Stop Press! BBC Four announces autumn Scandi dramas: Beck, The Bridge and Arne Dahl

UPDATES: The first episode of Beck aired on Saturday 12 September at 9pm on BBC4. My review of ‘Buried Alive’ (no major spoilers) is available here.

Beck has now finished. Arne Dahl begins on Saturday, 17. October at 9.00.

The start date for The Bridge 3 is Saturday 21. November (9pm; double episode). Mrs P blog post and trailer available here.

Series 2 of The Young Montalbano starts on Saturday 2. January 2016. More info available here.


BBC Four’s Channel Editor Cassian Harrison made some exciting crime drama announcements at the Edinburgh TV festival today. Below is an extract from the BBC4 press release:

>> BBC Four brings viewers an autumn of gripping Scandinavian drama with the return of the hugely popular The Bridge (the final episode of the last series was enjoyed by over 1.5m viewers) and Arne Dahl, as well as the launch of new crime thriller Beck.


Beck: Based on the characters of the hugely popular Martin Beck detective series of novels by Swedish husband-and-wife writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Beck sees the much-loved detective brought to life on the small screen. Following the fortunes of enigmatic and extremely methodical detective Martin Beck and his partner, the irascible, impulsive Gunvald Larsson, Beck is arguably the originator of what has become known as Scandinavian crime: the good-cop, bad-cop partnership which went on to form the modern crime-fighting blueprint.

The brand-new feature-length films see detective Martin Beck investigating the shocking death of a young woman found strangled in a hotel room, a gangster kingpin executed by a sniper in front of his family, a terrorist attack and a suspicious hospital death which sourly turns out to be premeditated murder. It’s an intricate web of characters and lies. Think again. The killer is never who you expect it to be.

Starring Peter Haber (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as Beck and Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) as Larsson, the drama’s combination of complex woven details of police detection and beautifully realised characters combined with twisting, masterful storylines has ensured that the award-winning series won fans and acclaim from around the world.


The Bridge 3: When Helle Anker, the founder of the first gender-neutral kindergarten in Copenhagen and a high-profile debater on gender issues, is found murdered in Sweden, the Danish and Swedish police are compelled to join forces once more for a third series of The Bridge. The brutal killing turns out to be only the first in a series of gruesome crimes, strung together in a case which involves Saga Norén of the Malmo Police personally and which will change her forever. A powerful, intriguing and unpredictable tale of crime, played out by fascinating and complex characters, the new season will revolve around the concept and structures of family – new, old, deviant, classical, constructive and destructive. At its heart, The Bridge carries a central theme of personal responsibility and its consequences.


Arne DahlThe Swedish crime drama returns with five new stories. The A Unit has been disbanded for the past two years. When a wave of brutal murders hits Polish nurses in Sweden, the National Police see their chance to reinstate the The A Unit, and Kerstin Holm, previously a member of the team, is assigned to lead them.

We meet a chastened team of individuals who have allowed the all-consuming nature of their police work to eat away at their private lives. Demands and expectations have never been higher and a cold wind blows through the corridors at the National Police head-quarters. Can Kerstin get the unit to deliver, or is this new effort a misguided attempt by a paranoid police force in a time of increasingly unusual and refined criminal activity?

It is produced by Filmlance International AB in co-production with Sveriges Television and ZDF Germany, written by Erik Ahrnbom, Linn Gottfridsson, Peter Emanuel Falck and Fredrik Agetoft, adapted from the novels by Arne Dahl.<<

This is all very fitting on the day that sees the UK publication of the fourth in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, authored by David Lagerkranz (it’s out in the US on 1st September). Reviews appear to be pretty favourable thus far, as this example by The Telegraph‘s Jake Kerridge shows. So glad to see Salander living to fight another day.


44 thoughts on “Stop Press! BBC Four announces autumn Scandi dramas: Beck, The Bridge and Arne Dahl

    • Does BBC iPlayer work abroad? If so, you could get them over the computer. Germany’s ZDF Mediathek (its equivalent of iPlayer) works for me here in the UK, so it might be worth checking out.

      If not, does anyone Stateside have any helpful info on where these kinds of crime dramas tend to be shown (rather than remade)?

      • Mhz Networks seems to be one of the main places to look for foreign dramas in the US. Not sure it is accessible everywhere but they have a new streaming service (MhZ Choice) starting in the autumn with 2000+ hours of content that presumably will be. They aired the first 24 Beck films & also released them on DVD (I imported them).

        The ones due to air on BBC Four are actually newer films that were only released in Sweden this year (Episodes 27 to 30 of the series as a whole). I’m not totally sure if these have been on MhZ yet.

      • Thanks very much for this info, Dave – most helpful. And thanks too for clarifying which of the Beck episodes BBC Four will be showing. If you have a moment, could you let me know where you found that info? I’ll then update the blog post. Takk!

      • Thanks very much, Nan. All this is way beyond my technological limits, but an interesting option that Laura could check out at her end.

  1. Oh, this is all great news, Mrs. P.! Thanks for sharing. I hope it won’t be long before these make their way to where I live.

    • Likewise, Margot! Do you get the sense that more of these non-English-language crime dramas are being shown Stateside – as opposed to remade?

