Of Bridges and Borders

Gillian Roberts


Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia in The Bridge


In April 2012, my partner suggested we watch the first episode of a new Scandinavian thriller beginning to air on BBC4. I’d never heard of it, but was ready to switch off from my academic work, scrambling as I was to meet a book deadline. We started watching The Bridge, and it wasn’t long before I turned to my partner and said, “Oh my god, is this is a cross-border police drama?” The aforementioned book is about representations of the Canada-US border, and the chapter I was working on at that point focuses on the Canadian cross-border police dramas Bordertown, Due South, and The Border. So much for switching off, then. Yet as we watched the first episode of The Bridge, the dead woman’s body lying in the middle of the Øresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark, we felt thrills of genre recognition: “It’s going to be two halves of two bodies,” said my partner—the crime thriller aficionado; “One half’s going to be from each country,” I said, then gleefully added, “There’s going to be jurisdiction issues!”

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