Review: Borgen, BBC4

First published in TV The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Features editor

SATURDAY nights won’t be the same without our two-hour fix of Scandinavian intrigue.

If anyone would have said I’d get hooked on a Norwegian political drama, complete with subtitles, then I wouldn’t have believed them.

But Borgen has fitted seamlessly into the spot vacated by The Killing.

There might not be a fashionable piece of knitwear in sight and yes, there are comparisons with the West Wing, but Borgen has been hugely enjoyable.

Charting the rise of the wonderful Brigitte Nyborg, the unlikely Prime Minister trying to hold both her government and family life together, Borgen has been another triumph for BBC4.

Quite why Scandinavian drama has so captured the British interest is probably a college course waiting to happen. But believable characters, good scripts and no shortage of realistic humour always help.

All the lesser players are well defined from the Billie Piper lookalike TV reporter Katrine Fonsmark to the excellent husband of the PM.

My favourites have been spin doctor Kasper and the comic relief provided by hapless secretary Sanne.

Everyone tells us we’re all part of a more integrated Europe, so come on Beeb, sign up series two immediately.

Comments (5)

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5:27pm Sat 11 Feb 12

Watchkeeper says...

"Norwegian political drama"?

Danish, dear boy - Danish.
"Norwegian political drama"? Danish, dear boy - Danish. Watchkeeper
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Heretical says...

Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:)

And there is at least one more season.Season 3 starts soon.

Interesting to note in Denmark the viewing figure was 1 and a half million.....
I bet the Beeb and ITV would love to continue high grade drama with such (for the UK ) low figures....
Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:) And there is at least one more season.Season 3 starts soon. Interesting to note in Denmark the viewing figure was 1 and a half million..... I bet the Beeb and ITV would love to continue high grade drama with such (for the UK ) low figures.... Heretical
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Watchkeeper says...

Heretical wrote:
Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:)

And there is at least one more season.Season 3 starts soon.

Interesting to note in Denmark the viewing figure was 1 and a half million.....
I bet the Beeb and ITV would love to continue high grade drama with such (for the UK ) low figures....
>> Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:)

Steady on, old fruit. Don't frighten the horses.

I only noticed after posting the above that young Anson also referred to "the wonderful Brigitte Nyborg" when of course her forename is Birgitte. Her husband is played by Mikael Birkkjær, who was the villainous Ulrik Strange in "The Killing".

What with Denmark's "Borgen" and "Forbrydelsen" ("The Killing") and Sweden's "Wallander" (pronounced vah-LAN-der) it's all eyes on Scandinavia sure enough.
[quote][p][bold]Heretical[/bold] wrote: Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:) And there is at least one more season.Season 3 starts soon. Interesting to note in Denmark the viewing figure was 1 and a half million..... I bet the Beeb and ITV would love to continue high grade drama with such (for the UK ) low figures....[/p][/quote]>> Watchkeeper..I think I love you...:) Steady on, old fruit. Don't frighten the horses. I only noticed after posting the above that young Anson also referred to "the wonderful Brigitte Nyborg" when of course her forename is Birgitte. Her husband is played by Mikael Birkkjær, who was the villainous Ulrik Strange in "The Killing". What with Denmark's "Borgen" and "Forbrydelsen" ("The Killing") and Sweden's "Wallander" (pronounced vah-LAN-der) it's all eyes on Scandinavia sure enough. Watchkeeper
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Heretical says...

Never fear..I keep a scented hankie for these moments alongside the Sal Volatile.....I shall compose myself...:)

And yes, the Nordic Noire is coming along nicely.

I do miss 'Kurt' though....but not the Branagh version (just discovered Series 3 with him is coming,oh) Rolf Lassgards was the chap for me..
Never fear..I keep a scented hankie for these moments alongside the Sal Volatile.....I shall compose myself...:) And yes, the Nordic Noire is coming along nicely. I do miss 'Kurt' though....but not the Branagh version (just discovered Series 3 with him is coming,oh) Rolf Lassgards was the chap for me.. Heretical
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Tue 14 Feb 12

Watchkeeper says...

Well now, the vast resources of the Watchkeeper research facility have been brought to bear on the Scandinavian scene and I can now report:

1. BBC 4 will carry Borgen Series 2 in the winter season 2012/2013 (Mayan calendar notwithstanding).
2. Borgen Series 1 is now available on DVD. Series 2, though in the can and having aired in Denmark, is not yet available on DVD in the UK. Series 3 is now in production and will air in Denmark this autumn.
3. BBC4 will show three more Scandinavian dramas, viz:
a) The Bridge, a 10-part investigative crime drama and a Danish/Swedish co-production, which begins with the finding of a body on the Øresund Bridge connecting the two countries. It will air this spring.
b) Lilyhammer (sic), a Norweigan-American comic drama that stars Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt as a New York gangster who enters the witness protection programme and relocates to Lillehammer in Norway. 20% of the entire Norwegian population watched the first episode.
c) Have I got news for YOU! Grab the smelling salts - Rolf Lassgård stars as the eponymous profiler in a compelling new police thriller Sebastian Bergman. "Strong-headed, politically incorrect, abrasive and grief-stricken, Bergman has still not come to terms with the loss of his wife and daughter in the 2004 Thailand tsunami. In the first of the two thrillers, he helps police in his hometown solve the murder of a 15-year-old boy. In the second, he attempts to catch a serial killer who seems to be modelling his attacks on those of a jailed killer whom Bergman put behind bars himself." And you can see the trailer here (I know how to treat a lady):

http://tinyurl.com/3
rmdao4

Totally agree with you on the Branagh version of Wallander.
Well now, the vast resources of the Watchkeeper research facility have been brought to bear on the Scandinavian scene and I can now report: 1. BBC 4 will carry Borgen Series 2 in the winter season 2012/2013 (Mayan calendar notwithstanding). 2. Borgen Series 1 is now available on DVD. Series 2, though in the can and having aired in Denmark, is not yet available on DVD in the UK. Series 3 is now in production and will air in Denmark this autumn. 3. BBC4 will show three more Scandinavian dramas, viz: a) The Bridge, a 10-part investigative crime drama and a Danish/Swedish co-production, which begins with the finding of a body on the Øresund Bridge connecting the two countries. It will air this spring. b) Lilyhammer (sic), a Norweigan-American comic drama that stars Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt as a New York gangster who enters the witness protection programme and relocates to Lillehammer in Norway. 20% of the entire Norwegian population watched the first episode. c) Have I got news for YOU! Grab the smelling salts - Rolf Lassgård stars as the eponymous profiler in a compelling new police thriller Sebastian Bergman. "Strong-headed, politically incorrect, abrasive and grief-stricken, Bergman has still not come to terms with the loss of his wife and daughter in the 2004 Thailand tsunami. In the first of the two thrillers, he helps police in his hometown solve the murder of a 15-year-old boy. In the second, he attempts to catch a serial killer who seems to be modelling his attacks on those of a jailed killer whom Bergman put behind bars himself." And you can see the trailer here (I know how to treat a lady): http://tinyurl.com/3 rmdao4 Totally agree with you on the Branagh version of Wallander. Watchkeeper
  • Score: 0

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