Borgen (S1 to 3): Refreshing Political Drama From Denmark

The Borgen series is a refreshing political drama from Denmark. Its Danish title “Borgen” means “The Castle” or “The Fortress”. It is also a nickname for Christianborg, a former royal palace and present-day Parliament.

The fact is that all three branches of the Danish government reside at Christianborg, viz., the Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court in Denmark. Thus, it is really the power centre of Denmark.

Focus:- Nordic/Scandi/Scandinavian – Noir

Before we delve any further into the details of this series, allow me to explain the Nordic Noir briefly.

Well according to the Nordics: “The Nordic Noir is most often considered a specific genre of TV series. However, it also includes literature, film productions, and video games. Besides, it has even been extended to style, design, and music. Its key elements include a murky atmosphere, dark narratives, and flawed protagonists. Its popularity may lie in the fact that it usually undercuts the dominant narrative of the Nordics as thriving states with happy people and successful economies, but there is a dark underbelly here, too.”

The Nordic Noir genre is also known as Scandinavian Noir or Scandi Noir, as it is set in the Nordic or Scandinavian countries of Europe. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland Islands are part of the Nordic Region.

This Nordic Noir drama series was created by the producers – the “Danish public broadcaster (DR)” of the critically acclaimed crime drama “The Killing” series, which has been reviewed recently in Focus Magazine.

Now, let us talk about this political show.

Borgen (S1, 2 & 3) Series:- details

CreatorAdam Price
Seasons** &
Ten (10) episodes in Season 1 (2010),
Ten (10) episodes in Season 2 (2011), &
Ten (10) episodes in Season 3 (2013).
Thirty (30) episodes in total in three (3) seasons.
CastSidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Søren Malling, Pilou Asbæk, etc.
AwardsPrix Italia – 2010 Winner Prix Italia – TV Drama – Series and Serials

Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels 2011 – Best TV Series/ Serials
Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels 2011 – TV Series and Serials: Best Music.

Monte-Carlo TV Festival – 2011 Winner Golden Nymph – Outstanding Actress – Drama Series – Sidse Babett Knudsen

BAFTA Awards – 2012 Winner BAFTA TV Award – Best International

Monte Carlo TV Festival – 2013 Winner Golden Nymph – Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – won by Sidse Babett Knudsen
Monte Carlo TV Festival – 2013 Winner – Best European Drama TV Series & Best International Drama TV Series

British Academy Television Awards (2012 and 2014) – it won the International Prize

Peabody Awards – 2014 Winner Peabody Award

Danish Film Awards (Robert) – 2014 Winner Robert – Best Supporting Actor – TV Series (Årets mandlige birolle – tv-serie) – Christian Tafdrup

Danish Film Awards (Robert) – 2014 Winner Robert – Best Danish TV Series (Årets danske tv-serie)
About – Borgen Show.
** Please note that its fourth season was released as a separate series titled Borgen - Riget, Magten, og Æren (its international title being Borgen – Power & Glory) on Netflix in June 2022. There are Eight (8) episodes in the Season 4 (2022) show. Please note that we have yet to watch Season 4, so we shall review it at a later date and then we will write about the same. We are sharing the link to its season 4 trailer on the YouTube platform. Also, there is a huge jump in its story, as there is considerable gap of a decade between the third and the fouth season of the sais show.

Read the FM article:- Borgen – Power & Glory (2022) Series

Borgen Series:- {Spoilers Free} review

Borgen is one of the brilliant and far-sighted political dramas of recent times. Somehow, it makes you believe in the rare class of honest and idealist politicians. In our part of the world, I could never ever imagine any minister and/or a prime minister cycling to their office in my democratic country – India. In my country, politics is all about power. Besides it is always pomp and grandeur associated with the modern-day Maharaja, aka, the elected minister/prime minister of the democratic nation.

So, this excellent Danish political series is like a breadth of fresh air, with its believable and courageous political leaders (esp. Birgitte) handling the complex burning issues confronting the common public and the members of the Fourth Estate in a mature manner. It also tackles issues of corruption, public work-personal life balance, gender issues, illegal surveillance, etc. These politicians do their administrative jobs without actually using a divide-and-rule policy.

But, then we are shown some of the other realistic elements (corruption, scandals, corporate world linkages, illegal surveillance, etc.) in Danish politics, that opens one’s eyes. We must clarify that it does not paint the real world of politics (business, media, spin doctors, legal, bureaucracy, etc.) as black and white, there are lots of grey areas too, as they pertain to realistic issues.

