Sat Nov 16, 9-11pm, BBC4



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Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Series three, episodes one and two
Birgitte Nyborg is bored. Two-and-a-half years after losing the general election, she’s reluctantly trudging the public-speaking circuit as a business troubleshooter. A blossoming relationship with a British architect offers some consolation, but it’s hard to believe that the former Stätsminister will stay on the sidelines forever as her former party drifts rightwards. But how will she plan a comeback?

It’s always a risk to move the action on so drastically and, so far in this final series of ‘Borgen’ (opening, as always, with a double bill), it’s proving a mixed success. News anchor Katrine’s travails as a single mum aren’t depicted with any particular subtlety, while Birgitte’s former spin doctor Kasper has been reduced to a walk-on role as a political analyst for Katrine’s station (which itself is under threat from new management, led by the kind of dubious hipster who wears a scarf indoors). Nor will the big reveals at the end of either episode come as much of a surprise.

The performances, however, continue to compel (particularly the wonderful Sidse Babett Knudsen) and the arcane manoeuvrings of state and media are as intriguing as always. Even if there’s a real danger of ‘Borgen’ slipping into the beautifully tailored but dramatically neutered liberal wish-fulfillment of late-era ‘West Wing’, it’s richly entertaining and irresistibly fast-paced. It still gets our vote.

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