Borgen returns with dark power struggle over Arctic oil
The fourth season, “Borgen - The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory,” premieres internationally on Netflix tomorrow.
Viewers last saw former Danish prime minister Birgitte Nyborg the day after her brand-new political party scored a sensational win in elections. Ten years on, she is foreign minister in a government headed by a woman 10 years her junior.
As the season opens, Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, has just struck oil.
Local political leaders see the black gold as Greenland’s long-awaited ticket to independence, undeterred by the environmental risks posed by drilling in the Arctic’s untouched wilderness.
Yet Denmark’s government, specifically Nyborg, as foreign minister for Denmark and Greenland combined, must wrangle with China, the U.S. and Russia, who all have stakes in the lucrative discovery on the geostrategic island.
The eight episodes treat viewers to breathtaking views of Greenland’s pristine icy landscapes and a dive into Birgitte Nyborg’s darker side.
Series creator Adam Price told AFP the central plot idea came to him five years ago when he discovered there was a law that dictated that Denmark and Greenland must negotiate the division of revenue from any discovery of natural resources.
He saw an opportunity to combine the characters’ political battles with the strained relationship between Copenhagen and its former colony.
“When something is emotional and political at the same time, it’s just the perfect stuff for Borgen,” he said.
He didn’t want to pick up where season three had ended. After almost a decade, the world had changed, and his characters too.
Nyborg, now single with adult children, finds herself on unfamiliar ground and faces several setbacks in her career, despite her years of experience.
Once altruistic, she is now hardened and cynical and ends up turning her back on her ideals in order to cling to power.
According to data from ratings institute Nielsen, Borgen had on average 776,000 viewers across the eight episodes - in a country of 5.5 million - and an average share of 44.5 percent.
The show has also aired on Netflix in the other Nordic countries, where it placed in the top 10 for several consecutive weeks.