A quick reminder that this Saturday is a bumper one for crime fans, with the start of not just one but two cracking crime series on the BBC.
On BBC Four from 21.00 to 23.00, we have the first two episodes of The Bridge 2, the Danish-Swedish co-production that attracted considerable praise in the UK when the first series aired in 2012. You’ll find further details about Bron/Broen 2 over at The Radio Times website – and here’s a bit of what they have to say about it:
>> In a thrilling opening sequence, a cargo vessel wanders from a shipping lane to head directly for the gigantic Øresund Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden. Despite frantic radio pleas from the coastguard, there is no word from the ship as it crashes into the structure that spans a mass of chilly, lonely water. Yes, The Bridge is back. After nearly two years in “real time” and precisely 13 months in fictional time, the cult Scandi thriller’s brilliant cop partnership of Saga Noren and Martin Rohde returns. <<
An amusing clip of Saga and Martin’s reunion is available on the BBC4 website here – isn’t it great to see them together again?
And lest you’ve forgotten, here’s the wonderful title sequence, featuring the song ‘Hollow Talk’, by The Choir of Young Believers. Marvellous stuff.
Meanwhile, over on BBC One Wales from 21.30 to 23.05, we see the start of the gripping Welsh crime drama Hinterland, which aired a little while back in a Welsh-language version and will now be shown again in a bilingual version. I am SO pleased that both English and Welsh feature (the latter with subtitles), as this accurately reflects life in Wales, where you hear speakers hopping from one language to the other all the time.
This is what the BBC has to say on the decision to film in both languages (full press release available here):
>> The special adaptation of the drama for BBC One Wales will feature dialogue in both English and Welsh – the first time both languages have played a prominent role in a drama series broadcast by the BBC. The Welsh-language elements of the programme will have on-screen subtitles.
Starring Richard Harrington, Hinterland has already attracted critical acclaim for its brooding portrayal of police life in west Wales. The Guardian said “fans of washed-out noir are going to love this for its slow, confident pacing, attention to detail and Harrington’s engrossing performance.”
The new series follows a commitment made by BBC Cymru Wales Director, Rhodri Talfan Davies, at the Celtic Media Festival in April to better reflect Welsh language life and culture on BBC One Wales. At the time, he said: “I think we have to spend more time finding bridges that can connect different audiences to cultures, view-points and experiences they might not normally encounter. On BBC One Wales I want us to think creatively about how we allow Welsh language voices and experiences to be heard and experienced a little more.” <<
For my take on the Scandi-influenced, Welsh-language original Y Gwyll, including a spoiler-free review of the first episode, see here. Further details are available in The Radio Times.
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that these two programmes clash… Set those recorders now – neither should be missed!
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Thank you for pointing out the clip about Saga and Martin’s reunion – it is so typical of the two! Looking forward to both of these.
Isn’t it just? Yes, me too. I’m intrigued to see Hinterland for the second time bilingually. It’ll be an interesting experience!
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Thanks Mrs P, I’ve made a note for Saturday to watch The Bridge, which I’m really looking forward to. If Hinterland is that good, it’s a pity it’s only going to be shown on BBC Wales. I guess if you’ve got Sky/Virgin you’ve probably got BBC Wales. Let’s hope the BBC get it to all of us soon. Hoo roo.
Hi Kathy – yes, I imagine that there is plentiful satellite and cable access to BBC Wales (I’m in Wales so get it automatically anyway). But I’m very much hoping that it’ll be on iPlayer too and reach more viewers that way. Perhaps here? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03pn6hg
Thanks Mrs P. I’ll check next week to see if it comes on iPlayer. Keep your fingers x’d. Hoo roo.
I believe that it’s still due for a national showing on BBC Four at some point – see the last paragraph in this recent BBC Four press release.
While I can get BBC One Wales via Sky, I wouldn’t mind seeing it in HD, so do I instead wait for the BBC Four HD broadcast?
Thanks for the info Adam, I checked out the BBC4 release so I’ll be keeping a eye out for that. Hoo roo.
Thanks, Adam – could be… It’d be great if all the info about the different airings could be gathered together on one page somewhere (*hint hint* BBC!).
I’m not sure what the best thing would be for you to do regarding HD. My worry is that it might not be shown on BBC FOUR after all – programming does switch around sometimes between channels – and that you then might miss it. A bird in the hand…?
