The Bridge, TV review: ' Return of the beautifully muted Scandi drama'

It’s well worth staying on the case of this beautifully muted Scandi thriller

Feeling queasy from the overindulgence of the festive season? This weekend’s viewing was a tart palate-cleanser to cut through all that saccharine.

On BBC4, a new series of Danish/Swedish crime drama The Bridge (Sat) began, just a few weeks after the British/French remake of the show, The Tunnel, wrapped up on Sky Atlantic.

More than a year had passed since the events of The Bridge’s season one finale. Martin was a changed man following the murder of his teenage son, August, at the hands of the “Truth Terrorist”, his marriage had fallen apart and his hair had turned grey overnight. Saga, on the other hand, was exactly as Spock-like as ever: still faultlessly professional, still stripping down to her bra in the office,  still puzzled by human social interaction.

When a ship veered off course and rammed into the now-familiar Oresund Bridge, Saga discovered five young people on board, drugged and chained up. She once again required the help of her Danish colleague, Detective Martin Rohde. But was the damaged and reckless Martin up to conducting a homicide investigation, so soon after tragedy? And was Saga up to providing the emotional support he needed?

Excellent characterisation has always been the bedrock of this near-perfect series, so it was a relief to see that while the leads had been allowed to evolve, the delicate balance of their good cop/mad cop routine had been retained. Meanwhile, new story threads introduced us to an intriguingly ruthless teenage girl and a lonely teenage boy, and all of it was set against the beautifully muted colour palette of Scandi suburbia. Surely beige has never been so interesting?

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