BBC4 The Bridge – start date confirmed


With many thanks to Rhian for alerting me to the following:

The Swedish/Danish crime series The Bridge begins on Saturday 21 April at 9.00 pm. Two episodes will be aired that evening (totalling two hours). Further details are available via The Radio Times, which features Sofia Helin, one of the series’ stars, on its front cover this week.

A BBC4 press release describes the series thus: “The Bridge, a 10-part investigative crime drama, begins when the body of a woman is found in the middle of the Oresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. A bi-national team is put together to solve the crime and the killer, always one step ahead of the police, becomes the object of a dramatic manhunt.”

The stars of The Bridge, Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia

Not only is The Bridge a Swedish/Danish co-production, it’s a bilingual one.

The original title (which appears on the cover of the DVD) is Bron/Broen, and dialogue is delivered in both languages, reflecting the operations of the bi-national investigative team. I’m not sure if this is a first, but I find the idea of a bilingual crime series quite fascinating (imagine, for example, a British/French series investigating a murder at the exact centre of the Channel Tunnel!). Do the Swedish and Danish investigators all understand/speak their opposite number’s language? Do they switch languages depending on the country they happen to be in? I won’t easily be able to tell, as the languages will only be fully comprehensible to me via subtitles, but perhaps someone can provide illumination!

I’ve heard many good things from those who’ve already watched the series and look forward to seeing it immensely.

Check out the wonderfully atmospheric title sequence with its time-lapse photography on YouTube. The title-track, ‘Hollow Talk’, is by the Danish group Choir of Young Believers.

41 thoughts on “BBC4 The Bridge – start date confirmed

  1. I have watched the whole series and strongly recommend The Bridge – definitely one that gets better every week. The Danes speak Danish and the Swedes Swedish and yes they largely understand each other! The relationship between Saga, the Malmö officer, and her Copenhagen counterpart Martin is original and splendid. Have fun!

    • Thanks, Philip – very good to hear that you’d recommend. And the two sides simply understand one another? How wonderful! Difficult for most of us Brits to get our heads around given our largely monolingual outlook. Will look forward to hearing both languages and comparing them in terms of the way they sound.

      • Hi yes i have been married to a dane and lived both in denmark and sweden, of course they understand each other, most of southern sweden was danish until the 16 century, there are variations of course but the language is no problem, though both nationalities are strongly nationalistic and would not admit to this.. enjoy

      • Thanks for this interesting comment, Mary. My only exposure to the two languages has been through Wallander and The Killing respectively, and the Danish sounded quite different to my (untrained) ear. I’ll enjoy listening to both in one programme and trying to figure out their similarities and differences.

      • You are in for a treat, I liked this one better than The Killing. The pronunciation is quite different, but when you see the languages written by side you’ll see that the languages are really similar

        For ekempel er denne linie skevet på Dansk, men ligner næsten den anden linie skrevet på Svensk. Selvom man ikke forstår et ord 😉
        Till exempel är denna linia skriven på Svenska, men liknar nästan den andra linia skriven på Danska. Även om man inte förstår ett ord 😉

      • Thanks, Stefan. First of all: ‘better than The Killing’…that’s not something you hear every day. Now I’m even keener to see the opening episode than I was (which I didn’t think would be possible).

        Secondly, thanks for this bilingual treat! You’ve helped to clarify the big question in my mind about the relationship between the languages. It was the pronunciation that threw me off, but your two examples clearly show how similar the languages are in written form. I’m going to attempt a ‘live’ translation (with a little bit of help from online dictionaries but NOT Google Translate). Let’s see how I do:

        ‘For example, this line is written in Danish [Swedish], but looks similar to (is almost the same as?) the other line written in Swedish [Danish]. Even if you do not understand a word 😉 ‘

        Not quite sure I’ve got it exactly, but I’m guessing that’s the gist?!

  2. Looking forward to it. I only lasted one episode of Those Who Kill because of its predictable formula and wooden characters, so hope I like this one.

      • It is when they have an attractive female, young, scantily clad detective in charge of a team hunting for a serial killer who buries alive attractive, female, young, scantily clad people….and you can just see who his next victim is going to be from the first 5 mins, it is a bit of a yawn watching it all “plod out”! (And I don’t like seeing people being treated that way either.)

  3. Pingback: BBC4 lines up a double helping of Swedes for 2012: Sebastian Bergman and The Bridge | Mrs. Peabody Investigates

  4. Thanks for the info. I will look out for it. I never managed to watch Montalbano. I am going to try and get an episode in before they disappear.

    • You’re welcome, Sarah. I’m in exactly the same place as you in relation to the Montalbano – Saturday evenings have just been too busy for various reasons!

