Beyond the Bridge: Contemporary Danish Television Drama
Tobias Hochscherf, Heidi Philipsen
Hardback; £69.00; London and New York: I.B.Tauris; 288 pages; ISBN: 9781784533564
Drawing worldwide acclaim from critics and audiences alike, programmes like The Killing, Borgen, The Bridge and The Legacy demonstrate widespread fascination with Danish style, aesthetics and culture as seen through television narratives. This book uses familiar, alongside lesser known, case studies of drama series to demonstrate how the particular features of Danish production – from work cultures, to storytelling techniques and trans-national cooperation – have enhanced contemporary Danish drama’s appeal both at home and abroad. The era of globalisation has blurred national and international television cultures and promoted regular cross-fertilisation between film and television industries. Important questions have emerged from this context surrounding, for example, the ‘Americanisation’ of foreign television formats, the meaning and practice behind the term ‘quality television’, and the purpose and efficacy of public service broadcasting. Beyond the Bridge tackles these issues in relation to Danish television, by examining the so-called ‘scaffolded production processes’ behind the making of quality serials and their thought-provoking content.
Drawing on popular motifs from these celebrated dramas such as foreign politics, organised crime, global warming, and the impact of multinational corporations, this timely book provides crucial insight into the Danish dramas at the forefront of sophisticated, forward-thinking, fictional television.
About the authors:
Tobias Hochscherf is Professor of Film, Radio and Television at Kiel University of Applied Sciences and the University of Flensburg, Germany. His research interests include film and television history, televisual representations of society and politics, as well as transnational media cultures. He is Associate Editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
Heidi Philipsen is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research interests focus on the creative processes and talent development within audiovisual media. Among other publications, she has written a comprehensive study of The National Film School of Denmark: The New Wave of Danish Film – Influences and Imprints from The National Film School of Denmark.
‘In Beyond the Bridge, Hochscherf and Philipsen take us on an analytical ride into the creative context of transnational success and public service channel DR. This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand a fascinating phenomenon in international TV-drama.’
– Ib Bondebjerg, University of Copenhagen
‘Integrating analysis of internationally acclaimed programmes and their reception by audiences, as well as TV production practices, this is an illuminating exploration of contemporary Danish TV drama. It tackles the key questions in current media culture about national specificity, public value and television, professional industry training and the relationship between TV and cinema in a globalised world.’
– Jonathan Bignell, University of Reading