Dear Mrs P, Happy New Year! Hope your 2014 will be filled with delicious crime fiction. Thanks so much for this heads up on Bridge 2, me and Mr B loved The Bridge, Saga is such a refreshing character. I loved the title music too. Not sure we will get Hinterland here as Mr B is old school and so does not approve of Sky/pay TV. but it sounds great so shall seek it out on iplayer. Got a book from the library the other day which you might like/know already: Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, which I see was originally published in German in 1947 as Jeder stirbt fur sich allein. About life in wartime Berlin and cat and mouse game between a man who is anti-Hitler and a Gestapo inspector. Meanwhile in a unexpected turn of events I have discovered Sherlock Holmes and am reading his Adventure and Memoirs and A Study in Scarlet and loving it…strange, I never showed any interest before, must be Christmas stress???
And a very Happy New Year to you too, Blighty! May all good things come your way in 2014, including lots of quality crime fiction.
I’m very glad to hear that you’ve found the Fallada: it’s a quite remarkable novel isn’t it, especially when you consider how soon after the war it was published. It’s actually the earliest text in my database of Nazi-themed crime fiction – there don’t seem to be many examples of writing on the topic that draw on the conventions of crime from that decade. The story of the postcards is based on a true case by the way, which I think does give the narrative extra power.
And Sherlock! Splendid! I was one of the millions watching the new telly series on New Year’s Day, and loved every minute. It’s a really clever and endearing adaptation.
Found it! Sky 952 for BBC Wales have pressed record the whole series! A bit like London buses, you wait all summer for a decent crime drama on a Saturday, then 3 come along, all be it one is on the last 2 episodes, Broad walk Empire. Watch, record, & catch up, the wonders of modern technology! Then of course tomorrow we have Sherlock, with you know who as the villain! Is this the reverse of the American trend for British actors as major villains, are we going for Scandi actors as villains?
Yes, we’re truly spoiled for choice at the moment. Glad you’ve found a way to record Hinterland. Let me know what you think! Loving Sherlock, but still waiting for a proper dose of Danish villainy. Hopefully next Sunday.
Oh yes! here we go – Loved series 1, hoping this keeps up the high standard.
Hi Glenn – I enjoyed the first two episodes very much – hope you did too. I liked Saga’s character development, and the new dynamic between her and Martin. Lots of plot-lines building nicely as well…
Ooh I’m looking forward to re-watching The Bridge 2 with subtitles!! And Hinterland sounds great – the international version of BBC iPlayer takes forever to add new series, but fingers crossed I’ll get to see this one before too long, it looks great.
Fingers crossed for Hinterland to be added, Claire. Do you access the international iPlayer via computer or tablet while in Sweden? And do you have to pay? Interested in finding out how easy it is to get hold of BBC stuff abroad.
It’s on my iPad and it costs something like £5 a month. It isn’t exactly the same iPlayer as you get in the UK though, it’s more like a Netfix-esque BBC library, though they add fairly new dramas… sometimes! It’s not great. You can access the Swedish equivalents (SVTplay.se TV4play.se) from any country, if you ever fancy attacking a crime drama without subtitles!!
Thanks, Claire – that’s really interesting to know. I might have a peek at SVTplay.se for a laugh. If it’s something I’ve seen in English already I *might* have a chance!
Happy New Year Mrs P! I was so excited about watching the new series of The Bridge and I loved the two episodes on Saturday night, I could have happily watched more! Can’t wait for episode three next week. It’s brilliant to see Saga and Martin back together and I was gripped throughout. I need to look at Hinterland on iplayer.
I thoroughly enjoyed it too, Lindsay – a cracking start on all levels and I’m already looking forward to more. Martin and Saga’s partnership definitely steals the show for me.
Afternoon Mrs P. I thought I’d let you know, that I’ve just finished watching the first of the Hinterland series on BBC iPlayer. Very good indeed, and if the other 3 are as good as, I will be well pleased. Hoo roo.
Oh good! I’ve yet to take a peek at the new version, but am looking forward to ‘another wild night in Aber’. My favourite episode was probably the final one. Almost forgot to breathe.
I’m in the states and usually download international tv series via the torrent sites. I haven’t had much luck finding Y Gwyll yet, but I’ll def keep looking!
