The Bridge series four opens on BBC2 with our heroine Saga Noren (Sofia Helin) languishing in prison.
If you recall, the pole star of the Scandi Noir drama was arrested at the end of series three on suspicion of killing her own mother. Of course, her vindictive Ma set the detective up – but as the action starts, Saga has been convicted and is awaiting an appeal.
All of which means that, until the Swedish legal system gets its act together, her regular sidekick Henrik (Thure Lindhart) has a new partner – one who is very different from the great Saga. But Jonas Mandrup (played by Mikael Birkkjær) does share one key trait with his predecessor: he really doesn’t care what he says.
But while for Saga, her inability to moderate her verbal infelicities is borne of her Asperger-type condition (an affliction which has so far never been formally diagnosed in the show), Jonas, well, just likes shooting his mouth off.
When the murder investigation turns its attention a man who is gay, Jonas keeps getting everyone’s backs up by talking about the “homo”. And of course, it doesn’t stop there.
But writer Hans Rosenfeld doesn’t want us to dislike Jonas.
As Rosenfeldt tells RadioTimes.com: “Since Saga’s in jail and Henrik is still working, we needed someone working next to him because it’s good to have someone next to him, someone to talk to.
“We thought, ‘What haven’t we shown? What haven’t we brought into the mix?’ Because he’s going to stay around for a while. And I thought, we haven’t had this politically incorrect, but likable character around. He’s not an evil person. He’s actually quite fun, you can enjoy being irritated by him. He says things in a way that says, ‘Don’t take things too seriously’. He has quite a lot to do in series four.”
Birkkjær is a 59-year-old Danish actor who’s no stranger to Scandi drama. He’s perhaps best known for playing Phillip Christensen in the hit TV show Borgen. He also played inspector Ulrik Strange in the 2009 TV series Forbrydelsen (The Killing).