Lucky viewers were given the chance to watch the first episode of The Bridge’s upcoming third season in full at a gala event on Monday night, but were sworn to secrecy about the plot.
Swedish broadcaster SVT revealed last month that the show, called Broen in Danish and Bron in Swedish, was set to start with a scene showing a Danish woman found dead at a dinner table surrounded by creepy mannequins. Last week, SVT released a clip of the episode’s first three minutes, but the screening was the first time that a whole episode had been made available to the media or the public.
"It was crazy good. Several times I sat in the chair and just went 'woahh'," said Paulina Nordling, a fan who won an SVT competition to attend the event.
"I like the new theme. It feels like The Bridge has done it again," she told SVT.
The viewing took place in Malmö, Sweden, one of the key locations for the show, which is filmed on both sides of the Øresund Bridge. It was held in Teknikens och sjöfartens hus, a science museum, where a new exhibition about The Bridge is about to open.
Copenhagen-born actor Kim Bodnia quit after the second season because he did not like the way his character Martin Rodhe developed. But Sofia Helin, who plays Saga Norén, the unusual autistic Swedish investigator assigned to work alongside him, will continue to play a key role.
A previously-released trailer
for season three shows Danish actor Thure Lindhardt, known for roles in Danish films like Steppeulvene
and Nordkraft as well as appearances in international hits like the Fast and Furious franchise. Lindhardt will play the character Henrik, who is featured prominently in press photos released by Danish broadcaster DR.
Alexandra Gunnarsson, another winner at the viewing, told SVT that she felt Saga remained a strong protagonist, adding that there was "a lot of tension" in the first episode. But she described it as "a pity" that the programme had lost Rodhe.
Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) revealed on Tuesday that the previewed episode also included jokes about Swedes using the gender neutral pronoun "hen" and included a comment from series creator Hans Rosenfeldt who said that "themes like gender and gay rights" would continue to crop up.
"It has become more obvious since we began writing the series in 2006 that Sweden and Denmark differ in our visions of 'poltical correctness' from the establishment. It anchors the series in the present in a way that I like," he said.
Meanwhile actress Sofia Helin told the paper that she had enjoyed "taking up more space with my character", adding that Saga "gets even more hopeless" during the third season.
It is not yet clear whether there will be any further seasons of The Bridge.
SVT has yet to commission another instalment but Hans Rosenfeldt has said he has ideas for another season and Helin told DN on Tuesday that she would consider returning if presented with a strong script.
"For me, there must be a story that has not been told about Sagas life. If that's the case then I'll do it."
The Bridge, which is jointly funded by Danish television network DR as well as SVT became a cult hit across Scandinavia four years ago and also has a strong following in the UK and Germany.