      • Interesting question, Mrs. P. I’m seeing more than I used to, I must say. So perhaps there is a sort of trend. If so, I couldn’t be happier.

  2. I admit to being a bit confused –at first– about the publication of the new Salander book being already out. In the US the release date isn’t until the 1st of September. Surprised this wasn’t published simultaneously and curious that it wasn’t since this is the main book event for the Fall. Having said all of that, I don’t have any plans to read it. I’ll just sit back and enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts on it.

    Thanks for the updates.

    • Sorry Keishon – you’re right and I should have mentioned that difference – it’s today here and 1st September in the US (will update post). I have no idea why – I totally agree that it would have made more sense to have the book come out at the same time in the States as well.

      I’m tempted to read the novel now that positive reviews seem to be accumulating. I’m a huge Salander fan and I don’t think I’ll be able to resist…

      • I wasn’t confused by your post as you state clearly that this is a UK publication. Other reviews and mentions made me believe the book was out in the US and UK. Appreciate the update so that others who are interested will know when it’s released in the states.

  3. It’s my birthday today, and getting your email about BBC4 bringing us all those new dramas to look forward to in the Autumn, has added to my day. Plus the postie has just dropped ‘The Girl in the spiders Web’ through my letter box, so I’m well happy. Now where are those choccies…….

  4. Can anyone tell me ( or even GUESSTIMATE!!) the DATE in September Beck starts, and at which time? I’m going away in 2 days for 6 weeks and want to record it!

    • Hello Carole! I haven’t seen any dates listed as yet. BBC4 is traditionally quite late in confirming dates, and I’ll only post if I’m absolutely sure of the source (sometimes you see a date given in a newspaper that turns out to be wrong). But I’ll keep looking and update the post as soon as I see dates confirmed.

      If anyone else sees anything promising, let us know!

      • Thank you! It MAY be indicative that the final episode of The Young Montalbano on BBC4 airs on Sat Sep 5….so I feel almost certain Beck MUST start the following Saturday Sep 12….
        I’ll take a chance and set a manual recording, though still no idea what time or length the programme will be of course!
        Thanks again Mrs.P!

      • Hi Carole. Good detective work; you could well be right. In terms of timing, the BBC4 crime slot usually airs on Saturday evening from 9.00 to 11.00. You could double-check by looking to see when The Young Montalbano is running. Will keep looking out for extra info as well.

    • I know that scenario very well, MarinaSofia – I always feel very torn when I’m away, doing lovely things but knowing that I’m missing top telly crime. I see on Twitter that you rate the Beck very highly. Good to know! Jose Ignacio tweeted a trailer for the Beck title sequence and it looks very stylish.

  5. If Beck is to start on the 12th would think it’ll be announced at the end of Montalbano, plus should
    mention what’s on in there weekly email, I think it’s sent out on the Sunday.
    For quality non crime Scandi drama Sky Arts can’t be beat,Legacy, 30 degrees west, & the wonderfully irreverent ‘Dag’ from Norway, the humour will not appeal to every one, I love it!
    Also did you by any chance catch the compleately bonkers ‘Jordstott’ from Sweden on Itv Encore?
    Supernatural crime drama, must say I enjoyed it.

    • Thanks, Brian, especially for flagging up the BBC4 weekly newsletter/email. I’m going to give that a try (if anyone else is interested, the link is here:

      I can’t believe how wide-ranging your viewing is… You’ve basically seen everything and I’m very envious! I haven’t seen Jordskott, but have heard from quite a few people now that it was great. On the list…

      • Hi AH – just seen the second episode Room 302. It’s definitely in Swedish (‘no’ is ‘nej’, which does come out pretty close to ‘nein’).

  6. Glad to hear about all of these TV shows. I just finished watching the first season of The Bridge last night. Wow! What a punch it packed. The characters and cast are terrific. It did end on a sad note and I’m recovering.
    See that season three just started in Denmark.
    I can’t wait for season two to arrive here and for the library system to acquire it.
    And MHZ Networks sells European TV series and also runs episodes of certain series every night. So one over here can access their website and watch whatever show they’re running.
    Glad to hear about Beck.
    Oh, productivity just goes out the window when these series appear on dvds and one just binge-watches.

    • I’m so glad you liked The Bridge. The ending was indeed very powerful – more hard-hitting than many series dare to be. Hope you enjoy season two as much once it reaches you.

      Thanks for the info on MHZ Networks. Sounds like a very good option if you’re in the States and keen on watching European TV.

    • I hope so too, Sheila. It felt like we were just getting into our stride with Beck and Larsson. There are plenty more episodes out there, so hopefully BBC4 will oblige.

    • I haven’t heard anything as yet, Robert, but will keep an eye open. I really enjoyed the first series of The Young Montalbano, so hope that they will show more.

      Does anyone else have further information?

  7. greetings people…re A unit Chavez is a different actor? I liked tho older lady with the nice clothes…where is she?

    • Hello Chris. Yes, Chavez is played by a different actor this time round, and I think that the former head of the unit has been moved on (haven’t seen the first episode as yet, so not sure if an explanation was given for her departure from the role…).

    • Hello Evelyn – I’m afraid I’m not sure. I’ll keep an eye out and will post if I find any new info. If anyone else knows, please do pass on the good news!

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