  5. Anyone who missed Montalbano, most or all of the run is available in 2 (I think) DVDs on UK Amazon – I think they go on sale right after the last episode airs but can be seen on pre-order now.

  6. Brilliant! Been waiting for this one since my parents (Danish) told me about it. Can’t wait – thank you for the info! Just in time to stock up on Scandi sweets!

  7. Saturday night on BBC 4 – from the cold wet north of Denmark to the depths of southern Italy and soon back to the mysteries of Scandinavia – I just love it all. I’ve even bought the National Geographic Atlas app for my ipad to try and work out where I am in the world on Saturday nights!

  8. Those Who Kill got better: although it had plotholes galore, admittedly. Thomas Schaeffer (played brilliantly by Jacob Cedergren) particularly, became a much more rounded and fascinating character.

  9. I borrowed the imported DVD from a colleague and I can recommend this highly, she thought that Saga had high functioning autism which she thought that I would notice too since I have the lifelong condition myself.

    The twists and turns and the ultimate twist which I won’t reveal here. Not a gore fest neither, but psychologically it reminds me so much of “Se7ven”

    It’s beautifully photographed too.

    • Many thanks, Bogbrush. That’s an intriguing extra dimension for an investigative figure to have and I’ll be interested to see how the condition is depicted. Is it something that is thematised, I wonder, or is it more something that’s suggested to viewers? Glad that you’d recommend the series – I’ve also heard that a second series is on the cards…

      Having seen the opening credits, I’m not surprised to hear that the photography is gorgeous – looking forward to that aspect of the series very much.

      • Saga’s responses are often dealt with an humourous way which I found a little unsettling at first but she is such a strong character it becomes sympathetic and positive.

  10. It’s suggested rather than depicted though it’s never fully realised that Saga has or not. Her colleagues say she’s behaves in an “odd” way.

  11. Just wondered if anyone know if it’s repeated any other time in the week. Saw the first (double episode and an hooked, but know I’m going to miss next Saturday. iplayer isn’t quite the same.

    • Hi Pauline. I’d advise taking a look at the BBC4 website as it will have the most up-to-date information. I think it may be repeated as well as on i-player, if memory serves me correctly.

  12. “I’m not sure if this is a first, but I find the idea of a bilingual crime series quite fascinating (imagine, for example, a British/French series investigating a murder at the exact centre of the Channel Tunnel!)”

    It’s certainly not a first – in the Canadian film Bon Cop/Bad Cop a body is found exactly on the border between Quebec and Ontario (draped over the sign, to be precise), and bilingual hi-jinks ensue:,_Bad_Cop

    • Thanks, Aveek! A whole subgenre comes to life! And from the Wiki entry, it seems to have been very successful indeed. Have you seen it? Any good?

      I note that the plot revolves around ice-hockey. Very Canadian, eh?

  13. Pingback: Reflections on The Bridge / Bron / Broen | Mrs. Peabody Investigates

  14. Hi Mrs P, I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for the title song of the Bridge. I like the way you have provided info about this tv show. Your post would have definitely enticed me to watch it if I had read your blog first. But actually my sister told me about this wonderful mini-series – so I watched it and got hooked right after episode one. And I found the whole format of the show so refreshing and interesting when compared to any American TV series on crime. love the title song and the visual treat to go along with it!

    • Hello Ree and welcome to the blog – I’m very glad that the music led you here…

      Like you I really liked The Bridge, and your comment has reminded me to find out if there’s already information out there about the second series. I’m not sure where you’re based, but here in the UK, we’re gearing up for the final series of Forbrydelsen / The Killing, and there are going to be some severe withdrawal symptoms when that ends!

      • Oh yes, (thank you) now I’m eager to watch The Killing, though some readers comments here tell me that I’ve already seen the best Scandic series. BTW, I live in Chicago and these shows are unheard-of – and that’s quite a pity!

      • Thanks, Ree 🙂 If you get the chance, I’d really recommend catching the first Danish Killing series: it remains the best and most involving crime drama I’ve ever seen.

  15. Danish and Swedish are as similar as the English spoken in England and Scotland, or Dutch and Flemish, or the French sokken in France and North Africa. If you understand Swedish you can follow the Danish. In fact if you speak fluently Dutch or Norwegian you will not have too difficult a task to follow.
    Many communities on the North East Coast of England and Scotland have words or phrases that resemble Scandinavia or Dutch language (e.g. ‘Braw’ is like ‘bra’ meaning very good, and bairn is used to mean a young child.
    There are reasons for the similarities in languages and also dialect.
    It’s a good show – both seasons – and I also liked Kim Bodnia in “Hævnen” (In a better world)
    I just read a book on Kindle which had uncanny similarities to “Brœn”/”Bron” though no bridge involved. It is “Mercy” by Jussi Adler Olsen.

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