There has been much activity up in Edinburgh at the annual TV festival during these past few days but even though the likes of Martin Freeman and Armando Iannucci were giving good seminar, I’ve had my eye on one man and one man only – BBC4 Contoller, Cassian Harrison. I’ve known for the past few weeks that he would announce the transmission date of series three of The Bridge in Edinburgh but was unable to say much about it. Until now. We’re in for a hell of a Scandinavian autumn.
The first news is that Beck – the series based on the celebrated and influential novels by Swedish husband-and-wife team Sjöwall and Wahlöö – will air first in September (mid September) and then, hopefully, it’ll be The Bridge (October perhaps?) and then the brand new second series of Arne Dahl.
This is big news – normally BBC4 holds back The Bridge at least six months after its Swedish and Danish transmission date. But this time, I like to think because of increased pressure from fans and the possibility of said fans watching online, the channel has moved up its broadcast considerably. Which is good – no great – news.
Here’s the full BBC lowdown:
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.
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.
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.
The 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 headquarters. 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.
Well done BBC4, and tak, BBC4.
For all our news and reviews on The Bridge, go here