Faith and Christianity take centre stage in Ride Upon the Storm
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Presented and awarded at MipTV in Cannes, Danish screenwriter Adam Price’s new television series will reach screens in the autumn
After dealing with national politics in Borgen, which ran for three seasons from 2010-2013 on Danish pubcaster DR and won a BAFTA Television Award for Best International TV Series (as well as the Danish Film Academy’s Robert Award), Danish screenwriter Adam Price is focusing on faith and Christianity in Ride Upon the Storm (Herrens veje).
The family drama, which DR will broadcast split into ten episodes programmed during the autumn, while also preparing a second series for 2018, was presented on Sunday (2 April) along with 11 other new international series at the ongoing MipTV market in Cannes, which ends on Thursday. It received two of three prizes given out at the event, the MipDrama Screenings TV Critics Award and the Buyers’ Coup de Cœur Award.
Co-produced by France’s ARTE, StudioCanal and SAM Le Français (the French subsidiary of Danish company SAM), the series centres on a family of priests that traces its roots back more than 250 years, “exploring good and evil and the spiritual journey towards seeking greater meaning in life”. Johannes, a priest and the lead character, is like God to his two sons, forcing them to make desperate choices either to gain his love or to break free from him.
Price has created Ride Upon the Storm, as he did with Borgen (and Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s 2015 World War II series The Heavy Water War). Karina Dam and Poul Berg are the co-writers, while Kaspar Munk is the concept director of this production by Camilla Hammerich (who also produced Borgen). The cast includes Lars Mikkelsen and Ann Eleonora Jørgensen as Johannes and his wife, and Simon Sears and Morten Hee Andersen as their sons.
“It is absolutely the most difficult series I have worked on,” said Price. “Borgen was a political game with certain rules – here, faith is the motivating factor, driving the characters, separating them and changing them. We have tried to make a narrative drama that is not only ‘pure naturalism’, but which is close to a metaphysical universe where events are sometimes amazing and inexplicable.”