Last updated 5 August 2022 with the latest coverage.
Borgen series 4, also known as Borgen – Power and Glory, is now available worldwide on Netflix. This blog lists all the coverage we have been able to find. The most recent entries are at the top. The rest of our comprehensive Borgen content can be found here.
5 August 2022
Right. We’re pausing the pause (after *one* day!) because the New Yorker has brought out an excellent review by Kylie Warner. I think Warner is right about the odd journey that Birgitte’s idealism has been on of late. She’s also right about the awkwardness of Birgitte’s decision that she’d like to bestow herself on Brussels. And – hot on the heels of The Borgen Podcast considering LGBTQIA+ themes – it’s good to see a review that points out (albeit almost in passing) that Borgen has never been very convincing on racial dynamics. So here’s the link and see you later.
4 August 2022
Good evening. It’s just over two months since Borgen: Power and Glory dropped onto non-Scandinavian Netflix. Doesn’t it feel different from how we experienced series 1-3? In Denmark, 750,000 people still watched the programme within seven days of one another. There was ample opportunity for discussion about what would happen between one episode and another. Those of us in the rest of the world have had the freedom to watch at our own convenience, but something else has been lost. Scheduled broadcasting has its own rhythms: the build up in the cultural media, reviews and interviews, live blogs and the like. When series 3 was shown on the BBC, show runner Adam Price was everywhere – or at least radio and TV talk shows and, it seemed, every week in the Guardian. Sidse, Birgitte and Pilou were everywhere too. This time round, not so much. And everyone consumes at a different pace. Twitter is full of the joy of people coming across the show for the first time. But there is a severe shortage of long-form discussion about the show.
It seems that there are two reasons for this. First, the way in which we discuss television has changed. The recap has to an extent been replaced, because if you’re bingeing then you’ve got only four seconds to stop and review the episode you’ve just seen before going again. Second, Netflix’s PR machine doesn’t pump out a steady stream of new content because people come across the show whenever they come across the show. It’s not like the old days, when the BBC needed to tell you about a programme before it aired because otherwise you’d missed it, or when Arrow TV needed you to be excited about Nordic Noir or they wouldn’t shift their DVD copies. Yes, Radio Times still tells you should watch Borgen (I haven’t linked to it as it doesn’t say anything new) and there are individual journalists who will revisit the show, but for now the most consistent sources in which to find new material have been here and The Borgen Podcast.
Speaking of The Borgen Podcast they have a new bonus episode out on Troels Höxenhaven. There’s been very little written or said about Borgen from an LGBTQIA+ perspective so this is a very welcome pod. I’m also a little jealous that Amy and Chantal appear to have made friends with Peter Mygind!
But it’s fair to say that the stream of exciting new commentary has dried up a bit. So – although we’ll crank back into action if something big happens, it’s time to pause this regular blog. Instead, and in due course, we’ll bring you new material: commentary and/or recaps on series 3 and 4.
First, here are the best of the links from the last couple of weeks:
We start with the Sydney Morning Herald, where Clare Boyd-Macrae points out that Birgitte’s menopause is presented in a non-stereotyped way: don’t forget her loneliness. Good point. Here’s the link.
Here are some stills from series 3, for your delight. There are other places you can get this stuff, but I just like that the choices are frankly.a little odd.
We certainly didn’t have this for series 3: some analysis of how Borgen is performing in the Colombian market.
And our final link for now is a kind of off-into-the-sunset affair, as we bring you news that Adam Price has been seen in Bergen, Norway. Apparently there’s an opera about Bergen and Oslo in the works. All that wishful thinking about a series 5/series 2 had better be put on hold.
That is all for the time being. We’ll have plenty more on series 3 and 4 in due course. First on the list will be a piece making the case for Philip who has been taking a kicking on social media recently. UPDATE: it’s here. In the meantime, don’t forget all our other coverage. Tak!
19 July 2022
Good evening. We’ve got a varied selection of links for you tonight – some of our writers have been musing about series 4 and drawing conclusions, while others are using Borgen to make links to other things that they want to talk about. Plus: some fluff.
The oil and climate crisis (here in the UK it’s the hottest day since records began) mean that the subject matter of Borgen lends itself happily to real political issues. Here’s a report from Canada. And here’s one linking Borgen to the fuel debate raging within the European Union, including a Europe: Power or Glory simulated screenshot.
Here’s a not-too-well translated-from-French review, and its French original. Here at Cafethinking, we’re big fans of Slate, but this French article doesn’t seem to appear on the US site. Instead, we’re directed to the transcript of this week’s Political Gabfest where we find that David Plotz (or, as the transcript describes him, David David, David Plotz) is watching the original series of Borgen. Which is, obviously, great news, though I have listened to the Gabfest since it started (15 years ago?), and I’m sure that the others have watched it already. Does it matter which public figures have watched it and which haven’t? Well, yes, according to this article: Over in Switzerland, all the politicos are watching our favourite Danes. (Here’s the original, in German).
I’m slightly surprised that it’s taken a while for the antics of the US Supreme Court to have a Birgitte-related article. Here’s one from Salon, which, by the way, references – and disagrees with – the Vox article mentioned above, and compares the way in which we see Birgitte with the way in which Amy Coney Barrett operates.
That’s all for now. Til next time, as ever, do check out all the Borgen material on this site. There’s loads.
30 June 2022
A couple of quick new links.
This month, 45% of visitors to this blog have been from the US and 7% from each of Canada and Australia, with just 22% from here in the UK. (Welcome to you all, wherever you’re from.) So I feel I should explain the next link. First minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, yesterday announced a way in which a referendum on independence could be held next year. You may remember that there was a referendum about this in 2014, but since then Scotland has left the European Union despite a plurality of Scots wishing to stay. Since a key argument for remaining in the UK in 2014 was that by staying in the UK Scotland could remain in the EU, many feel that the terms on which they voted are now void. And with ‘shapeshifting creep’ Boris Johnson still clinging on to the premiership, others think that this is a golden opportunity to ask the question of Scots once more. Sturgeon is known for being a bit of a Borgen fangirl, so this commentary by Alison Rowat in the Scottish newspaper The Herald asks a very pertinent question: will Nicola do a Birgitte? CONTAINS SERIES 4 SPOILERS.
