The Bridge (Bron – Broen)Season 3 Episodes 1 and 2

The Bridge (Bron) –Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2

It’s back!!!  It’s back!!! But Martin isn’t in it!!!


It’s hard to remember what happened in season 2.  It ended on our screens in the UK in February last year.  Here we are towards the end of November the following year and at last it has returned.

Can you remember what happened last time out?  My blogs of last season’s episodes can also be found on this site. (ahem).  At the climax Jens, who had killed Martin’s son at the end of season 1 died in prison and Saga realised that Martin had poisoned him. The series ends with Martin being taken away by the police.

As I think we all know, Martin won’t be featuring in this series. What made the previous ones so great was the relationship between him and Saga. Will it still work? We are about to find out.

I’d forgotten once again about Scandi drama’s propensity to throw loads of characters at us right from the start, so apologies if I get some names wrong. Watching, reading subtitles and taking notes isn’t the easiest thing in the world as it is.

The first shot we see of the new series is once again the beautiful Oresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. This time in the dark and illuminated. It’s a welcoming site to a familiar favourite TV programme.


We see what appears to be a building site, which two men are arriving at. They discover a table set for a meal with what looks like a family sitting round it. A mother, father and two kids. As they approach we see that it is dummies sitting round the table with lipstick smeared across their mouths and eyes. But when they see the mother figure, it is a real woman who is clearly dead.

Saga rings her boss, Hans who is in the midst of having sex with his now wife, Lillian, who had been Martin’s boss in the Danish police. They let it ring and Saga leaves a message saying that their arrangement was that she could phone him after 7am. When he arrives at the station, Saga asks where he was. When he asks for two minutes, she says “What for?” Good old Saga.

The body of the woman is identified as Danish citizen Helle Anker, who had had her heart removed. The nationality meaning that Saga will need to work with a Danish colleague on the case. The lucky lady is Hanne Thomson, who isn’t keen on working with Saga. The woman who put Martin in jail and someone she thinks is not suitable to be in the police. She has a point, but we don’t like you either.

Helle had been heavily involved with the LGBT agenda and Saga and Hanne go to interview her wife Natalie, who advises them that she had received a number of threats because of her views.

We are introduced to Lise Friis Anderson whose daughter is being bullied at school. She is unhappy with how the school is dealing with this and is teaching her daughter how to punch.


Henrik Sabroe is saying goodbye to his wife as he heads off to what it turns out is a singles club night at a museum. He seems to take drugs in his car as he leaves. He meets a woman there and goes back to her flat. He gets home and tells his wife about the experience. Very odd.

Hanne and Saga go to visit Morten Anker, the son of the dead woman from a previous marriage. They tell him that his mother has been killed to which he replies “ok thanks”. He can’t remember when he last saw her. Morten had been serving in Afghanistan and is suffering from PTSD.


Rikkard is a cleaner who has Lise’s house as one of his jobs. He has stolen a necklace from Lise’s house which she had been looking for and we see him putting it on his flat, which contains a snake and a tarantula. Nice. He later puts the necklace back on her pillow.

The police think they have found the site where Helle was killed. It’s in the back of a container at Anderson Transport and Logistics. CEO of the company Lars Anderson explains that they were loading the container and found blood in it. (That’s not Lars! That’s Kristian Kamper, the Prime Minister in Season 3 of The Killing!). He asks Saga if they could hurry up as they are holding up operations. “No.” replies our heroine.

Aleks has been released from prison and as he heads to a flat, he sees people he thinks are looking for him and legs it. We next see him digging up a patch of ground looking for money that he seems to have buried there. It’s gone. He visits a house where he is asking the man there if he knows where it is. He claims not to. Next, Aleks climbs up the outside of the flats he was first at and goes onto the balcony of what is the flat his wife and family live at. He tells her the money is gone and that he is going to run, but has an idea how to get money.

Hanne phones Saga to tell her that she has asked to be reassigned. Saga says it has not gone through yet so she will meet her at Morten’s trailer, which they have a search warrant for. There is no answer and it is locked, but they decide to enter anyway and Hanne manages to get the door open. As Saga looks about she suddenly shouts “Wait!” but it’s too late and a bomb goes off as Hanne enters. Saga phones for an ambulance as Hanne lies on the ground with part of her leg blown off.

Saga is sent home and as she arrives there, her estranged mother is outside her flat. Her mother says that “Daddy is dying” and Saga runs up to her flat and locks the door.


Henrik goes to Lillian, the Danish police boss and asks if he can be put on the Anker case. Hang on. This bloke is a policeman!! So a man who seems to be taking drugs, has an extremely questionable relationship with his wife and appears to be delusional (see issues below) is to be the steadying influence on Saga. Ideal.

