WHEN: 17/4/18, final series begins on BBC2 in May
‘Every Saga ends’ reads the promo line for the 4th and final series of The Bridge which airs on BBC2 in May – but it might all have finished much earlier.
- Read on for reasons including how Saga Norén was originally due to die in season 1
We’re at the BFI to see the opening episode of 8 in series 4 and we’re joined by the show’s stars Sofia Helin (who plays the iconic Saga) and Thure Lindhardt who is her police partner Henrik.
The series opens with Saga in prison awaiting the consideration of new evidence after being convicted of murdering her mother and Henrik investigating the case of a government immigration chief who has been stoned to death under the titular Malmö-Copenhagen bridge.
Helin is asked how she feels about the end of the show which has been screened in more than 100 countries and is BBC4’s most popular: ‘I’m not sad, I’m proud.
‘I’m satisfied because it’s a brilliant ending.’
She says the part has so affected her that occasionally she thinks like the cold and extremely blunt Norén who finds it difficult to empathise.
‘I’m still me but I feel I have ways of thinking that aren’t how I used to react to things. If it’s the case that you can choose actively who you are, perhaps there’s an argument for putting Trump through this therapy.’
Helin is being interviewed with show creator Hans Rosenfeldt, also behind Marcella for ITV.
She says: ‘Saga was meant to be killed after being stabbed in a very early version of episode 9 in the first series.’
Rosenfeldt explains that an executive producer made clear very early on that this was not going to happen.
Lindhardt arrived as Saga’s Danish police partner in series 3 and appreciated the time he was given by the show’s creators to find his feet.
He says: ‘I wasn’t worried. I got this script and read my character and knew immediately I wanted to play him.
‘My challenge was how to interpret this character who was so brilliantly written. Luckily no-one knew who Saga’s new partner was and I had 8 or 9 months to figure it out for myself.’
Rosenfeldt is being interviewed with lead writer Camilla Ahlgren and they joke how this 8-episode series is in fact the perfect length after three seasons of 10 each.
Rosenfeldt says: ‘We always used to run out of ideas around episode 8.’
Ahlgren adds with a smile: ‘That’s usually when the red herring comes in.’
Rosenfeldt explains: ‘We use multi-plotting which means that every story in each series revolves around the same theme and in the final season it is identity.
‘In the past we’ve always moved ideas forward in the series while leaving the final two episodes almost as a feature film. This has meant in the past that by episode 8 we’ve often run out of plot.’
The pair explain what is new about the final season and this includes shooting much of the action in Copenhagen rather than Malmö and in the country rather than the city for the first time.
Says the impish Rosenfeldt to much merriment: ‘We’re not really fans of nature or squirrels so it’s something new for us.’
Helin was persuaded to take part in the final series thanks to its theme. Turning to Rosenfeldt and Ahlgren, she says: ‘You know me. You knew I would say yes when you picked this subject.’
Both Helin and Lindhardt answer The Crown when they are asked what UK TV they enjoy. ‘But I don’t think you need a Danish king,’ quips Lindhardt.
No major spoilers in the 1st episode of season 4 which we see but the theme of identity finds clarity. What is Saga without her police job? What happens to Henrik when he comes to terms with the fact that he is a father unlikely to find his missing daughters?
Elsewhere, the titular bridge from the original 2011 series becomes to symbolise a border rather than the original gateway to freedom.
The Bridge won our 2015 Best Television monsta for series 3 and, from what we’ve seen, there appears to be no loss of quality in its finale.