29 June 2022
Still marshalling thoughts. But I have now rewatched all eight episodes. Some of what I thought was quite a big deal first time round feels less important. And the final half hour (which I’m blaming, probably inaccurately, on Netflix) annoys me both more and less than it did before. I think this series is better than series 3, but that may because it reverts back to a clearer story arc, such as we saw in series 1 and 2. More anon.
We’ll get to the recent coverage in short order, but first, answers to two points I’ve seen on Twitter and one I haven’t.
Argh, Borgen is dubbed, and I hate that.
Just go into your settings and change it. Here in the UK, you can listen in Danish and read along in English.
I didn’t see the original Borgen. Is it important to catch up before watching the new series?
I’d recommend it. A number of the characters are new, but many characters make more sense if you’ve watched them in the past, especially Birgitte, Katrine, Bent, Laugesen, Magnus and to a lesser extent Torben. If you can’t wait until you’ve seen all 30 episodes, then I recommend you at least watch episodes 1-3 of series 1. It will really help you. (Plus, you may think you’re having such a great time that you just carry on going…)
OK. I’m rewatching/watching for the first time the original series. Where can I read and watch more about the show?
Elsewhere on this site! We have recaps galore, a blog of series 3 coverage and other treats. And if podcasts are your thing you should check out the Borgen Podcast (on all good podcast platforms) which is relatively new and very good, and not just because they say extremely kind things about this site. They have a new episode out looking at the Marrot/Höx double bill from series 2 so go and listen.
Some of the latest coverage is translated, not very well, from other languages and then syndicated. Although I generally try, it can be hard to work out the original source. By now I am not bothering to share links to generic content. I’m assuming that you’ve seen it already and in any case there is plenty in earlier entries. This article, by Diane Carson on KDHX, does get through because she’s been to Ilulissat.
Having moaned on about translations, here’s a piece translated from the original Greek. It has some interesting perspectives and an interesting spelling of ‘vybe’. And here’s another interesting article on the same site.
Next: an interesting piece in The Conversation by the academic Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen about what’s authentic and inauthentic about Borgen’s portrayal of Danish politics.
Spoilers ahoy! in this excellent, detailed and thoughtful essay by Alberto Cox Délano.
There’s a dispute right now, here in the UK, between trade unions and various railway companies. The president of the RMT union, Mick Lynch, has assumed a kind of cult status: he’s made mincemeat of some of the more arrogant TV presenters who assumed that a working-class trade unionist would be fodder for some pretty appalling questions. The excellent Dorset Eye provide some links and we get to share their piece with you as there’s a 30 second clip from series 3 of Borgen to show what’s really going on.
Just in case we’re guilty of romanticising Scandinavia, here comes The Guardian with an article by Hettie O’Brien about what happens when a left of centre government continues with anti-immigrant policies. (A bit like the end of series 3 then).
After years of holding out, I joined Reddit to read this thread about power plays between Denmark and Greenland, and the US and Denmark.
And here’s an older but still interesting bulletin board discussion.
18 June 2022
Good afternoon. Most of the links from this blog can be read without worrying about spoilers. But I think that it’s fair to say that there has been a bit of discussion about the ending to Borgen: Power and Glory. For my money there are two issues I think I have a problem with, and I’ll write more when I’ve marshalled my thoughts. But here is a good piece in Vulture in which Kathryn VanArendonk compares the ending to the endings of previous series, how we think about our long-term relationship with Birgitte, and what that all says about the cynicism of our political discourse. Spoilers? Well that’s kind of the point.
I love that people identify themselves either as ‘superfans’ or go out of their way to say they didn’t know about series 1-3. In the latter camp is the feminist writer Rosalyn D’Mello who spends her first paragraph thus, before providing a clear-sighted discussion of power and idealism. An excellent read.
In contrast, over at Reddit, a user says that no one is a bigger fan of Borgen than they, so it’s a shame they disliked the new season. (Discussion here.)
A slightly more famous superfan, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been speaking about Borgen and other things on TV. The tweet, which includes a link, is here.
15 June 2022
Good evening. It takes quite an effort to access this piece in the Sydney Morning Herald (you have to register if you haven’t already) but it is worth the hassle. Debi Enker explores Birgitte’s…well, wretchedness.
Speaking of wretched, I share this, from Glamour, solely because it describes Birgitte as ‘unlikeable’. That’s the perspective of someone who clearly never saw series 1-3.
There’s a lot going on in this piece by Philip Golingai in the Star, a Malaysian paper. Golingai hops across the continents and comments on themes of gender and race. Borgen itself is almost incidental. Almost. Still worth a read.
And here’s a rather haphazardly translated piece from El País. (A link to the original is included on the site.) Spoiler: the reader didn’t use to like Borgen.
Walter G Moss, on the other hand, used to love Borgen. And he still does. And he really gets it. His article, in Hollywood Progressive, is a must read for a deep dive into the characters, overarching plot and its relationship with climate change reality.
That’s all for tonight. I’m seeing on Twitter that a lot of people are taking this opportunity to rewatch Borgen from the beginning so if you do, remember that there are loads of recaps and articles on this very site! And check out the Borgen Podcast too.
10 June 2022
Good evening. Three updates for you tonight but before we get to those, a reminder that Borgen is available to you in a range of languages both dubbed and subtitled. If your preference is to listen in Danish while reading English subtitles, for example, then you just need to select accordingly in Settings. Quite a few people on social media have been lamenting dubbing and you just need to fiddle about on the platform until you find your personal choice.
There’s another in the Borgen vs West Wing saga, this time by Helen Hawkins on theartsdesk. I’m with Hawkins, especially when she talks about Adam Price avoiding lecturing the audience. A few people, again on social, have protested the very idea of a climate change plot. Borgen shows both sides and doesn’t, it seems to me, pick a side other than to reflect reality. You may disagree. Let us know in the comments below.
