Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Another Nordic Winner



Britain may have talent – but not enough to make me miss the first part of The Bridge – a Swedish-Danish TV production following in the hallowed footsteps of Wallander, The Killing et al.  It is shot in that curious grey gloom – neither colour nor black and white - which heralds dark doings.


There are two main protagonists Saga Noren a Swedish detective and Martin Rohde
her Danish counterpart.  Because the first killing leaves a body precisely in the middle of the Oresund Bridge which separates Denmark and Sweden, both countries are involved.


Saga is a strange colourless blonde completely devoid of vanity, self consciousness or empathy; her tee shirts look grubby – she will occasionally change them – regardless of any audience and her hair has the fluffy top layer that has gone beyond the greasy stage.  Clearly there is something amiss but she is good at her job, her colleagues are used to her and slowly Martin begins to appreciate her.


Martin is a large, likeable, bearded hunk - on his second marriage with small children and an older son from his first marriage.  He is painfully recovering from a vasectomy although his wife was already pregnant (unbeknownst to them) before he had it.
 

The killer is a politically driven murderer who thinks that killing the drop-outs from society will prove his point and he uses a journalist to get his message over. Apart from the killings there are interesting threads – the wealthy wife who is desperate to find a heart for her dying husband, the young girl who resorts to shop lifting when her mother ignores her and her father is occupied with his new family.


Martin, although happily married, has a difficult relationship with his elder son who lives with him.  Saga who lives alone appears to be self sufficient – when she feels hungry she eats and if she feels a sexual urge she goes to a club and asks anyone she likes the look of if they would like to go back to her flat and have sex with her. That out of the way she switches on her lap–top to examine the latest corpse with her new friend goggling beside her.


BBC4 are showing two episodes at a time on Saturday night from 9pm to11pm.  As I have said before I welcome the subtitles – no inaudible mumbling and no endless fiddling with the sound.  Just recently I have been watching a new DVD with the sound higher than we ever have it and still with a muted reception.  In the end I resorted to hearing aids.


Quite apart from bringing the killer to justice a great fascination of this series is the relationship between the two detectives; he finds her quite odd – who wouldn’t - and she is curious about him and his relationship with his wife.  In the last episode Martin courageously chases the disguised killer and ends up prostrate with a gun to his head.   The killer doesn’t shoot but kicks him – bursting his stitches and causing Martin to scream with pain.  The thought occurs – did the killer know about his recent op?


Later on when Martin is asleep in bed with his wife the phone rings.  It is Saga:

 ‘How is your scrotum?






18 comments:

MITM said...

Thank you Ms. Pat for the headsup. I was a hugh fan of Wallander. Now I will be on the hunt for The Bridge on DVD.

We can never have too much quality programming on public TV. I hope BBC4 sends this series to BBC America as soon as possible.

LL Cool Joe said...

I never watch tv I'm afraid, too busy on the internet, but thanks for the write up it sounds interesting.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

This sound interesting. Perhaps American TV can co-opt this idea. The dead body can lie on the Peace Bridge that separates Canada and the U.S. and the networks can ruin the series with too many commercial breaks and over-zealous censoring.

Eryl said...

I felt that, and I don't even have a scrotum!

Saga sounds quite cool. I'd watch it but I'm still not used to living in a house with a tv and the sound drives me nuts, so I tend to have to leave the room when Dave watches something.

Pearl said...

I wonder if this is available on Amazon...

Unbearable's idea works for me, too. An investigator from -- Toronto, is it? -- and one from Detroit? Alas, Minnesota into Canada is not a bridge but a road, and a very small road at that...

Pearl

OldLady Of The Hills said...

The sounds like a very interesting series. I hope we get it here, at some point. I liked "Wallender" very very much....As to "The Killing"...we get the 'americanized' version of that---and I am not watching it this season. They led me down the garden-path in their first season and I don't care now.....
Hopefully BBCAmerica will give us "THE BRIDGE", at some pount.

Pat said...

MITM: I hope you get to see it. I think you'd enjoy it.

Joey: you work too hard:)

UB: what are you waiting for? Get pitching.

Eryl: I'm relieved to hear it. Ypu could maybe watch it on your ipod and in any case you don't need the sound.

Pearl: sooner or later you can get anything on Amazon - at a price. Just discovered that Breaking Bad series 3 is twice the price of series 2.
I'm fairly sure that The Bridge will - like the other Nordic series reach America.

Pat said...

Naomi: I think it is often a mistake to change the original into a local version. In The Bridge it would be spoilt in my opinion. It has to be Nordic.

Vagabonde said...

With my little trips I am way behind reading blogs. I am caught up with yours. I love your pictures of Luccombe – very pastoral. My daughter gave me a Kindle for my birthday but I have not looked at it yet. While in New Orleans last week I found several second-hand French books, so I am reading them now. I wish we would get some more international TV shows here. I usually watch the British shows as they seem so much more interesting. I don’t watch TV much though – too many books are waiting to be read.

Granny Annie said...

I'm not crazy about the "curious grey gloom" lens for shooting. It was about the only thing I haven't liked about THE KILLING. (Naomi, go ahead and watch the second season because they say the killer will be revealed..but I agree about the garden-path bit.) Pat if you recommend THE BRIDGE then I shall seek it out. You have not lead me astray once:)

Pat said...

Vagabonde: I still feel vaguely guilty watching TV or reading before late afternoon but I'm quite adept at quashing these feelings:)
In spite of its limitatiions - looking back on a certain passage is difficult- I really appreciate my kindle for reading in bed and for the ability to have a wanted book within minutes.
I'm sure - like my son - your daughter will be happy to know you enjoy it. Getting started isn't too difficult. If I can do it...

Granny Annie: that is quite a responsibility. I hope I don't let you down.

Kim Ayres said...

Not seen it - we still have The Killing on boxset to work our way through yet, so it might be a year or 2 before we catch up.

Really good to see a bloke called Kim in a lead role though :)

Pat said...

Kim: I don't know which series but 'The Killing' starts
tonight. I might give it a whirl.

Macy said...

iPlayer and 4OD have changed my life. Trouble is it might be for the worse, since I spend entire evenings catching up on Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Sopranos, Homeland....

prepares to add The Bridge to the list

Pat said...

Macy: we all need time out. I'm tryng no to feel too guilty at ordering the third series of a DVD series im hooked on.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

sounds very intriguing - wish we could get it - and i love the names of the characters - thanks so much for sharing - your reviews are always sooooo interesting...

Guyana-Gyal said...

What a well written review. You can get a job watching tv, writing reviews!

Pat said...

Jenean: thank you for those kind words. Get well soon.

GG: praise from you is praise indeed:)