Lise is appearing on TV discussing a blog that she does, where she puts up videos of her discussing issues, which included talking about how the dead woman’s views were all wrong and that gay people should not be allowed to marry in church. She also names one priest in particular who was the first to allow gay marriages in his church. She seems to have extremely right wing views and could be described as an attractive Danish version of Katie Hopkins.

As Henrik meets Saga for the first time and says what a beautiful car she has, Saga replies “Everyone says that. You’re not allowed to drive it.”


Morten is having serious issues. After holding a knife to a woman’s throat, he goes to the doctor and is shouting that he needs his anti-depressants and anxiety medications. He is constantly saying “I didn’t touch her” in relation to his mother. As he leaves the doctor’s, Henrik and Saga turn up, but he manages to escape through a window.

The priest that Lise had been talking about is found strangled with the same lipstick marks on his face tied up on a swing. The priest’s wife informs the police that he had received threats and talks about Lise’s blogs.

The man who Aleks had went to visit phones him and says they should meet. When Aleks arrives, he sees that men are there to kill him and manages to escape on his strategically placed motorbike as he is being shot at.

Saga and Henrik visit Lise who tells them she is not doing anything illegal and is very dismissive of them. We later discover that she is married to Lars, the Prime Minister, I mean the CEO of the company where the first body was murdered.

Saga goes to visit the forensic lab. She is told that there were no parts missing from the priest’s body. She has also given papers her mother gave her about her sister to the forensic doctor. He claims that there is nothing to suggest that Munchausen by proxy syndrome was evident. His professional opinion is that it could have been, but he says he believes in evidence.


As Hans leaves the office, we see a gun being pointed at his face in the car park. Then him being hit across the head with said gun. Since Hans didn’t turn up for dinner, Lillian phones the office and asks Saga to check his car is still there. Saga finds his phone and blood beside the car.

After checking through Hans’ emails, they find that he had been receiving threats (it seems everyone has) from Aleks that had just been released from prison. They head to his house and he tells them he had threatened him, but because he had forced him to grass on people to save his family and he knows nothing about Hans being kidnapped.

He is, of course, lying and has Hans tied up and is going to claim a ransom for him. In the meantime, he is heading off to deal with the man who led him to the trap where he was about be killed. As he prepares to shoot from outside the house, he sees Samira, his own wife kissing the man, with his own kids also there. He leaves the premises.

When Aleks sends the ransom video to the police , Henrik recognises a mark on the paper he used in the video as one that was in Aleks’ house. The police pile round to Aleks and search the premises, but don’t find Hans with Aleks ready to shoot as soon as the door is opened to the room he is in. The room must be well hidden.

The police depart and then we see someone opening the door to the room. Aleks shoots into the dark and is then shot by an unknown figure who then uses chloroform on Hans, which had been part of the murderer’s routine.

Two great episodes to start with and I’d forgotten how good Sofia Helin was as Saga. Great acting. I do miss Martin, but it’s still a lot better than anything else on TV at the moment and previous series have been up there with The Killing and Borgen as my favourite dramas from Scandinavia.

There might be potential in the Henrik and Saga double act. The bit when he told her about the women he had met and she asked if they had sex was well done. “Are you mistaking me for a female friend you had 20 years ago?” “I didn’t have any female friends 20 years ago.”

A lengthy review, but with so many new characters and plot lines to cover, I hope anyone reading can forgive me. Looking forward to next week!


  • No mention of the shadowy figure in the last scene of the last episode from Season 2?
  • Very early subtitle error with Lise at her daughter’s school saying “Done in similar things before”. Tut.
  • Heavy influence of Martin when Saga was reeling off questions to Hanne to make ‘small talk’.
  • Nice to see Saga still stripping down to her bra to change her top in the office.
  • Henrik is in the middle of Sixth Sense isn’t he? His wife is either dead or has left him or doesn’t exist.
  • Great scene where Saga’s mum turned up and she had to keep misaligning a book so she could straighten it.
  • I loved Hans saying to Saga “I know you won’t like it, but I think you need a hug”.
  • So nobody is allowed to drive Saga’s car, but it managed to move from one side of the street to the other on its own.
  • How come everyone always manages to park exactly where they want? There always seems to be a space for Saga right outside the police station.
  • Interesting to see Saga picking up a cross in the church and looking at it strangely.
  • Odd moment when homophobe Lise thinks Saga looks hot in leather trousers.
  • I hope Lise gets her comeuppance.
  • Loved Saga’s confused face when Lillian didn’t want a hug.
  • Thought Aleks would be even more likely to shoot that bloke when he saw he was with his wife.
  • That was some detective work by Henrik to recognise the paper with the coffee ring on it. Keep taking the drugs!
  • Amazing how easily the police found where Aleks was staying when there seems to be lots of people looking for him.
  • The person at the end that shot Aleks had leather on. Lise had commented on how she liked Saga’s leather trousers?
  • “I don’t like social activities” is quite a knockback when you ask someone out.“I’m not bossy, I’m efficient”. I’ll need to remember that one. And also, “Your self-image may not correspond with reality.”
  • It would be nice if Saga could get past her idea that she cannot see Martin in prison as she does not socialise with criminals, but I don’t think Martin appears at all in the series.
  • The gender neutral pronoun “hen” doesn’t work in Scotland, as this is how women are referred to by some.
  • I’m going for Aleks’ wife Samira as heavily involved.
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Bear’s Den live in Edinburgh, Queens Hall, Monday 5 October 2015


