the seminal Scandi series makes a triumphant return

It’s always a risk to get the band back together. Will things still gel? Will the fans only want the old tunes? Borgen, the groundbreaking Danish drama about coalition politics, has returned with a new title and theme tune, and the first thing to say is that ex-Statistics Minister Birgitte Nyborg, played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, is still a outstanding centrist fantasy figure is that unfolds fire, ice and a radiant smile.

The third series hovered at a satisfactory peak in 2013, with Nyborg holding the balance of power as foreign minister. in the Borrow: Power & Fame (Netflix) she’s back at the same desk just as Denmark finds itself in the eye of a massive geopolitical storm. Greenland, the old Danish colony, has discovered oil, and all the big shakers – the US, China and (boo!) Russia – are loitering like jackals.

Unlike previous incarnations (all on iPlayer), series four has an overarching storyline: how can diplomacy and decency triumph over muscular superpowers and stem the flow of fossil fuel wealth? In the parallel world of television news, ex-moderator Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjørt Sorensen) is now the boss and is overwhelmed by hideous Twitter accumulations and pushy shareholders. The bingeable narrative that twists and turns and ticks feels just right for the show’s new home on a streaming service.

While Borgen is now more down-to-earth – showrunner Adam Price even presciently conjures up a crisis in Ukraine – there’s of course a tasty side snack of wild coalition feuds. Nyborg’s brazen enemy is the younger Minister of Statistics Signe Kragh (Johanne Louise Schmidt). There is a hilarious cutaway as they face the press in identical coats after a rare moment of agreement.

The other standout newcomer is Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as Nyborg’s envoy, the splendidly named Asger Holm Kirkegaard, who meddles in Greenlandic affairs more than he should. His torrid arctic flirtation is the only romantic subplot. Birgitte is single and totally – even destructively – mono-focused on work. Her only distractions are the menopause and the eco-activism of her son Magnus (who is no longer a little blond putto).

Nothing ever quite matched the warming escapism of the first series, which went through the looking glass to uncover principled politicians wielding power. In the new Borgen and in Nyborg itself we plunge into a Mephistophelic darkness. Fingers crossed for her and the world in this gripping, muddled reboot. But hope has always been Borgen’s renewable resource.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/borgen-power-glory-review-seminal-scandi-series-makes-triumphant/ the seminal Scandi series makes a triumphant return


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