Borgen: The idealist politician, the ideal political drama

ImageAs BBC Four revealed its list of new and returning dramas this week, there was a sigh of relief amongst millions when the third and final series of Borgen was included.

Borgen (The Castle) is a Danish drama first broadcast in the UK in January 2012. It focuses on the tribulations of the country’s first female Prime Minister, Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) a moderate party leader who unexpectedly wins an election.

Birgitte’s ever growing tied-up hair, dubbed the ‘power bun’, became as well-known as Sarah Lund’s knitted jumpers during the shows second season. But even Sidse herself admits that it was The Killing which ‘paved the way’ for Borgen:

Britain’s increasingly keen eye for Danish dramas is unexpected. I never thought I’d enjoy a subtitled drama. However Borgen is gripping. Birgitte is an idealist, a politician trying to create a better Denmark. But she is thrown by coalition chaos, international crises and much more.

Borgen is filled with rich characters that all have backstories and storylines which make them feel real. Birgitte’s personal life falls apart and we see how ruthless politics can be.

The new BBC Four trailer shows various shots from series three, including Birgitte in a passionate embrace. But with who?

On a visit to Edinburgh just weeks ago, Sidse Babett Knudsen sat for three Q&A sessions in front of more than 800 people. It was initially planned to be one session. There was so much demand that more tickets were printed. During the first Q&A, which I attended, hundreds cheered for Sidse as she arrived. She raised both her arms in a jovial manner and laughed as the applause carried on and on.

Sidse, (pronounced like Caesar, she says) is for me, the stand out in Borgen. She makes Birgitte Nyborg a politician who is likeable. Now that doesn’t happen often…

ImageThanks to Noble PR and Nordic Noir TV for permission to use photograph/video.

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