Borgen – season 4 news and updates

Borgen series 4 will come to Netflix in the UK on 2 June 2022. Just as with series 3, this blog has been bringing you as much as we can possibly find. The most recent entries are at the top.

Scene from Borgen: The Power and the Glory. Pic: Netflix

5 May 2022

Here’s the official Netflix trailer.

It’s very different from the DR-released trailer (see entry for 27 March).

You can also watch the trailer dubbed into English on the main Netflix website.

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

Good evening.

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.

Riding School, Christiansborg
The Riding School at Christiansborg

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

Good evening.

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.

Don’t miss our other Borgen coverage including detailed episode recaps of series 1 and 2.

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.

Here’s the summary in Politiken.

And here’s the one in Berlingske.

A rather fun and forthright article in Ekstra Bladet that considers, in a style that veers from bombastic to world-weary, the international Birgitte-mania of old.

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

Here’s the series 4 trailer with English subtitles. (YouTube)

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.

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