It really feels like the third series of The Bridge – Broen III – is around the corner, if only because the PR activity has really ramped up. We’ve had images, trailers and now, on Saturday, showrunner Hans Rosenfeldt took to Facebook to hold an AMA with fans of the show. As ever with these things there was some wheat and some chaff, but after the jump I’ve tried to select the best questions and answers.
Rosenfeldt comes across as a friendly, decent guy throughout and reveals some interesting bits and pieces about his writing processes and character development. Surprisingly, it was some way down before he fielded the first ‘Martin’ question (the very first question I would have asked) and he answered them with good humour. No, he isn’t coming back, was the message. But never rule out the future. In fact that seemed to be an ongoing thing: Rosenfeldt is open to doing more series of The Bridge in the future.
Which is good news for us all. Just not Kim Bodnia when it comes to series three.
Q. I get that The Bridge is also figuratively about the relationship between Denmark and Sweden, but I guess you can only tell so many stories about the actual bridge. Hence my question: since this two-country thing is interesting, could Saga ever go down the road of Europol and maybe collaborate with her Norwegian/Finish/German colleagues?
Hans Rosenfeldt: Hmm, good question. We feel that we still got some good stories about Sweden/Denmark, but you should never say never. Saga in Europe is a very tempting idea…
Q: Dear Mr Rosenfeldt. I can’t wait for the third season of The Bridge. Where so you get your inspirations from? Reading newspapers, politics, strange stories by local people, sitting whole days by the Øresundsbridge?
HR: Well inspiration comes from everywhere. Papers, TV, other shows, books, people. Can’t really give you one but I wish it came from sitting whole days by the Øresundsbridge.
Q: Which literary authors have had the greatest influence on your writing style?
HR: Hmm, I don’t know really, but I think Ed McBain might have influenced me quite a bit, read everything coming from him. And the Stephen King of course, you can’t get around him.
Q: Is there anything else you are thinking about doing, or perhaps some author’s work out there you would like to adapt for a teleplay?
HR: I’m currently writing a show in the UK for ITV. It’s called “Marcella” and will air on ITV next spring.
Q: Is Saga ever going to have such a human connection to anybody as she had one with Martin who was taking her out of her comfort zone into the ’emotional’ world?
HR: Watch series 3 and you will find out. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed, it’s a great season.
Q: I wonder if Martin will be mentioned in Broen III or if it will be like if he never existed?!
HR: Martin who?
Q: How much do you rely on police procedures – your plots are so excellently written, I wonder what sort of feedback do you get from the Swedish/Danish police?
HR: I have to admit, I make most of it up. We have a Swedish police officer reading our scripts but he just comment on if we do something really, really wrong. He understands that it’s fiction and that we need to do things to achieve maximum thrill. I think the Swedish/Danish police likes our show – they do look very competent and solves really difficult crimes…
[Here’s the big question…]
Q: When and why did you decide to remove Martin from The Bridge?
HR: We didn’t really decide to remove him. We couldn’t agree on what his character would do in series 3 and he decided that he’d rather work on other projects. I would like to stress that there is no hard feelings between us.
Q: Hola from Chile! Martin will be back???
Q: Are we ever going to get more information about saga her past?
HR: You’re in for a treat. Sagas past will play a big part in series 3.
Q: What do you think about the American version of the series compared to the Nordic one?
HR: I haven’t seen the American version. Not the English/French either. I tried but focused too much on the differences, what they did better, how they solved som things and it was like “job-watching” than looking at a TV-show, so I stopped. Might try again in a year or two.
Q: I just want to say I love the show and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in series 3 and hopefully find out more about Saga and why she is like she is. Looking forward to meeting the new cast also…
HR: Glad you like the show. Season 3 will much more Saga and her back story. Her mother is coming back and if you’ve seen the show you know that can’t be good news…
Q: Will the storyline of season 2 continue sometime? Will we ever know who the mysterious characters were in the final episode of season 2? And will we ever see Martin again?
HR: Nops, no mysterious character will be revealed in series 3. That case is – as far as Saga Norén is concerned, closed. And there will be no Martin in series three either, but you should never say never about the future…
Q: Which one was more important/interesting/difficult, writing the main character’s inner journey or the outer storyline (the crime story)? Or were they connected tightly together through the writing process?
HR: We usually create the inner journey and the crimeplot separately, but once we know what stories we would like to tell, we make sure that they work well together throughout the episodes. The two are equally important, but in a slightly different way. The crimeplot is usually what keeps you interested while the series is showing, you want to know who did it and why. The inner j
Q: With Martin out, are you gonna put new character in his role? I think Saga needs a partner who looks after her [Editor’s Intervention – I don’t think she needs anyone to look after her!], not only a cop partner.
HR: The journey and the relationship between the characters is usually what you remember after the show, what you take with you so to say. So we spend about the same amount of time on both of them.
We will not replace Martin and their relationship exactly, because that’s not possible. What we will do is place new characters around Saga and see what happens when she is faced with people who never met her before. One thing I can say is that gruesome killings will force her to work with Danish police again…
Q: Can you describe your writing process? (where do you like to write, where do you get ideas from, do you like to discuss your ideas with friends etc.)
HR: My writing process is quite a long one. It all starts with me and fellow writers in a room at a (hopefully) nice hotel where we work on a storyline for the entire season. We meet four or five days, five or six time and at the end we have a pretty detailed storyline.
Usually I write about six or seven episodes and episode writers write the rest.
We do a scene by scene breakdown on each episode and then we usually write seven drafts of each episode. I take over the script from the episode writers after the third draft. After that I do all the changes. In between the different drafts I have meetings with out producers, directors and broadcasters, listen to what they think, come up with new ideas and do rewrites.
So we discuss the scripts all the time throughout the process. Not som much with friends and family though, they are kind of tired og listening to me…
I write in my office, alone, with music on all the time. And the ideas, well that is my job, the only thing I’m actually good at. The inside of my head is a fantastic place and quite frankly, sometimes I like to spend time there more than I do in the real world. Probably because I have some kind of control over what’s going on there…
Q: Given main cast availability in the future, would you commit to writing Broen IV, V and VI? And can I buy Saga’s 911S 2.7 when she’s finished with it, please??
HR: Sure, why not. I love working on The Bridge and have already great ideas for a new season. I just learned that we actually own that Porsche now so who knows. Maybe it will be auctioned out after the last season. But it won’t be cheap…
Ok, so that what Rosenfeldt had to say (I personally why he and Kim Bodnia couldn’t just lock themselves in a room to hammer out some sort of deal).
But there’s other Bridge news, too: the full-length trailer we posted up the other day now has some English subtitles: