Danish TV drama will disappoint UK Prime Minister David Cameron
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- While Borgen is to receive yet another prize – this time American – the BBC acquires Ole Bornedal’s upcoming TV series, 1864
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has encouraged British pubcaster BBC to better its output of British TV programmes, rather than rely on buying in imports such as The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge. “Let's try and make sure we produce the hits of the future, rather than having to brush up on our Danish and read the subtitles," he said. Meanwhile, the BBC is programming its next purchase from Denmark, Danish director Ole Bornedal’s upcoming TV series, 1864.
A recent success on British television, Borgen, which has already won the Golden Nymph at Monte-Carlo, the Prix Italia, the UK’s BAFTA Award and – most recently – this year’s Danish Film Academy’s Robert for Best Danish Television Series, will receive the American Peabody Award at a gala at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on 19 May. The prize is the world’s oldest in electronic media.
“Borgen is a Danish term for ‘government’, and this realistic, richly nuanced dramatic series is peerless in its depiction of how the machinery works. It’s also a rumination on power, ambition, integrity, love and deal-making, with one of the most intriguing female protagonists in all the TV world,” said the jury.
Another Danish-Swedish thriller series, The Bridge – which opened on BBC4 to become the channel’s highest-rated episode – has been remade in the US by FX Productions-Shine America; the collaboration between not Danish-Swedish, but American-Mexican police on the case of a murder on the border bridge will also be awarded a Peabody.
“A crime drama set in motion by a murder victim left literally on the border of West Texas and Northern Mexico, its rare, non-stereotypical depiction of two cultures rubbing against and informing each other is as fascinating as the mystery,” explained the jury.
Bornedal’s eight-part series, 1864, which will be ready in the autumn, is set against the backdrop of the Danish-German War of 1864, when the Prussian and Austrian armies massacred Danish troops at the Battle of Dybbøl on 18 April. When the father of two brothers, Laust and Peter, dies after being shot by the Germans, they volunteer for the army.