Erin Allen reckons that Narciza is to Katrine as Katrine was to Torben, in a spoiler-unfree but interesting read on telltaletv.
Finally, Ed West has a piece on his Substack. West argues that ‘Borgen appeals to an especially insufferable section of the British middle classes, of whic I am one of the more insufferable.’ Nice. He argues that Denmark is possibly better than here, but the article peters out abruptly and there may be more for paid subscribers.
8 June 2022
Hello. We’re now seeing a rush of relatively generic reviews, maybe with a dash or so of colour. This (from Time News – not the news magazine) is a good example – we’d have been quite excited to read it a month or so ago. Further, if you’re reading a poorly-translated review it can be difficult to work out whether you’ve already shared it. Though I think I would remember having previously read, ‘the protagonist with her libido put into public affairs’, as then24 put it.
But alongside the generic, the vague and the half-hearted, we’re also getting some excellent and detailed reactions.
First up is a good intro to the series from The Daily Beast by Sophie Brookover that covers all the points from a US-centric perspective, including discussion of the relationship of series 4 to series 1-3.
Old Ain’t Dead is a website by Virginia DeBolt that reviews films and TV focused on women, and this is what they think. Interesting comments about Katrine.
Digital Mafia Talkies have a slightly oddly-translated but highly-detailed synopsis by Sushrut Gopesh. A useful summary, if you’ve already seen the show. But avoid beforehand.
Haaretz have a quite fun piece in which Adrian Hennigan compares the effects of the hiatus after series 3 to watching the 7 Up series (for non-UK readers, this is was a series that looked at the lives of a cross-section of British people. Each series was filmed seven years apart so you got a sense of their lives changing.) There’s also a glorious rant about the new Top Gun movie.
The Custard TV feature Borgen on their podcast. Eight minutes of the team discussing and disagreeing. I enjoyed it. Start at about 18:54.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon is well known as a fan of the show and of Birgitte. She discusses what they both have in common at the end of this Herald article (paywall). Spoiler: she notes they are both women in politics.
Mumsnet and Gransnet are discussing the series. Gransnet’s discussion is better.
That’s all for today.
5 June 2022
It all feels a little half hearted today. In the UK we have a saying: ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’, which Wiktionary defines as a ‘disappointing or mundane event occurring straight after an exciting, magnificent or triumphant event’. So, following yesterday’s bumper 26-link update, I have only three in today’s and they’re not exactly full of fizz.
First: the Wall Street Journal has a review (paywall), in which Birgitte is described as a ‘middle of the road feminist which you may regard as faint praise. The WSJ have the most detail on something I’d previously seen on Twitter, which is that Netflix have announced that they are halting TV production in Denmark, due to new financial regulations targeting streaming services.
In contrast to the WSJ, HeadButler can’t think of anyone better to play the prime minister than Sidse, which is nice for her and bad for Johanne Louise Schmidt who plays the prime minister, Signe Kragh. HeadButler also quote Sidse saying that Danish is an ugly language.
At least both Steve Newall and Francesca Rudkin are excited. Newall joins Rudkin’s Sunday Session show to talk about the new series. They are very positive but the segment is very short.
Never mind. There’s still plenty to read and listen to, not least on this site.
And a special thanks to the Borgen Podcast for their kind shout out. It’s great to have their fresh perspective on the programme.
4 June 2022
To binge or not to binge? I watched episodes 1-7 on Thursday and left episode 8 until Friday, which seemed like the ideal compromise. Personally, I thought most of series 4 was excellent, and will be writing more soon. If you’ve been watching it, I’d love to hear what you thought – do share your comments below.
We start today with some TV and radio.
Coverage ranges from analysis and review to useful (and not very useful) guides.
Starting with the guides, here’s a good summary from Radio Times about the main characters.
I am not sure that this is a guide, exactly, but it is a meaty article from Netflix’s own magazine, Tudum. It looks at Birgitte and Katrine and has original interview lines from both Sidse and Birgitte HS.
The Envoy Web has a very rough synopsis of the overall series and final episode. Full points for being quick off the mark…but there are important things missing.
Equally, The Cinemaholic has an analysis of the final episode that manages to be detailed and also, in my view, to miss the point of what Borgen has been all about.
And here’s a rough location guide.
Turning to the reviews, here is a MUST READ in Time.
Long term fan Stuart Jeffries has this piece in The Guardian, which has sparked some discussion on Twitter. Now there is a long discussion to be had about a relationship between Borgen and The West Wing which has waxed and waned. Back when we had just seen series 1 of Borgen, I wrote this, and my recaps of series 1 and 2 make considerable reference to West Wing parallels. Series 3 was quite Sorkinesque at times. But I think series 4 has moved away from the sprawling liberal wish fulfilment that was once Adam Price’s inspiration. More on this another time.
There’s also a reference to the West Wing in this, specifically Irish, perspective in the Irish Examiner, but also to Die Hard so we’ll let them off.
And here is a good piece in the i.
Kaitlin Thomas files an interesting report in Paste which packs heft, compares Birgitte and Katrine and concludes there’s a lot to savour…and then screeches sideways and says the new series perhaps doesn’t hit previous heights. Certainly a perspective to consider.
I am not sure whether this piece in Gettotext is syndicated from somewhere else: the article itself is a bit missable, but the many pictures of Sidse are great and by great coincidence include one of my favourites.
And this piece in National Turk references German politicians. It’s a piece full of comment and suggestion. I don’t think I agree with it all, which is always a bonus.
Borgen ‘won’t go viral on TikTok, but it’s time something didn’t’, says ReadySteadyCut. A separate article muses about a potential new series. Hey calm down already. Finally, they have a recap (with LOTS of spoilers) but only for the final episode.
A blog, The Lefsetz Letters, presents a 2,000 word post that ends with the sentence: ‘This is what I live for.’
