Hans Rosenfeldt – 'We didn't replace Martin with just another Martin, we replaced him with someone who was equally or even more damaged than Saga'
- Brian Donaldson
- 6 June 2018
Co-creator of Scandi noir The Bridge discusses the fourth and final series, brutal murders and writing damaged characters
'With that first scene we could never ever have stones actually hitting full in the face from the front, that's just impossible to do. So we backed off a little from it; we saw the head twist back and did a lot with music and sound effects.' TV writer and crime novelist Hans Rosenfeldt is talking about the appalling scene which opened the fourth and final series of The Bridge when the general director of Copenhagen's Migration Agency is about to meet her end through a horrendous stoning.
This jaw dropping beginning was just one of many violent moments across 38 episodes of a show which was as dark as it was compelling. 'We want something to feel brutal, but never to have a shock effect purely for its own sake,' insists Rosenfeldt, one member of a writing team for the show which he created back in 2011. 'There are a lot of scenes on paper that are really disturbing but they're not over the border of what we can do. And in editing we can choose: "do we need this or should we take it away"?'
Rosenfeldt is rightly proud of the show's success, but he never dreamed that it would take off in the way it did with viewers outside of Sweden and Denmark (each series had storylines that brought the police forces of both countries together). The three cross-border remakes with cases traversing Russia and Estonia, the US and Mexico, and the UK with France (The Tunnel) held no real appeal to him though (neither presumably will the further two versions in the pipeline for Germany-Austria and Malaysia-Singapore). 'I watched a few episodes, but couldn't really enjoy them as a TV series. I job-watched them: "oh, they kept this, they changed that; oh, that's what they did there". It didn't give me any pleasure as a viewer so I stopped.'