Danish TV-thriller Borgen hits the British Isles

Danish TV-drama Borgen on BBC4

For all the viewers of the Killing I and II on BBC4 the past year, the airing Saturday of the new Danish political TV-thriller, Borgen, should be great news. Nordic Noir fans should be warned, if you still have Borgen queued on BBC iPlayer, however, that Borgen, now with its third season in production by Danish Radio Fiction, is in a very different genre than the nail biting and dark police procedural of the Killing. Viewers of the Killing should by now be experts in the Danish political system (Both I and II had important political side plots), coalition governance, and the dark side of the Danish welfare state – and should be able to follow Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, one of my 4 favourite Danish actresses!) with little effort: her balancing act between ‘staying true to ones values’ and the desire for political power; the modern woman’s Herculean task of being the perfect mother and wife while being ambitious and having a demanding career in a ‘masculine game’. This theme, and such female characters, have become expected of Scandinavian drama, thrillers and crime fiction (read this excellent article “Nothing like a Dane” in The Independent about the strong female leads in Danish TV-drama). Obviously Birgitte Nyborg and Sarah Lund are very different characters though both strong willed – and when the BBC will show Broen/Bron/The Bridge later this year we will welcome yet another interesting female character to the list (in my view The Bridge is by far the most thrilling crime series to come out of Scandinavia). I would love to hear some opinions about the difference in their characters, and also about the way Danish politics are being represented in these dramas, The Killing and Borgen.



Filed under Danish crime fiction, tv crime

2 responses to “Danish TV-thriller Borgen hits the British Isles

  1. Maggie

    Well my partner and I are truly hooked on Danish Drama and can hardly bear to watch anything without sub-titles now! I was given the Killing at Christmas and as soon as I had watched it I had to order the Killing II then we watched Borgen. The Danes certainly know how to make a drama look real. We lived, ate and slept The Killing and now we are lost because we have to wait til next year for the Killing III. Well done to everyone concerned with these excellent dramas and I would definitely vote for Birgitte Nyborg as PM for us here in the UK! ;0)

    • JOHN

      Totally agree watched all the thrillers and even enjoy the subtitles as you do pick up a few words here and there.Loved the Bridge and the killing was awesome..Compare this with the crap we are served up as thrillers at home, they are an insult to our intelligence

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