A few pieces are behind paywalls, like this one (in English) from Le Monde. And this five star review from The Telegraph (full marks for the use of the word ‘pell-mell’). Hugo Rifkind in The Times seems impressed (but loses all available marks for the phrase ‘this most Nick Clegg of political dramas’. I mean come on Hugo), but sadly – because I often like Hugo’s satirical writing, he lands just the wrong side of snark.
The launch of series 4 has led to some retrospectives.
1 June 2022
I won’t be updating this tomorrow because I’LL BE WATCHING BORGEN! I’m getting very excited now and I hope you are too.
I’m on the Nordic Watchlist site today, nominating my favourite three episodes of series 1-3. Compare and contrast with the choices of the Borgen Podcast team yesterday. What are your top 3?
The Herald takes a Scottish slant, noting – as did The Sunday Post earlier this week that Borgen is a fave of first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
There’s a passing but fairly witty reference to Borgen in The Guardian’s Pass Notes feature, which looks at #Swedengate.
Now, one source of irritation in compiling this blog is that there is so much clickbait, duplication and poorly translated content to wade through to get to the good stuff. You have no idea what’s been screened out! But, as today has a bit of an end-of-term feel, I want to share one particular article for its sheer nonsense and chutzpah. Here’s the preview, which doesn’t fill you with confidence:
It reminds me a bit of those old Peter Simon monologues on that now defunct shopping channel. Anyhow, here’s the link, and it really is as bad as you’d think.
A couple of extra bits. If you’re rewatching Borgen don’t forget to check out my extensive recaps and commentary. Also check out the Borgen podcast.
I’ll be back in a couple of days with news about our post-launch coverage. For now, hej hej!
31 May 2022
I don’t know about you, but in 48 hours’ time I’ll have watched series 4 of Borgen (or series 1-and-only of Borgen: Power and Glory). It’s getting very exciting – and there is a lot of new coverage to immerse ourselves in.
We start with some exciting news from within the fan community. Our friends Amy and Chantal from The Borgen Podcast have switched from podding to websites and appear on Nordic Watchlist, discussing why the original show was so cutting edge and picking out important episodes. Don’t be surprised to find me agreeing or disagreeing with their choices in the very near future.
The BBC website’s got a fascinating behind-the-scenes interview with former Danish foreign minister Martin Lidegaard who worked as a consultant to the show. You’ll also hear how quiche played a key role in Borgen’s revival, and from Adam Price on why this isn’t really series 4 but something different.
France 24, RTE, thelocal.dk and probably others all carry a news piece by the AFP agency. But they all use different headlines so beware! This link is to France 24.
We invariably focus on the British and American press so since Australian journo Cat Woods reshared her op ed piece on timid TV down under and what they can learn from Nordic producers, here it is.
Speaking of American perspectives, there’s a very good piece in Vanity Fair which is great at setting the scene for the new series. If you are really spoiler-sensitive (and remember, kids, stay away from Wikipedia if you don’t want too many spoilers) you may find it spills too many beans but personally I thought it struck precisely the right balance.
30 May 2022
Three excellent and meaty pieces for you this evening.
First, The Sunday Post took a Scottish angle. UPDATED with a direct link.
And finally. The BBC could have been forgiven for being slightly unamused that a show that BBC FOUR did so much to champion has left home. Instead, Caryn James has written an outstanding piece on the Culture section of the BBC website, titled: ‘Borgen: The greatest political drama ever’.
29 May 2022
Good evening. Two updates for you today:
First, a piece in Deadline that draws heavily on yesterday‘s Times piece.
And The Sunday Times has what it calls ‘everything you need to know’ which is in no way that and just lists what Sidse, Birgitte, Søren Malling and Pilou Asbaek have done since series 3. A reminder: Pilou is not in series 4. It’s behind a paywall: if you don’t already have a subscription, don’t bother.
28 May 2022
Birgitte-mania (tempered with some worry about what the years have done to her moral compass) is back.
The Guardian were huge supporters of the original three series. Here their coverage is just a paragraph but it’s by someone who’s obviously seen the series, so I suspect it‘s just the start.
27 May 2022 (part 2)
Here’s an excellent piece in Drama Quarterly including interviews with Adam Price, Sidse Babette Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and newbie Mikkel Boe Følsgaard.
27 May 2022 (part 1)
A week to go, so there will be a flurry of articles some of which include interviews with show runner and writer Adam Price and our star Sidse Babette Knudsen.
We start with The Spectator which manages to veer between snooty and fanboyish. It’s worth a read just for the dismissal of series 3 love interest Jeremy Welsh.
A theme of the interviews is that Birgitte’s moral compass is off again (remember series 2 when she blackmailed Amir and ended up having to re-hire Sanne?). That’s the message of this piece in the New York Times.
25 May 2022
First main English language review is in. Once again it’s in the Radio Times.
23 May 2022 (part 3)
Final coverage for tonight. We start with a rather fun piece in Pajiba – check out the comments section too.
Nextflicks have a fairly generic piece but I’m sharing it because they’ve taken the time to point out that SAM Productions made The Chestnut Man which I still haven’t got round to watching.
Radio Times, through its editor Ben Preston, was a huge champion of Nordic drama during the heady days of 2010-2013. He was often to be seen interviewing actors and chairing discussions at the legendary Nordicana events. Preston has moved on, but Radio Times continues its support. Its quick guide is here – and it’s useful especially for clarifying that in the UK, Borgen drops at 8.00am GMT (so, 9.00am BST) on 2 June. That’s consistent with a different report that gives 3.01am EST as the launch time. Yay we in the UK get it a minute earlier than you in the States. 2 June is of course a bank holiday in the UK – so you can complete your binge watch before tea time.
And speaking of Nordic drama, here’s something very different from the i.
We strike a slightly gloomy note now, with a piece in the Economist (paywall). ‘Like today’s Europe,’ it argues, ‘the season has an overarching tone of pessimism.’
If series 4 is dark, that sounds like an excuse to rewatch series 1 and 2 over the next ten days…so here’s your occasional reminder that detailed episode recaps of the first two series are available here. And our friends at the Borgen Podcast have just dropped a special episode looking at the themes and arcs of series 1.
