Bron | Broen I & II…

bron-00“Bron | Broen” is quite simply, some of the best television, ever produced, anywhere in the world!

That being said, Bron has everything one could possibly want; an original story, deep character development, plenty of plot twists, fantastic production, beautiful cinematography and undoubtedly some of the best performances ever put on film. Sofia Helin’s inspector Saga Norén is an astounding portrayal of a beautiful, intelligent, driven detective facing the world as she struggles with the daily trials of Asperger syndrome. Her character is in a way, primitive and primal yet without a hint of hostility and she has an underlying vulnerability to most things around her. Most impressively is the mere fact that she coveys so much of herself without revealing the slightest hint of feeling or emotion. She is truly amazing.

Bron is absolutely a must see…

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When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish detective Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer…

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“The Bridge (Danish: Broen; Swedish: Bron) is a Scandinavian crime drama television series, co-produced by Sveriges Television and Denmark’s ZDF. The first series which consisted of ten episodes started with a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. It was first broadcast during the autumn of 2011. The second series aired over ten weeks during the autumn of 2013.”

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Bron | Broen I
“What appears to be the body of a female Swedish politician is discovered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmö in Sweden. The body, cut in half at the waist, has been placed precisely on the border between the countries, thus falling under the jurisdiction of both the Danish and Swedish police agencies. After further examination, it turns out that the body is that of two separate corpses, with one half belonging to a Danish prostitute. Saga Norén, from the Swedish side, and Martin Rohde, from the Danish, lead the investigation to catch the murderer.”

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“The investigation quickly escalates as a journalist, Daniel Ferbé, whose car was used in the crime, begins receiving phone calls. The caller, who becomes known as the “Truth Terrorist”, claims to be committing his crimes in order to draw attention to various social problems. A social worker, Stefan Lindberg, whose sister becomes a victim of the Truth Terrorist, becomes an early suspect.”

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“In the course of the investigation, Martin and Saga develop a close working relationship, although they are very different people. Martin has an eighteen-year old son from his first marriage, August, who is now living with Martin and his current wife, Mette, by whom Martin has three children. Saga lives alone and does not seem to feel she needs a serious relationship, instead picking up men in bars for casual sex. She appears to have symptoms consistent with Asperger syndrome, resulting in difficulty establishing relationships and feelings of inadequacy in managing people; she refuses promotion for this latter reason.”

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“After the killer has murdered several people and successfully thrown red herrings in the way of the investigation, his true purpose eventually becomes clear. They discover that the crimes have been planned over a period of several years. The trail eventually leads them to…”

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Bron | Broen II
“The second series starts from a point thirteen months after the end of the first series. A coaster veers off course and rams into the Øresund Bridge. Saga arrives on the scene and finds the ship deserted save for five people (three Swedish and two Danish) chained below deck. Saga arranges to have Martin assigned to the case. After the victims on the coaster die from pneumonic plague, a viral video appears in which four disguised eco-terrorists claim responsibility for the incident. They embark on further attacks, including blowing up a petrol tanker and distributing poisoned food. As the police close in on the group, the question arises whether there are other terrorist cells or a larger group.”

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“The keynote speaker of an upcoming EU climate conference is one of those killed by poisoning. Caroline Brandstrup-Julin, the head of the conference, appoints Victoria Nordgren, head of the Medisonus pharmaceutical company, as his replacement. While arranging the congress, Caroline’s sister Bodil arranges to have her sister meet up with a gigolo called Claudio as a birthday gift. Caroline invites him to her home, but backs out when he makes his advances. Bodil is asked by Oliver Nordengren, Victoria’s brother and an executive at Medisonus, whether she would like to write Victoria’s biography; Victoria has been diagnosed with an incurable disease and has about six months to live.”

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“Meanwhile, during the retrieval of a sunken boat, seven corpses are found inside. The investigation discovers the identities of the dead and finds that some of them had previously been volunteers in medical studies undertaken by Medisonus, but who had gone missing. Further attacks take place. Saga and Martin question Gertrud Kofoed, Oliver’s wife and a chief scientist at Medisonus. The company’s security chief tells them that a possible industrial spy gained access to their headquarters.”

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“A pathologist soon discovers that two of the dead bodies contain a deadly virus…”

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Bron | Broen III
“The writer of the show, Hans Rosenfeldt, revealed that he is writing season three, with a return of most of the main cast, including Martin.”

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Main Cast

  • Sofia Helin – Saga Norén (lead homicide detective in Malmö)
  • Kim Bodnia – Martin Rohde (lead homicide detective in Copenhagen)
  • Dag Malmberg – Hans Petterson (senior police official in Malmö)
  • Sarah Boberg – Lillian (senior police official in Copenhagen)
  • Lars Simonsen – Jens Hansen/Sebastian Sandstrod (serial killer)
  • Christian Hillborg – Daniel Ferbé (journalist at Aftonposten in Malmö)
  • Magnus Krepper – Stefan Lindberg (social worker in Malmö)
  • Puk Scharbau – Mette Rohde (Martin Rohde’s wife)

Recurring Cast

  • Emil Birk Hartmann – August Rohde (Martin Rohde’s son)
  • Rafael Pettersson – John Lundqvist (IT-expert for Malmö police)
  • Dietrich Hollinderbäumer – Goran Söringer (property developer)
  • Ellen Hillingsø – Charlotte Söringer (Goran Söringer’s wife)
  • Maria Sundbom – Sonja Lindberg (Stefan Lindberg’s sister)

“Foreign” Remakes
If imitation is the best form of flattery then Bron should consider itself firmly flattered. To date, two takeoff series have aired “abroad”.

The Bridge (2013 American TV series)
bron-48“In late July 2012, US network FX ordered a pilot episode to be made of the series for an American audience. It is set in the US and Mexico, between El Paso and Juarez, and the discovery of a body on the border of the two countries sets the story in motion. The series stars Diane Kruger as U.S. Detective Sonya Cross, Demián Bichir as Mexican Detective Marco Ruiz, Annabeth Gish, Thomas M. Wright and Ted Levine. The 13 episode series premiered on 10 July 2013. FX renewed the American version of The Bridge for a 13-episode second season to air in 2014.”

I viewed this series before discovering Bron and was originally drawn to it because of Diane Kruger. I found her performance rudimentary at best and the story was slow, disjointed and left a lot to be desired. It is by far the least entertaining of the three adaptions.

The Tunnel (2013 British/French TV series)
bron-49“In January 2013, sister production companies Kudos and Shine France announced a joint Franco-British production called “The Tunnel”. The program’s premise concerns the murder of a French politician in the middle of the Channel Tunnel between France and Great Britain. The series stars Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy as British and French police detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wasserman, respectively. It began airing in October 2013, on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Canal+ in France.”

The Tunnel followed the original Bron script more closely than did the American version. The performances by the leads were much more interesting and the series somewhat more entertaining. That being said, this adaption also turned out to be only fractionally as good as the original (although superior to the American version).

Bron | Broen via IMDB, Wiki & DR (Official Site)

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