To be honest, the world of politics is all about making deals and compromises. And this is what the protagonist Birgitte did when she decided to pursue political power, often sacrificing her family life.

Besides, in coalition politics of Denmark, with many political parties with different ideologies coming together to form a national government, Birgitte Nyborg was often put in difficult positions. Many a time, she had to put her own political and personal beliefs on the back burner. Then she had to compromise with her political allies as well as political detractors to keep her government going in the Danish political system.

Politics is a tough and challenging job, indeed.

Its entire ensemble cast has performed well in this show. They are led by lead actress Sidse Babett, and other key actors like Birgitte Hjort, Pilou Asbæk, Lars Mikkelsen, etc. I also liked its theme music. One must watch the first three seasons of this captivating show, to understand the uniquely charming world of Danish politics and politicians, which are so much different from the politicians that we have here in our homeland, here.

Focus:- actress Sidse Babett Knudsen

Also, in this political series, I find the absence of Machiavellian traits in the lead political character Birgitte Nyborg, amazingly played by actor Sidse Babett Knudsen, as she made me respect her role as a leading politician of a democratic nation.

I’ve made a point of not watching Sidse Babett Knudsen too closely just to make sure I’m not too influenced by her. If anything, it sometimes feels more as if life is imitating art.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt | Denmark’s real life female Prime Minister

Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen primarily acts in theatre, television, and movies. She is considered to be one of the best actresses of her generation in Denmark. Besides this series, she is known for her acts in the Westworld 2016 series, Den Eneste Ene (English title: The One and Only) 1999 Danish movie, After the Wedding (Danish: Efter brylluppet) 2006 Danish-Swedish film, Courted (French: L’Hermine) 2015 French movie, et al.

Borgen (S1/2010) Series

Borgen (S1/2010) Series:- poster

Borgen (S1/2010) Show – poster.


Borgen (S1/2010) Series:- synopsis

A shocking turn of events puts Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) in the Danish prime minister’s seat as her country’s first female leader in this landmark drama.


Borgen (S1/2010) Series:- trailer

Trailer – Borgen (S1/2010) Show | YouTube.


Borgen (S1/2010) Series:- ratings

FM’s rating4.35/5
IMDb rating as of the date7.94/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date100% Tomatometer & 98% Audience Score
Critics Consensus / Rotten TomatoesThis show refreshingly couples an empowering feminist narrative with a clear-eyed view of political machinations — culminating in a sterling standard bearer for Danish drama.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Borgen (S1/2010) Show.

Borgen (S2/2011) Series

Borgen (S2/2011) Series:- poster

Borgen (S2/2011) Show – poster.


Borgen (S2/2011) Series:- synopsis

While her personal life begins to unravel, Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) struggles to maintain power as prime minister with the help of her cynical spin doctor, Kasper Juul (Pilou Asbæk).


Borgen (S2/2011) Series:- trailer

Trailer – Borgen (S2/2011) Show | YouTube.


Borgen (S2/2011) Series:- ratings

FM’s rating4.45/5
IMDb rating as of the date8.03/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date100% Tomatometer & 98% Audience Score
Adam Sweeting / Rotten TomatoesBack amid themes of political infighting, media skulduggery and personal relationships under pressure, this show had, amid sighs of relief, come home to where it belonged.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Borgen (S2/2011) Show.

Borgen (S3/2013) Series

Borgen (S3/2013) Series:- poster

Borgen (S3/2012) Show – poster.


Borgen (S3/2013) Series:- synopsis

Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who has left politics to become a corporate board member, reenters the arena and challenges the Moderate leader for control of the party.


Borgen (S3/2013) Series:- trailer

Trailer – Borgen (S3/2012) Show | YouTube.


Borgen (S3/2013) Series:- ratings

FM’s rating4.25/5
IMDb rating as of the date7.86/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date100% Tomatometer & 97% Audience Score
Critics Consensus / Rotten TomatoesTwisty and tantalizing, its third season examines the personal toll of being a public figure with unrestrained honesty.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Borgen (S3/2012) Show.

Also, check out the FM articles on a bunch of Nordic Noir:-

The Killing: A Must-Watch Nordic Noir From Danes

The Bridge: Superb Nordic Noir From Danes/Swedes

Trapped: Cold-Blooded Nordic-Noir From Iceland

Featured & Other Images: Borgen | Youtube & IMDB.