23 May 2022 (part 2)
The problem with sifting through the coverage is that so much of it is really odd. The worst is rubbish, churned out by content farms and subject to a translation app. Some articles have really obvious errors. However, here are a few articles that look like some thought went into them. They may lose a little in translation but we can manage.
Here’s one from Europe-Cities. Francis Underwood from House of Cards is translated as Francis Underland. You get the idea. It’s a bit tongue in cheek but it makes the point that although Birgitte has the same role – foreign minister – that she was about to take up when we last saw her at the end of series 3, this time she is serving under a Labour prime minister. No doubt the intervening years are explained in enough detail to make sense.
23 May 2022 (part 1)
TEN DAYS TO GO before Borgen: Power and Glory becomes available to Netflix subscribers outside Scandinavia. Suddenly there is a lot more coverage for us to share. As a result I may split today’s update into a number of segments.
But we start with a warning. If you want to avoid spoilers, steer clear of Wikipedia’s episode guide. We‘ve included below some of the mini-synopses available to TV listings and found on the DR website, but the Wikipedia episode guide contains key information about the plot that to be honest I would rather have found out when watching the show.
Next: we should finish the story of the ratings. We’ve reported below some strong Danish viewing figures for episodes 1-6 and the series as a whole finished strongly when shown on Danish terrestrial television. Nielsen report that both episodes 7 and 8 were the second most watched show in Denmark in the week they aired. Episode 7 achieved 748,000 viewers within 7 days of airing; episode 8 attracted 777,000 viewers within 7 days. These are fairly consistent figures and suggest that the audience committed to the entire series. (This bodes well for the binge I intend to have at the end of next week!)
5 May 2022
Here’s the official Netflix trailer.
It’s very different from the DR-released trailer (see entry for 27 March).
3 April 2022
Good evening. Borgen series 4 comes to an end tonight in Denmark and we begin the countdown to it appearing in other markets. The Scandinavians get it first (14 April) and the rest of the world follow on 2 June.
Episode 6 stormed to the top of the Danish TV charts. The episode, which was first aired on 20 April, was the most-watched show in Denmark for the entire week, when live and on-demand (within 7 days) viewers were counted. 741,000 viewers in all were enough to take top billing.
Here’s the synopsis for tonight’s episode: The decisive battle for the kingdom, power and honor must stand, and Birgitte Nyborg faces the biggest political challenge in her career, as she is challenged for the chairmanship of New Democrats. At the same time, Signe Kragh sends her to Greenland to sign the agreement on oil extraction. But the trip to Greenland will have a greater impact on Nyborg than anyone could have foreseen. At the same time, it is as if Katrine Fønsmark’s world is falling apart.
Giving the whole story arc over to Greenland, away from the cut and thrust of Christiansborg itself, is certainly a twist. Now the season’s over, we’ll be looking for reviews of the series as a whole, so watch this space.
27 March 2022
Viewers in Denmark got to see the penultimate episode of series 4 today. There’s a tiny, tiny snippet of it on the DR website which seems to show Michael Laugesen having a discussion with Birgitte that involves moving photographs of people around a table. Given the antagonism that Laugesen has shown towards Birgitte since he failed to become Statsminister all those years ago, I’m intrigued.
Actually, the episode 7 mini-synopsis confirms their new alliance: The unrest in New Democrats continues to rise, but Birgitte Nyborg stubbornly maintains support for the government’s policy of advocating the exploitation of Greenlandic oil. The collaboration with Michael Laugesen becomes even closer, and together they lay out tactics for how Nyborg should get its party to conform. But Nyborg is not the only one in New Democrats who plays tactically. The episode title, which is in English, is Just Make It Go Away.
Episode 5 saw an uptick in viewer figures in Denmark, with an audience of 762,000 in the seven days after broadcast, and a rise to third place overall, after Badehotellet and a special, Together for Ukraine, which was broadcast on both DR1 and TV2.
Here’s the DR trailer once again. It will be interesting to see what Netflix provide us with in due course.
17 March 2022
So here are those big dates again: 14 April 2022 for Nordic countries and 2 June 2022 for the rest of the world.
Here are the key parts of the official news release from Netflix:
Borgen – Power & Glory again follows Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), her staff and the media tasked with covering her, this time in her role as Minister for Foreign Affairs. The new season deals with some of the biggest political issues of our time; the relevance of the Danish Realm in the modern world, the superpowers’ battle for control of the Arctic – and not least, the climate crisis. The main story focuses on the struggle for power and what power does to people – both professionally and on a personal level.
Birgitte Nyborg is the newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs when a drilling company suddenly discovers oil in Greenland. An event that marks the beginning of an international struggle for power in the Arctic, and one in which Nyborg, the otherwise so experienced politician, must repeatedly accept that despite Denmark’s ‘big brother’ relationship with Greenland, when it comes to the international superpowers, it is Denmark that is the minor player – and a somewhat unruly one at that…
The new season will also follow Katrine Fønsmark’s (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) journey. After being Birgitte’s head of press for a while, she is back in journalism and has landed a job as head of the news department for a large, nationwide television station.
And the key question for series 4 is: Can you hold onto power and still stay true to yourself?
That’s very similar to series 1 and 2: Is it possible to maintain power and stay true to yourself? Series 3, in which Birgitte Nyborg was no longer in the Folketinget, asked: Can you win power and stay true to yourself? This will be reassuring to fans of previous series who may have been wondering whether there may have been a shift in emphasis given the Netflix funding.
Meanwhile, of course, viewers in Denmark are well out in front. 734,000 viewers watched episode 4 within 7 days of broadcast, which made Borgen the number 5 watched show (and the second placed drama, behind nemesis Badehotellet). Midsomer Murders clocked in at no. 13 with 416,000 viewers.
