The 12 best Scandi drama treats to come

The Bridge is back... so what other eerie offerings are there to get excited about?

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As a new series of Scandi hit The Bridge begins, here are 12 more Scandi offerings coming your way…

1. FOLLOW THE MONEY

BBC, EARLY 2016

Borgen introduced us to Danish politics, but taught us new things about the business of government. This series aims to do the same for high finance. The original title Bedraget translates as “Deceived”: this is a tale of speculators, swindlers and criminals, and the fraud squad detectives with the hopeless task of bringing them down.

The head writer is Borgen co-creator Jeppe Gjervig Gram: “Like most people I was taken aback by the scale of the [2008] financial crisis,” he tells RT, “but what was most shocking was how little I knew about the mechanics of the global financial system. Borgen was the result of a feeling that politics was too important a subject to shy away from, even though it had been perceived as ‘boring’. In the wake of the crisis, the world of money was the perfect new challenge.” 

2. DEUTSCHLAND 83

WALTER PRESENTS, JANUARY

Channel 4’s new online foreign drama hub, Walter Presents, launches in the new year and will show series from across the world on a (free) streaming/download service. Potentially its most impressive acquisition is this eight-part northern-European noir spy thriller set in the 1980s, in which a young Stasi operative is sent under cover to West Germany. 

3. A WAR

IN CINEMAS, JANUARY

Pilou Asbaek (below right), of Borgen, 1864 and (soon) Game of Thrones fame, takes the lead in an intense new movie directed by former Borgen writer Tobias Lindholm. Asbaek is the leader of a Danish troop of soldiers in Afghanistan. At first we cut between the horror of battle and the troubles of the family in Denmark; then a major incident leads to accusations of a war crime and a
courtroom drama. 

4. BLUE EYES.

 WALTER PRESENTS, EARLY 2016

Borgen meets The Bridge! This thriller begins near the climax of a general election campaign in Sweden, but regular campaigning isn’t enough for some political groups: the justice minister goes missing and a right-wing candidate is killed. The head of drama at Swedish broadcaster SVT says it’s “similar to House of Cards… but more violent”. 

5. TRAPPED

BBC4, 2016

At a port in Iceland, a ferry arrives from Denmark with 300 passengers on board. A snowstorm engulfs the town, preventing the ferry from leaving and blocking the roads in and out. Then a body washes ashore – which means the trapped passengers and town’s residents have a killer in their midst… 

6. FINLANDIA

RADIO 3, DECEMBER

Radio gets in on the act, with Tim Pigott-Smith playing Finnish national hero Jean Sibelius. Pivoting around the composer’s decision in 1945 to burn his eighth symphony, to the horror his wife Aino (Barbara Flynn), the drama explores the psyche of Sibelius and the country that entwined its identity with his. Also in December, Radio 3 has Nordic Nights, three new dramas by writers from Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. 

7. HEARTLESS

WALTER PRESENTS, EARLY 2016

For a change, this Scandi series is aimed at a young-adult audience. It’s a supernatural drama set in a Danish boarding school, following twin vampires who are desperate to lift an ancient family curse. 

8. FORTITUDE

SKY ATLANTIC, 2016

The Sky crime drama’s first season starred Sofie Grabol (The Killing) and brought us deeply weird shocks in the Arctic Circle. There’s more icy eeriness next year. 

9. THE TUNNEL 

SKY ATLANTIC, 2016 

Sky’s remake of The Bridge, relocating it to the Channel Tunnel, was well made but slightly pointless if you’d seen the original – a problem solved, perhaps, by the fresh story to be told in the second season. Cops Stephen Dillane (British) and Clemence Poésy (French) investigate when an airliner crashes into the English Channel. 

10. BECK

BBC4 SPRING/ SUMMER 2016

The crime drama, based on Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s books, is back next year with
a fresh batch of cases. 

11. HINTERLAND

BBC4, 2016 

A new series is coming of the bilingual sleuther with a hint of Scandi chill. Richard Harrington is a brooding Ceredigion detective. 

12. THE LEGACY

SKY ARTS, 2016 

Perhaps the subtlest Danish drama of all, this saga about an extended family squabbling over a will sounds abjectly dull… until you see it, and you instantly become pleasantly tangled in a web of grudges and secrets. The Danes are making season three as we speak. 

The Bridge begins on Saturday 21st November at 9pm on BBC4

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