After thoroughly enjoying BBC4's Danish winter offering The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010
], I thought I'd try another Danish series. Borgen is made by the same company DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) that produced The Killing. The series comprises ten x one hour long episodes which delve into the whole world of Danish government. The series encompasses the challenges which face Denmark's first female prime minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen. Birgitte's homelife, the sacrifices made at home, her relationship with ministers in her coalition government, as well as typical defence, constitutional, financial and media scandals all intertwine to provide hours of decent drama.
Having enjoyed The Killing's depiction of Copenhagen city coalition politics, this series features politics on a national level and we see the surprise result of the election, mishaps by rival Conservative and Labour parties, the secret world of Nyborg's spin doctor in addition to the TV1 broadcaster which is always attempting to obtain political scoops.
On a par again with The Killing is the acting - superb! Sidse Babett Knudsen and Pilou Asbæk shine as PM and spin doctor Kasper Juul. Familiar faces from The Killing pop up including Søren Malling (Meyer in The Killing 1) as TV1 editor Torben Friis and briefly Bjarne Henriksen (Theis in The Killing 1) as defence minister Hans Christian Thorsen.
Well written and directed, Borgen is a treat. The Killing 2 fans will recognise Birgitte's husband Philip Christensen played by Mikael Birkkjær. Birkkjær played Ulrik Strange in The Killing - Series 2 [DVD
] in late 2011 on BBC4. Asbæk also starred in The Killing 2 as soldier David Grüner in episode 3.
Two of Denmark's finest actors pop up as Labour ministers in the series, Lars Brygmann and Peter Mygind. They fit in very well with the rest of the cast.
If you want to see even more of Mikael Birkkjær's work, have a look at this December 2011 release of the 2004 film Aftermath [DVD
] in which he plays the husband of a character played by a certain Sofie Gråbøl. Recommended!!
Also a 2005 film with Mikael in the lead role Springet
and from 2011 Værelse 304 (Room 304) Import (English subtitles)
. Worth a watch!
Fans of Sidse Babett Knudsen may like to see her first ever film which has been recently released for the very first time on DVD, Let's Get Lost
with Bjarne Henriksen and Nicolaj Kopernikus (both from The Killing 1) co-starring. You may like to take a look at three comedies featuring Sidse - Take the Trash ( Blå mænd )
featuring Troes Lyby (Let's Get Lost), Søren Malling (Meyer - The Killing / Torben Friis - Borgen) and Danish film actor Thure Lindhardt. Therapy ( Parterapi )
features Sidse with the another Danish film actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas (soon to be seen in The Killing 3) and Søren Pilmark who stars in the moving film Aftermath. The third comedy is Fukssvansen. These three films easily confirm Sidse's comedy abilities.
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Katrine) also stars in the 2011 produced Julie - en kamp om kærlighed
whilst Iben Dorner (Sanne the PM's secretary ) can be seen in Those Who Kill - Series 1 [DVD
] as a recurring character and in the thriller Kandidaten.
If you can play DVDs from USA (Region 1) with no problem, have a look at PROOF from 2004. Proof is an Irish thriller starring Sidse as an Albanian woman who has been living in Copenhagen after defecting but has now turned up in Dublin searching for her sister believed dead. Proof is excellent and is well worth a watch. The set has four 50 minute episodes with Sidse speaking in English throughout.
Borgen has gone on to win a BAFTA award for the Best International series at the 2012 awards ceremony. Borgen faced diificult competition in the category with nominations from it's DR stablemate The Killing as well as USA's Modern Family and Australia's The Slap. Well done to the Borgen team!