Episode 6 is broadcast on DR1 this coming Sunday and here is the synopsis: The government is celebrating its first 100 days in power, but at the same time the unrest in New Democrats is rising. The Sirius Patrol is sent off to investigate a crashed drone, and suddenly they face unknown soldiers … Asger Holm Kirkegaard and Emmy Rasmussen follow the events closely from the Arctic Command’s headquarters, and the fateful hours bring them together once again. But this time they are discovered.
15 March 2022
BREAKING: Netflix dates announced
Nordic countries: 14 April 2022
Rest of world: 2 June 2022
13 March 2022
Good evening. Sunday night is Borgen night, at least in Denmark. We still don’t have a Netflix date for the rest of the world. I’ve seen on Twitter that many of us are taking the opportunity to rewatch the show. If you’re watching series 1 or 2 I must plug my episode recaps. I’m rewatching series 3 with recaps in mind.
But you’re here for series 4 updates. Tonight’s episode in Denmark has an English title: A Near-Arctic State. Here’s the synopsis from the DR programme guide: The Chinese delegation is making plans for oil extraction directly with the Greenlanders. Birgitte Nyborg’s change of attitude has left her without quite a few political friends, and she is now also called to a meeting with the US Secretary of State, who demands that Nyborg intervene against China’s actions in Greenland. Rumors about Katrine Fønsmark’s leadership style are starting to swirl in the media, and she makes a drastic decision to stop it.
We can give you the latest audience figures (within 7 days) for episode 3. There’s a slight decline to 735,000 viewers but a clear third place behind Badehotellet and X Factor. The Borgen Special of Politiske Talkshow remained in 14th, with 328,000 viewers and Midsomer Murders as a comparator found that 400,000 viewers was enough to secure 11th. I’m wondering whether the invasion of Ukraine will start to affect figures.
If you’re on Facebook, the Lars Mikkelsen fan page is worth a look (search Lars Mikkelsen). Mikkelsen plays Søren Raven aka Mr Fønsmark. Lots of pics of Lars and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, and some links to interviews in Danish.
Until next time, hej hej but don’t miss our other Borgen coverage.
2 March 2022
Series 1-3 of Borgen have returned to BBC iPlayer. To celebrate 20 years of BBC FOUR, 20 box sets of international drama are now available once again. As well as Borgen, we’re glad to see the return of The Bridge, The Killing and Beck. But the BBC press release chooses Borgen to illustrate the piece so yay. You can find the Borgen home page here. And you have 12 months to watch and rewatch.
As for series 4, we still have no news about when it will be available on Netflix, though we’re still sticking to our prediction of April, given no fresh information.
We do however have a new article exploring the consultancy role of the former foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, in the development of series 4. There are a couple of quotes from Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, too.
We also have the latest audience figures (within 7 days) for episode 2. They are down slightly on episode 1, which is usual for a drama series, but they are still staggeringly high for a drama of this nature – in the UK only Line of Duty and Vigil came anywhere close last year. This week, Badehotellet slipped slightly to 1.24 million viewers, and Løvens Hule (Lion’s Den) on 786,000 viewers just pipped Borgen (783,000) to second. The Borgen Special of Politiske Talkshow increased its audience to 410,000 and rose to 14th, marginally behind Midsomer Murders which slipped to 13th with 418,000 viewers.
Spoiler time now, with the synopsis for episode 4 which airs in Denmark this Sunday: “The Minister does not want to comment”. In the negotiations with Greenland regarding the distribution of oil revenues, Asger Holm Kirkegaard must play Birgitte Nyborg on the field, but the negotiation meeting with Nyborg is far from going as planned. Fønsmark has found decisive evidence that Nyborg lied to the Foreign Policy Board, and is trying with all her might to hold Nyborg responsible for her breach of the Ministerial Accountability Act. In his eagerness to achieve her journalistic goal, Fønsmark creates conflicts internally on TV1.
I’m finding less ongoing news as the ‘Hey! Borgen is back!’ articles have dried up, so unless there is a breaking development – like a Netflix date – I’ll be back again on Sunday 13 March. Please do send through any good articles I may have missed. And in the meantime, as ever, do check out all my other Borgen recaps, reviews and other articles.
23 February 2022
Good evening. I have three updates for you.
First, here’s a link to the new opening credits. As in previous series, they’ve been produced by Benny Box but the style is incredibly different, and with a new string-heavy title I’m reminded a bit of Game of Thrones. Is that too obvious a reference? Benny Box say: ‘The struggle between culture and nature was something Adam Price really wanted to get through in the sequence, and we worked with both ice, torn paper and timelapse sequences from Copenhagen to create this contrast between the man-made civilization’s eternally grinding machine and the slowly dwindling nature.’ We say: ‘It’s fantastic and we can’t wait to watch the whole show.’
In Denmark, of course, we’re two episodes in and we have some audience figures. Previous series regularly achieved over 1.4 million viewers, with the final episode rocking up a huge 1.65 million. Since 2013 the rise of streaming has led to a slump in viewer figures for traditional linear TV, but Borgen has done extremely well. Episode 1 was the second most-watched show in Denmark for the entire week, with a whopping figure of 923,000 viewers within 7 days of transmission. TV2’s light historical drama Badehotellet drew 1,452,000. The Borgen Special of Politiske Talkshow we mentioned on Saturday was the 18th most watched show of the week, with 348,000. British readers may be interested to know that Midsomer Murders, which is broadcast under the name Kriminalkommissær Barnaby, came 12th, with 434,000 viewers.
We’re still only a few days since episode 2 screened, so these numbers will improve, but at the time of writing, Borgen is again in the number 2 slot. Det Politiske Talkshow – Borgen Special has already beaten last week’s audience and is up to number 11, leapfrogging poor Barnaby, who remains 12th. We’ll come back to these figures, pop pickers.
Finally, here’s the synopsis for episode 3 which will be screened this Sunday: According to her statements in the Foreign Policy Board, Birgitte Nyborg is threatened by a vote of no confidence, and when one of the North Atlantic Parliament’s mandates goes unanimous, the government’s majority begins to crumble. Nyborg now has two options: Either she must resign and stand by her ideals. Or she and thus also the government must change policy and suddenly advocate for the exploitation of oil. Moreover, she discovers that her son Magnus has suddenly become an additional political burden for her.