I was so thrilled to find this blog, and look forward to following it! 🙂
Thanks, SmallHouseBigGarden. Delighted that you found the blog too, and thanks for following. Look forward to a Stateside perspective on Y Gwyll/Hinterland should it find its way over too you – hopefully it will.
watched the first episode of Hinterland last week, very impressed indeed! Have a feeling there’s more to that first episode yet, ie the Police chief & the doctor? Very good cast, he’s very enigmatic indeed! Could have done without the ‘cop with a past’ though, a la Broadchurch, thought this was much better. Also great locations, & sets, as someone who workerd as a Prop Hand in TV & Films
for 40 years, I tend to notice those aspects! Yes very atmospheric indeed. See they’ve switched it
to Monday, makes sence, after this Monday I’ll be watching it live, as it were, last in the Broadwalk
series on catch up this Monday. Also enjoying Bridge 2, great chemistry between them.
Hi Brian – really pleased to hear that you enjoyed Hinterland 🙂 The last episode is the best in my view – incredibly gripping stuff. Fascinated to hear about your career as a Prop Hand as well – you must see programmes through very different eyes to the rest of us!
I’ve been enjoying The Bridge 2 – I was a little worried that the Saga-Martin pairing might seem a little old hat this time round, but it doesn’t at all. Both characters are developing in interesting directions, and the story-line’s intriguing. The end of episode 3 really took me by surprise (lucky I hadn’t read the Radio Times, as apparently it gave the game away *tsk*).
Oh, how I wish I could tune in! Even if they make it to the States and PBS, they probably won’t broadcast a syllable of the Welsh, which I’d enjoy very much. I’m so glad you posted about this.
Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)
It’s one of the frustrations of reading blogs from other continents, isn’t it? I frequently have crime novel/drama envy and lament not being able to get hold of x, y or z. Maddening.
Fingers crossed that somehow this will reach you. And even if it’s the English version, there are some bits of Welsh included as well.
Really happy Crime-wise. The second series of ‘The Bridge’ is turning out to be better than the first, not because of the current bunch of eco-terrorists but because of the interesting depths being plumbed in Martin and Saga’s characters. It’s fascinating and unmissable TV for me.
And ‘Hinterland’ is starting out very well. I love the locations, I know this part of Wales quite well and always thought it has a menacing atmosphere, now that scenery has become a leading character. Our detective hero is a brooding man with what looks like a terrible burden on his soul. Great dramatic stuff!
Me too, fadedglories. We’re having a lovely run at the moment. I’m watching The Bridge first, but will catch up with Hinterland soon (caught the Welsh version a while back). Can’t wait for another two hours of Bron][Broen tomorrow. The end of episode 3 had me choking on my glass of wine. Didn’t see that one coming at all.
Well that was one hell of an ending! None of your all nicely tied up solutions, all in keeping with the series. One of the best crime dramas in this country for a long while, far, far better than the overrated Broadchurch, just compare the endings, one very twee, Chinese lanterns etc, & this one
which just left you wow! I knew that chief of police was dodgy! I don’t know about a terrible burden
on his soul, he certainly has a terrible hat on his head! That tea cosy does not do his do his brooding & enigmatic look a favour! Stories plot, actors, locations & sets superb.
Where exactly was it filmed, loved the coastal town, especially at night, Wanted to get down there
with my camera!
For me jury’s still out on Bridge 2, didn’t think the penultimate episodes were all that, see what they
pull out for the last 2. Do you not think she’s become a bit of a parody of herself? The TV critic in the Indie mentioned how Spock like she has become.
I haven’t seen Broadchurch yet, but I totally agree that the final two episodes of Hinterland packed a mighty punch. The best of the series for me, and yes, not a comfortable ending at all. Can’t wait to see series 2 (where I hope we will find out a little more what’s going on inside the head under the bobble hat). It’s set and filmed in Aberystwyth by the way – which has had lots of dramatic, stormy weather of late.
