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.
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