Seen anything Borgen-related that I haven’t featured? Let me know in the comments below or over Twitter. H/T to the Scanoir Facebook group for the opening credits. I’ll be back with more updates as I find them. In the meantime, don’t miss other Borgen coverage including detailed episode recaps of series 1 and 2.
19 February 2022
We were meant to be back yesterday but Storm Eunice had other ideas. But we once again have the power, if not the kingdom and the glory, so here’s what’s new.
The Times, aka The Times of London, has listed the eight best political TV series coming out in 2022. Borgen gets a mention, natch. Also up (in case the Times paywall thwarts you) are The Undeclared War (Channel 4), This Sceptred Isle, starring Kenneth Branagh as the shapeshifting creep (Sky), Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix, 15 April – there’s still no date for Borgen), The Crown series 5 (Netflix), The First Lady (TBC), The Diplomat by West Wing alumna Debora Cahn (Netflix) and Litvinenko (ITV).
I’m not sure that this piece from Newswep really moves us along.
Here is an excellent piece from the Copenhagen academics Anders Grønlund and Eva ‘Brits don’t do subtitles’ Redvall which gives great background to the deal between DR and Netflix and the relationship between Denmark and Greenland, and what the filming means to Greenland.
Finally and not leastly, a hat tip and thank you to C Carling for forwarding news of a regular Borgen Special segment in Det Politiske Talkshow on DR1. It’s in Danish, but non geoblocked so anyone can tune in. Thanks again.
This entry was edited on 23 February to take out references to audience figures since we report on them on the entry for that day.
16 February 2022
The majority of comments I’m seeing on social media forums in which this blog has been shared from the UK and USA are: it’s a shame Kasper isn’t in it this time (true), it’s a shame BBC FOUR won’t be showing it (true) and when will it be on Netflix. All the clues say April (it will not be before 3 April) but it isn’t showing yet on Netflix’s official site. That said, the launch dates for series 1-3 moved around a lot before the episodes were suddenly available to view.
I’ll be back with more news and/or comment on Friday.
15 February 2022
Just one new article to share today, but it’s a very good one. Sidse Babett Kundsen and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen have given an interview to the inflight/online magazine of the SAS airline. Here it is.
14 February 2022
First reviews are in.
We have only one in English so far, and to be honest it’s a bit flowery and possibly in translation.
As for the Danish press, it’s a pretty big thumbs up. Summaries in Politiken and Berlingske suggest that the consensus is that season 4 has started strongly, with praise for the Greenland plot and for Sidse Babett-Knudsen in particular. The odd one out is Politiken’s own reviewer, who gave the show 3 stars out of 6 – but their review is behind a paywall.
Finally, here is a very good article in Soundvenue, which without straying too much into spoilers, actually explains what has happened to Birgitte in the ten or years since we last saw her, and explains Katrine’s job too.
All these articles are in Danish. The one from Soundvenue probably survives the translation app the best.
For now, hej hej!
13 February 2022
Episode 1, The Future is Female, airs tonight at 8.00pm on DR1. Here once again is the mini-synopsis: Birgitte Nyborg is the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, when oil is suddenly found in Greenland. But Nyborg has gone to the polls on a green agenda, and for her there is no doubt that that the oil project must be shut down as soon as possible. Voices in Greenland – led by the Greenlandic Minister, Hans Eliassen – are, however, of a completely different opinion. And so is Nyborg’s boss, Prime Minister Signe Kragh.
For everyone outside Denmark, Greenland and the Faroes, the big question is when Borgen series 4 will drop on Netflix. The earliest possible time is 9pm CET on 3 April. An old interview with Adam Price, and a throwaway comment I found today on Instagram by an editor both say April, so that’s still our prediction, though we’ll update you when we can.
From tonight the speculation can stop (and maybe we’ll see less of that AFP article which is by now everywhere) and the appreciation and evaluation can begin. We’ll be linking to the English language reviews. There are at least 3 podcasts to enjoy: Vild Med Borgen (Crazy about the Castle) is from DR itself. The translation app doesn’t really do it justice: The castle is back, and we have rejoiced like crazy, so we throw ourselves frothily over every single section and review them with surgical precision along with wise and funny guests who make us wiser about both the castle and reality. Johannes Langkilde is the host, and there is a new section ready after each section. Next up is Bidt af Borgen (Bitten by Borgen). If I spoke Danish I’d so listen to this: How much of the Castle is fiction, and how much could easily have happened in reality? The Althing invites a number of guests in the studio to serial nerdism and to share experiences from a life in Danish top politics.
Last but not least is a new podcast which has gone back to the beginning. The Borgen Podcast looks at the whole series, starting from S1 E1, one or two episodes at a time. It’s great to support fellow fans of the series so do give them a listen.
And DR have now put up the mini-synopsis for episode 2, so here goes: Birgitte Nyborg receives crucial information about the Russian owners of the company, which drills for oil in Greenland. Asger Holm Kirkegaard, who is now on Greenlandic soil, tries to help his minister at the same time as he tries to keep Hans Eliassen in check. Nyborg is called to the Foreign Policy Board, and to help a close ally, Nyborg decides to use a daring tactic, which, however, turns out to have greater consequences than she could have ever imagined.
’Til tomorrow, tusind tak!
11 February 2022
Two stories for you this evening.
The news agency AFP have syndicated a story which is popping up across multiple outlets. It includes an interview with Henriette Marienlund, head of drama at DR. Here’s one link. Two eyebrow-raising moments: according to an academic at Copenhagen University we Brits don’t watch much subtitled drama. That might be news to BBC FOUR – which got audiences of over a million for some Borgen and The Killing episodes – and even more for The Bridge. Also: there could be a series 5, if this new season does well! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Polarjournal takes a different approach, and focuses on Greenland, which we know from the synopsis for episode 1 (see below) and trailer, is a big theme. Ever wondered how Denmark defends Greenland, and why one key player wants a new long-range submarine? Wonder no more. There are a couple of good stills from the new series one of which has a pun-tastic caption.
