Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Bridge/Bron/Broen III

Hollow talking and hollow girl
Force it up from the root of pain
Never said it was good, never said it was near
Shadow rises and you are here
And then you cut
You cut it out
And everything
Goes back to the beginning

I remember visiting a family in Denmark in 1990 who over dinner told me of the plan to build a bridge between Copenhagen and Sweden. This completely blew me away. Build a bridge over the sea? Really? It seemed preposterous. Unbelievable. Remember that this was a time before the Channel Tunnel opened. Plus my geography was more than a little skewed and I had no idea just quite how near the south of Sweden was to the Danish capital. I imagined gigantic suspension arches strung sky high across hundreds of miles of ocean waves, with a road flailing to and fro in the air between them. Which wasn't quite what they had in mind. Obviously.

The double-decker High Level bridge across the River Tyne
is in the background
Nonetheless, the Oresund Bridge, which was finished about ten years later, is an undeniably impressive structure. It's double decker for starters - top deck for cars, bottom for trains. (Though Robert Stephenson did this first in Newcastle in 1847, with the trains on top.) And it does have a couple of very tall suspension towers, even if they aren't quite on the scale I imagined. But it doesn't actually go all the way across the strait - only as far as a manmade island in the middle, then it plunges into the water to become a tunnel, which looks more than a little freakish when viewed from the air. This is presumably to prevent planes landing or taking off from nearby Copenhagen Airport crashing into anything.

I have never seen The Bridge in the (concrete) flesh, only on the television series it has given its name to. And thanks to The Bridge, I am not sure I ever want to see it. Or even go near it. A lot of terrible things happen on that bridge. Boat collisions. Shootings. Corpses severed in two. A mustard coloured Porsche permanently speeding across it.

How did the Copenhagen and Malmo police cooperate before the Bridge was built? Did they row across the water to meet up? Or take a helicopter? Maybe they just phoned each other. Or perhaps they didn't need to cooperate at all, since if there was no Bridge, it probably meant that people didn't keep getting murdered on each other's soil.

But anyway, here we are again, our addiction fuelled and our Saturday nights once more lost to Saga Noren. The background's washed out to match her Porsche. There's another set of grisly, creepy murders to solve, involving mannequins, missing body parts, scarecrows, spotlights and lipstick. No sign of a Michael Gove look-a-like suspect this series yet, although there are gangsters, gamblers, vloggers, art collectors, surrogate babies and a scary stalking undertaker. And no sign of Martin either, since Saga got him sent to prison at the end of series two. I miss him, the great, flawed cuddly Danish bear that he was. His immediate replacement - a grumpy woman called Hanne who reminded me of Hanne Holm in Borgen - was quickly blown up by a caravan. The second - pill-popping insomniac Henrik - is lingering a little longer. He has a shirt that matches Saga's car. He seems to see dead people in his house, like Bruce Willis before him. He has also introduced Saga to the Copenhagen singles club scene. They wear green stickers begging FIND ME, though Saga's attempts at pick-up lines ("Do you want to have sex?") make these seem comparatively subtle.

The Little Mermaid

We are finding out more about Saga's past in this series. The mother with Munchausen By Proxy alluded to in Series 2 turns up to tell Saga her father is dying. She is armed with medical files which supposedly prove her innocent in whatever want on during Saga's childhood. But I don't really want to know. Just like I don't want to know exactly what part of the autistic spectrum Saga is meant to be on, if she is at all. I just want Saga to be Saga and do what she does best - working too hard, adhering to police protocol, making blunt remarks, finding poison in coffee cups, and unmasking killers called Gertrud. May she hold it together despite all that is being thrown at her this series (two dead parents - yes, two now, a lot can happen in the span of a single paragraph! - ill boss, crap new boss, her competence brought into question) so that long may she reign.

Dodgy summerhouse in Swedish woods,
where mosquitoes commit crimes against humanity

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