As we all know, anything Bridge-related automatically gets posted on this site, and the latest piece of news – well, it isn’t really news… it’s more of an insight into the writing processes of creator Hans Rosenfeldt – saw the show’s creator take time out from the fourth series of The Bridge and series two of ITV’s Marcella to appear on a Swedish chatshow to chat about his craft.
A new film and TV-series talk show called Dolly recently started on Swedish channel, SVT. A couple of weeks ago actors Adam Pålsson and Marie Richardson from Before We Die appeared on it. (If you want to find out more about Before We Die, go here.) They were discussing how much of a strain it had been to constantly be in conflict during recording of the series. We can confirm that after another couple of episodes, they’ve had some scenes together and they are indeed always very tense. Before We Die has really developed into a good series, and is well suited for export. Here’s hoping it reaches the UK.
The Bridge’s Hans Rosenfeldt was also a guest on the same programme. He mentioned that what he enjoys the most about creating crime series is the puzzle of constructing the plot: when do we need to know these things, when do we need that body etc. Once that plan is completed he typically writes the first draft of the script for one episode in a week. He is currently writing for the second series of Marcella.
Because he was on the same guest line-up as Pålsson, they touched a little on The Bridge. Rosenfeldt said that he wasn’t that bothered with the fact that the plot needs to be entirely realistic, and The Bridge exists in its own little universe and has that extraordinary element in order to tell a good story. Serial killers are unusually rooted in reality and don’t have such elaborate plans, referring especially to series one and three. Pålsson mentioned as an example that he had been asked by a Russian viewer: “How was Emil able to get his heavy father from the helicopter into that barn?”
Finally, Rosenfeldt said about The Bridge: “It’s the crime that keeps the viewers’ interest alive while watching but it’s the characters that make them want to return to watch the next series. Both parts are equally important.”
There was more:
Interviewer: It used to be that all TV detectives were divorced, alcoholic, middle-aged men. Now it’s almost always women with some sort of psychiatric diagnosis. What’s the next step in this development?
Rosenfeldt: Oh, I wish I knew because then I would be the first to write it. It would have been fantastically good for me if I could start something entirely new. But, yes that’s true. I think we’ve seen it in Homeland too. I think we are approaching the end of that era. But we will always want to make up characters that are more than what we see. So, having a secret or some kind of disability will always be very playable and easy to write. You want there to be something that isn’t quite comfortable, not quite right, and they shouldn’t be too happy. Happy people aren’t fun to watch.
Interviewer: There are so many TV-series made these days. What does it take to be noticed amongst all of them?
Rosenfeldt: You always need a story that engages the viewers. There is so much at the moment. On the streaming sites you can make much more niche series. For the main broadcasting channels, ‘old TV’, where you air one episode per week, you still have to have a story and characters that engage the viewers but it’s good if it also connects with what is going on in society at the time. So that it was impossible to make that story a few years before and it will hopefully feel slightly dated in a few years’ time. It must strike a nerve with the time we live in. Then it will have a better chance of success.
If your Swedish is up to scratch, you can watch the episode here.
Charlotte Carling and Paul Hirons
For all our news and reviews of Scandinavian Crime Drama, go here