I won’t be updating the blog tomorrow but will be back on Sunday. But there are tens of thousands of words on Borgen elsewhere on the site should you need them.
10 February 2022
Comments below and elsewhere are expressing sadness that Pilou Asbæk won’t, as far as we know, be returning as Kasper Juul. (One site suggests otherwise but doesn’t seem very reliable.) But recent reports suggest that Pilou is getting involved with Danish politics: he’s joined the ruling Social Democratic Party. Asbæk isn’t happy with the anti-refugee stance of Mette Frederiksen’s government and has joined the party to argue the toss from within. Here’s an article about it – and another slightly more tongue-in-cheek take.
While we’re thinking about Borgen’s past, here’s an insider’s piece from Jon Sadler. Jon led the Borgen marketing for Arrow Films, who had DVD rights. He was behind the legendary Nordicana events at the height of British Scandimania. Sometimes rights holders can be quite defensive and don’t really engage with fans. Under Jon, Arrow really supported the fandom. Many of us met each other for the first time at Jon’s events, and are still in touch: a shout out to Ewa, Craig, Debbie, Jilly, Will and Paul.
Come back this time tomorrow for more updates, and check out our other Borgen coverage including detailed episode recaps of series 1 and 2.
9 February 2022
The trailer is also available through this news release uploaded by Danish broadcaster DR. The subtitle for this series, Riget, Magten og Æren is translated as ‘Kingdom, Power and Glory’.
The main DR website now has some pre-season goodies. Obviously I’ve been watching every episode again, but if you’ve just got 15 minutes, DR are providing 5 minute summaries (in Danish, without subtitles) of each series to get you up to date.
And the DR channel listing features a mini-synopsis of EPISODE 1: Birgitte Nyborg is the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, when oil is suddenly found in Greenland. But Nyborg has gone to the polls on a green agenda, and for her there is no doubt that that the oil project must be shut down as soon as possible. Voices in Greenland – led by the Greenlandic Minister, Hans Eliassen – are, however, of a completely different opinion. And so is Nyborg’s boss, Prime Minister Signe Kragh.
Series 4’s beginning to look real.
Come back this time tomorrow for more updates, and check out our other Borgen coverage including detailed episode recaps of series 1 and 2.
8 February 2022
We’ve found three interviews with Adam Price in which he sets out where series 4 is headed, and there’s plenty of colour about the impact of Borgen on Danish politics and vice versa, as well as Price’s wider interests.
First up is an interview on Times Radio’s Red Box podcast. Matt Chorley (himself a Borgen fan who has been to Copenhagen to check out the locations and rightly so) speaks to Adam Price about life imitating art, what really happens in Danish politics and what to expect in season four. There are also snippets of interviews with former Statsminister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and also Armando Iannucci – and what sounds like a slightly different theme tune. Listen here, and the Borgen section starts at 16 minutes 15 seconds.
BNR Europa is a show presented by Stefan de Vries and Geert Jan Hahn produced by BNR Nieuwsradio. It’s normally in Dutch but they’ve switched to English for this conversation with Adam Price. He talks about why Borgen took Europe by storm, why is he so fascinated by female leaders, and his thoughts on a series about Euroscepticism. Plus his restaurants, of course. Listen to it here.
Finally, the translation app has been working full time on this revealing interview in Perfil. It sounds like the series takes a darker turn. I’ll admit to having mixed feelings about this, but the show will still have to appeal to its core Sunday 8pm audience in Denmark.
Come back this time tomorrow for more updates, and check out our other Borgen coverage including detailed episode recaps of series 1 and 2.
7 February 2022
Let’s start with the basics of what we know:
Series 4 comprises 8 episodes, and stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and Søren Malling in their familiar roles as Birgitte Nyborg, Katrine Fønsmark and Torben Friis. Nyborg is now foreign minister, and will need to deal with allies and opponents on the world stage as well as within government.
Series 4 of Borgen is produced for DR by SAM Productions and is a collaboration with Netflix. Writer Adam Price remains head writer, but with new writers and a different production team.
When is Borgen going to be on Netflix?
No firm release date on Netflix has been announced, but we do know that it won’t happen until the series is aired on DR. The earliest date for international transmission is therefore 3 April.
Which characters from previous seasons will appear?
iMdb suggests that we’ll see the following characters at least once in season 4:
Laura Christiansen, Magnus Christiansen, Philip Christiansen, Pia Munk, Dan from TV1, Bent Sejrø, Michael Laugesen, Niels Erik Lund, Jon Bethelsen, Anne Sophie Lindenkrone, Søren Ravn, Nadia Barazani and Jens Enok Berthelsen.
That means no appearances, as far as we know, for:
Kasper Juul, Ulrik Mørch, Hanne Holm, Simon Bech, Lars Hesselboe, H C Thorsen, Svend Åge Saltum, Pernille Madsen, Yvonne Kjær, Amir Diwan, Jacob Kruse and Jeremy Welsh.
Birgitte, Katrine and Torben will appear in every episode. Actors playing new characters that we can expect to see at least 6 times include:
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard – seen recently in The Chestnut Man
Peter Andersen – previously in Ride Upon the Storm and Follow the Money
Özlem Saglanmak – also from Follow the Money and series 2 of The Bridge
Nivi Pedersen – previously in Thin Ice
Youssef Wayne Hvidtfeldt – from Yes No Maybe
Fanny Bornedal – from series 4 of The Bridge
Charlotte Fich – Outlaw, series 4 of The Bridge and the film Above the Street, Below the Water
Magnus Millang – creator of Sunday and head writer of Danish Dynamite
Simon Bennebjerg – Lover and The Legacy
Kiki Godtfredsen and Svend Hardenberg (no previous credits)
Johane Louise Schmidt – previously in Snow Angels and DNA
Come back this time tomorrow for more updates. And if you are preparing for Borgen by re-watching the series (or watching it for the first time) check out my recaps of series 1 and 2.