“Echo stutters across a room, trembling noises that come too soon…” Yes, with that haunting theme song from the Choir of Young Believers, you know that The Bridge is back for Season 4.
I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see a preview of the opening episode of Series 4 (don’t worry –there are no spoilers here!) at the BFI in London, and not just that, the screening was followed by an onstage interview with Q&A of Saga herself (the luminous Sofia Helin), her side kick Henrik (Thure Lindhardt), together with creator Hans Rosenfeldt and the series lead writer Camilla Ahlgren- that is one definition of Heaven!
So to Series 4. I will not say much except to say that the series is shown on BBC2 (yes, promoted from BBC 4) in May over 8, rather than 10 episodes. It opens two years on from Series 3, where fans will recall Saga was being investigated over the death of her mother, whilst she joined Henrik to find his lost twin daughters.
As with all series of The Bridge, it opens with a shocking crime and the duo themes that we will be following across all 8 episodes are very real and current ones –in Sweden and Denmark but also here in the UK: Identity & refugees. Who for example is Saga were she not a detective? , is Henrik anyone if he cannot find his daughters and across the real Oresund Bridge you now have to show ID to travel across the countries because of the open borders that Sweden now have and the issue surrounding the refugee crisis.
I will only say that if episode 1 is any indication of the rest of the series, then we and the other 1.5 million UK viewers who cannot do without our Saga fix each Saturday night are in for a wonderful treat, so strap yourselves in!
The onstage interview afterwards with the cast and creative team was excellent and Sofia Helin and Thure Lindhardt in particular were in splendid form. Some very interesting things flowed from their interview by Daily Telegraph writer Benji Wilson and we learnt a few things:
- The series is written and made for the Swedish and Danish audience despite the very welcome success in the UK and the writers always ensure that a real current topic is featured to reflect the times and the culture that they live in;
- Sofia Helin is not allowed to keep her trademark leather trousers or her 1977 Porsche 911S that she drives around Malmo;
- Both Helin and Lindhardt chose The Crown as the British TV that they most admire (“you don’t need a Danish king do you? Shouted out Lindhardt!)
The level of fangirl and fanboy interest in The Bridge came through at the Q&A afterwards with some questioning why certain Danish swear words are translated incorrectly on the English subtitles and one person insisted that the series is in effect a fairy tale and that Saga is really the Ice Queen- which totally bemused the actual creator and lead writer of the show, who didn’t really know what he was going on about.
What did come through though was the love that audiences have for the series, the plots and especially the fondness for the unique TV character that is Saga Noren.