring differing dimensions of criminality and the moral imperatives which compels some people to act in such a socially destructive manner whilst others may experience a similar emotional trauma but will continue to be law abiding, and socially productive citizens.

The Protectors is a series set within the Danish police’s bodyguard unit (P.E.T.). Members of this unit provide protection to the Danish political elite, royal family, visiting foreign dignitaries, and influential figures within the public and private sectors. In addition to providing round the clock security, the bodyguards within this elite team must be impartial in political matters, make huge sacrifices in terms of social commitments, and be prepared to suffer a potentially fatal injury in the line of duty. Those wishing to join must undergo an intense selection process that rejects the majority of applicants. Decisions made by PE.T. employees have to be made in an instant, often amidst frenzied chaos and that judgement call may save lives or end them so the recruitment process is designed to find those who have the elusive requirements needed to work within the unit.

Jasmina (Cecilie Stenspil), Jonas (Søren Vejby), and Ramus (André Babikian) are three recruits who are swiftly plucked from the training camp and placed on active duty when a father tormented by grief is hell bent on assassinating a government minister. The class room, gymnasium, and obstacle course are supplanted by an urban landscape which provides excellent cover for a new breed of extremist.

The three new members of the unit swiftly form a strong professional and personal relationship despite their differing backgrounds and this is in direct contrast to criticisms of cultural erosion expressed by family members and those whom are intent upon destroying modern Danish society. Central to The Protectors is the justly held belief that modern multicultural societies are a positive development that should be preserved at all costs.

This is a high octane series that thanks to some incredibly sophisticated writing manages to explore the present state of Danish society, the country’s role within international affairs, and how the media report scandal. The fluid direction embellishes what is already a breathtaking show and the use of aerial photography ensures that Denmark looks sexier than ever.

Fans who like to indulge in a bit of “actor spotting” will be in seventh heaven for not only does The Bridge‘s .Ellen Hillingsø appear as a series regular but several other familiar faces feature prominently in various episodes including a key member of the Borgen cast who plays a radicalised Muslim.

The Protectors is available to buy from Amazon;


Irish Bacon

Irish Bacon

This fascinating article from the Irish Times discusses the production model employed in Danish television, assess the differences with the Irish system and evaluates the extent to which it might be possible for Ireland to achieve similar levels of international success with its televisual output. 

Irish Bacon

This fascinating article from the Irish Times discusses the production model employed in Danish television, assess the differences with the Irish system and evaluates the extent to which it might be possible for Ireland to achieve similar levels of international success with its televisual output.

Re-make, Re-model

Re-make, Re-model

Broadcasters in both the UK and U.S.A have a long history of leasing the format to foreign programming and transmitting the English language remake instead of the original televisual text. In some cases this has been relatively successful in terms of domestic viewing figures and sales of DVD boxsets but the process of tailoring a foreign text for a new audience is not an exact science and for every La Femme Nikita the televisual audience is subjected to several misguided attempts at redrafting content. Yes, The Killing US I’m looking at you. Two remakes of The Bridge are currently being prepared but with regards the UK version I can’t comprehend why a broadcaster would consider that it could deliver higher ratings than the original. The BBC4 foreign language slot has consistently delivered ratings and audience appreciation figures which outstrip those of many high profile American series so the commissioning of an alternative English language iteration by a competing satellite and cable broadcaster has the potential to invite unfair comparisons by viewers familiar with the original text. I could be wrong and the results may turn out to be splendid.

Re-make, Re-model

Broadcasters in both the UK and U.S.A have a long history of leasing the format to foreign programming and transmitting the English language remake instead of the original televisual text. In some cases this has been relatively successful in terms of domestic viewing figures and sales of DVD boxsets but the process of tailoring a foreign text for a new audience is not an exact science and for every La Femme Nikita the televisual audience is subjected to several misguided attempts at redrafting content. Yes, The Killing US I’m looking at you. Two remakes of The Bridge are currently being prepared but with regards the UK version I can’t comprehend why a broadcaster would consider that it could deliver higher ratings than the original. The BBC4 foreign language slot has consistently delivered ratings and audience appreciation figures which outstrip those of many high profile American series so the commissioning of an alternative English language iteration by a competing satellite and cable broadcaster has the potential to invite unfair comparisons by viewers familiar with the original text. I could be wrong and the results may turn out to be splendid.