Saturday, 7 January 2012


The BBC have announced they bought the rights to another Danish TV series, Borgen: you can link to the announcement here. The series will air tonight, as The Killing did on Saturday nights, on BBC4. I'll try to catch it on Iplayer, that wonderful tool which for some reason the BBC cant make compatible with the latest version of Firefox (you can watch, but you can't store, suggest, or favourite).

Without pre-judging Borgen, the premise is interesting in a number of ways--the most obvious being that the most compelling part of the second series of The Killing, and almost the most compelling part of the first, was the political drama. In fact, in series two, it was as if the battle within the cabinet were part of a separate show, and though Nicholas Bro may have occasionally over-egged the pudding, his befuddled battle with the 'establishment' and the fights within the ruling coalition, were both extremely well done.

The Danes may be producing the best cinema in Europe right now, and their television seems equally strong. Not that it matters, because Borgen will be something the BBC can market to Sarah Lund fans because it's about a female political leader whose party takes power in a coalition which she heads as Prime Minister. When you consider, despite the strength of Sofie Grabol's performance, how the British response inevitably concentrated on her sweater, you can almost predict that whatever Sidse Babette Knudsen (another fine actress, as anyone who saw the Oscar-nominated After The Wedding can attest) wears is likely to do the same.

But there is far more to Danish film than sweaters and actresses--the country has such talent that even the Swedish Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was directed and written by Danes (and if you're looking for a fine political thriller to prepare for Borgen try The King's Game, written by the same pair of writers, Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, and directed by Arcel). So check it out tonight, or on IPlayer, or, if you don't have either, you can buy the Danish DVD with English subtitles on Amazon.

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