I’m enjoying The Bridge 2 very much. Episodes 5 and 6 stood out for me, and I’m looking forward to the finale. Saga’s depiction: I think what prevents her from becoming a parody for me are her interactions with Martin, where she is shown reflecting on her behaviour / relationships with other people. They provide a way of getting behind the Spock-like exterior, so that you can identify with her a bit. Not sure if Martin’s attempts to poke around in her past are a good idea though…
So that’s were it’s filmed, will have to pay a visit most deffinatatly! Remembered seeing a shot of the shore front on Bing, at night, at first thought it might be in Italy! would seem that’s going to come to a head in the last 2 episodes of the Bridge, going by the synopsis, just don’t think they can get another series, if they intend too, out of it. Both story lines have been about Eco terrorism, they would need something
Yes there has to be a second series of Hinterland, too many things need explaining, I just hope they give this one nation wide exposure, it clearly deserves it.
On yesterday’s front row review of what sounds a really good crime novel, ‘Strangler Vine’ by MJ Carter, she’s a historian & biographer. Its set in India in the 1820/30s & concerns an investigation
into the Thugs. It sounded really interesting, how as she researched the book she started questioning lots of things, including the existence of the Thugs.
I think that a third series of The Bridge has just been confirmed (by the main actors, who are in the UK at the moment for Nordicana). I think you’re right though, they would need to take things in a slightly different direction.
Thanks for the recommendation of Strangler Vine – sounds interesting.
Just found out that there’s a new Leif Perrson ‘Backstrom’ novel out ‘ the true story of Pinocchio’s
nose’ came out in 2013 in Sweden, no idea when it’s out here, rights have been sold to the UK, & about 20 other country’s! So obviously it’s a popular series. Re Front Row, the 2 leads from ‘ The
Bridge’ are on tomorrow, should be interesting. Can’t help feeling she’s going to do something
nasty to Martin!
Did you listen to Front Row, Brian? I missed it, so will have to catch up.
What heartening news – another Backstrom! I think this is the final one in the trilogy, and I’m looking forward to it greatly.
Yes I caught it not very interesting really, until Mark asked them if they were both in the next series, Kim replies ‘ we will always be in it in some form or other! In view of the ending, interesting!
Yes great that at last he’s had a new book published, will it or ‘The Dying Detective’ come out first’.
Looks like ‘Free Falling’ has been put back a month. Still will give me time to finish Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ all 902 pages of it! About half way so far. Intend to read ‘Between Summer…. before the concluding book.
Well, I’ve seen the final two episodes now. Oh. My. Goodness. Quite the ending. And yes, I see what you mean. It’ll be very interesting to see where they go next.
Thomas Pynchon, eh? One of my all-time favourite authors, and I have fond memories of romping through Gravity’s Rainbow at university for my final year dissertation (on Pynchon’s use of detective fiction conventions). Perhaps just as well you’re being given a little extra time…! I’ve just started The Luminaries, which I think is going to be a corker, and reminds me a little of Pynchon already in its inventiveness and language.
yes like Hinterland a really good ending. the problem for the Bridge is that it will be a third series, that’s when you start to see the weaknesses, but they’ve showen their ability to sustain the storyline & characterisation, so let’s hope for the best!
Romped through Gravitys Rainbow wow! It’s the third one of his I’ve read, V & Inherent vice being the other two. I found them easy to read, but this is a lot harder! It’s certainly explicit! I’ve come across him late in life, I seem to be on a run of Amercan authors, James Salter, who I started reading last year, & John Williams ‘ Stoner ‘ which was my book of the year, & a lot of other peoples as well. if you’ve not read it I recommend it.
Great review of Bridge 2 in today’s Insependent by Ellen E Jones she raises some very interesting points, Well worth reading. Also across the page from that, excellent review of Strangler Vine! He starts the review by stating ‘ the publishers are doing this book a disservice by pushing this as a rip roaring yarn, it’s much better than that’. Interesting because that’s how it reads on Amazon, while the review on Front Row gives it a lot more thought out response. As the Indie states it’s a combination of both, also gets a great review in the Literary Review. Deffinately going on my order
Thanks for the heads up about the review, Brian. And it sounds like Strangler Vine might well be one to watch. Interesting comment from the reviewer about the marketing of the novel. It just shows how the wrong strategy can sometimes be actively obstructive rather than helpful in the process of promotion.
Absolutely loved The Bridge 2. Martin and Saga are fascinating. Gosh what a heart rending last episode. I’m not sure where a next series could go from there. Anyone know what make of pullovers/sweaters the Marcus Stenberg character wears?