What did we think of the third chapter of the scintillating Saga?
On Twitter the build-up to the UK premiere that took place on Saturday, with two back-to-back episodes of The Bridge III, is best exemplified here: “The Porsche, leather trousers, coat and no nonsense ‘tude are back. But there is one thing missing…A new Saga begins #bbc4 #TheBridge 9pm”. Even the Scandinavian Kitchen tweeted their enthusiasm: “So, anyone watching The Bridge tonight? Looking forward to it much? #bbc4#broen”.
Despite the emotional ending to the second season that left us with solemn mouths agape at the cessation of the Norén-Rohde partnership, The Bridge III began with an energy and drive we can but associate with that iconic mustard-gold Porsche. Set a year later, we are immediately thrust into a grisly murder scene that goes on to establish that a new, unknown perpetrator also has a social-political motive to his crimes. The first vicitim: Helle Anker, the pioneering mind behind the first gender-neutral pre-school in Copenhagen.
Amy Burns from The Independent praised third season opener: “From the solemn filming to the clever sound techniques, everything about this slick production was excellent.” Burns went on to commend the ensemble of characters and the intricate narrative of the show: “The characters are utterly believable and, while there were numerous plots, subplots and tangents (by the end of episode two there had been two murders, a kidnapping and several gun fights), it never strayed so far as to lose the viewer in its rabbit warren of criminals, victims and law enforcers – and those who blurred the lines between all three.”
In the new season, we find out that Hans is now in a relationship with Martin’s former boss Lillian (Sarah Boberg), having been married for three months. However the biggest changes are with Saga’s new Danish partners. First, Hanne Thomsen (played by Kirsten Olesen, who fans will recognise as Veronika Grønnegaard from The Legacy), grudgingly accepts the post in the first episode. Although, we begin to get to know the enigmatic Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt) before he becomes acquainted with Saga in the subsequent episode. His open relationship and drug dependency certainly promises a dark and intriguing new counterpart for Saga.
Nevertheless, The Radio Times TV editor Alison Graham draws attention to the contentious gap in The Bridge’s cast in the new season: “It has to be faced: The Bridge isn’t the same series without Martin. He gave Saga softness, and steered her, with his cheery common sense, through life’s emotional traffic cones. The fact that the third series is still able to captivate and thrill says much for the vision of the formidable team behind the cameras, who have decided to tell a much deeper story about Saga.”
With Martin’s presence still very much apparent in Saga’s thoughts, she is reminded regularly of his absence and her actions that remanded him in prison – with animosity from his Danish colleagues and as a way to talk and move on by speaking candidly to her boss Hans Pettersson (Dag Malmberg). In the first episode there is a touching conversation between Saga and Hans that sums up her feelings. When probed by Hans, Saga replies with a matter-of-fact sadness: “I can’t socialise with murderers.” He then asks, “Don’t you miss him?” Saga’s resolute response is “That’s irrelevant, I can’t. I’ll see him again once he’s served his time”. In 9 ¾ years, to be almost precise.
There are the signature comical moments to please us with Saga as she tries to enact the social behaviours she has learned from both Martin and Hans. These range from trying to engage in small talk with Hanne who shows a disdain for Swedish political correctness, to awkwardly asking Lillian if she wants to hug after Hans is kidnapped. In addition to the humour the impact of Saga’s mother turning up with news of her father dying offers very intense moments. Not only does this cause Saga to behave erratically, she is confronted with the possibility that her sister’s death may not have been due to her parent’s abuse of Munchausen by Proxy.
With more crime and drama to enjoy on our screens, read the reviews so far below:
“Greatest Saga in Swedish history. Scandinavia’s coolest cop is back with a new partner.” – Euan Ferguson, The Observer
“Brace yourself for another gripping double-bill as the Scandi-noir drama gathers pace… there is another discovery nearby – of a very gruesome kind.” – Mail on Sunday ⋆⋆⋆⋆
“We’re awash with Scandi crime dramas these days but few can match this series, a masterclass in tone, plot and characterization.” – The Times
“One of the very best Scandi-noirs returns for a new third series with Sofia Helin on deft form as the outwardly logical Swedish detective, Saga Norén. Welcome back, Saga – you’ve been missed. The Bridge is the brilliant crime drama set in the shadow of the Øresund Bridge which links Sweden and Denmark. Sofia Helin is magnificent as detective Saga Norén.”” – The Daily Mail ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
“The Killing grabbed us first, but The Bridge grabbed us tightest – it’s our most-watched Scandi-drama, and that accolade is well deserved.” – Alex Hardy, The Times (Pick of the Week)
“Welcome back, Saga.” – The Financial Times ⋆⋆⋆⋆
“Excellent.” – The Guardian
From our interview with series director Henrik Georgsson, the latest season’s direction seems to be travelling at a positive momentum: “This season will be very emotional. Not just for Saga but for Henrik as well. I think it’s the strongest season of the three in that sense. The series has a very strong crime plot as well as very strong leading actor with emotions too. It will be very interesting to see how the UK audience responds to The Bridge III.”
As well as BBC One’s Sunday Morning Live host Sian Williams presented a succinct vote of thanks: “The Bridge. BBC4. Tak”, let’s take a look at the audience’s responses following the first two episodes of The Bridge III on BBCFour:
The Bridge did not disappoint #BBC4
Saga’s back! ‘The Bridge‘ 3 has started, my favourite crime series is on BBC4 and I’m already hooked. What a great character she is.
THE BRIDGE III is what the Autumn is all about. #BBC4
The Bridge III continues on Saturday 28th November from 9pm with another thrilling episode double-bill on BBCFour.