Ok, I’ll get it out of the way first. You could argue, probably quite strongly, that Bear’s Den are from the same stable as Mumford & Sons (M&S). Indeed, the West London band released their debut album a year ago on the Communion Records label. This is the label founded in 2006 by Mumford member Ben Lovett and Bear’s Den member Kevin Jones.

They have also supported M&S, were raised in the same music scene and play what could easily be described as indie folk. Banjos also feature prominently in many of their songs. There’s a big difference though (to me anyway). I like Bear’s Den. I don’t like Mumford & Sons. Bear’s Den make beautiful sweeping songs, with intricate lyrics, haunting harmonies and clever musicianship. M&S are more in your face, and they are not mine, they are your M&S. Bear’s Den wouldn’t even consider making a Christmas advert……..

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Andrew Davie, Joey Haynes on vocal/banjo and Kevin Jones vocals/drums have toured extensively since Bear’s Den formed in 2011, including in Australia and several times in the USA.

Having released several EPs since their formation, they brought out their debut album Islands in October 2014 with reworkings of some EP tracks and some new songs.

The more I’ve listened to the album, the more it has grown on me, so I’m looking forward to the gig.

In what has become rare in recent times, we arrive before the support act has even started. In what is a sold out show, we decide that upstairs we will go. I’ve not been upstairs for a long time in the Queen’s Hall, which was originally built in 1823 as Hope Park Chapel. It’s been in its current form since 1979.


Tonight’s support act is Lisa Mitchell, who was born in England, but moved with her family to Australia when she was three. At the age of 16, she appeared on Australian Idol and finished in sixth place. She has since released three EPs and two albums.

Lisa Mitchell

I’m disappointed that singer/songwriter Monty Milne isn’t supporting, because then that would have been Bear’s Den and Milne guy. (This will only make sense if you are Scottish).

Hearing Mitchell start to sing on her opening song, you quickly realise that she hasn’t got a reality TV show voice, it’s much better than that. It has a quirky sound to it, which you can hear clearly as she is on stage on her own with just a guitar (although a drum machine is used at one point). Definitely someone I’ll be trying to hear more of. There is a lot of chatting throughout her songs which seems to be a feature of gigs nowadays, and really must make it hard for someone on stage with just a guitar.

Bear’s Den take to the stage at 9pm and it’s now that we notice that there is a pretty large chunk of the stage out of our eye line. The three band members appear to be supplemented by at least two others, but it isn’t easy to see what is being played by whom. This leads to confusion on a number of occasions, when instruments are clearly audible that we can’t see, including horns, drums (when we can see the drum kit in the middle of the stage has nobody at it), backing vocals/harmonies that aren’t coming from people we can see etc. This is augmented by one occasion when there is someone playing the drums on the visible kit and there is still other drumming heard and at one point, he is hitting one of the drumsticks against his leg. I very much hope that all of the music was live, as I am sure it was, but it looked weird from where we were. This is a note for us in future to try and sit more centrally if we go upstairs again.


They open with the beautiful Elysium and there is definitely a difference in the level of chatting, although I accept that the audience came to see Bear’s Den. The applause at the end of the song certainly reflected the love for the band.

It only takes until the second song before they move from their only album release with Mother, which appeared on the Agape EP. It’s also very well received. It’s clear that this is a band at the very top of their game as they continue with three more tracks from the album, including a request for audience participation to do the clapping in Think of England, before the first new song of the evening, Red Earth and Pouring Rain. They seemed genuinely nervous about how a new song would be received, understandable I suppose since much of the album has been about for several years in one form or another and has picked up a lot of praise. They needn’t have worried – it went down well.


Another album track, Sophie is given a fresh feel with the band taking a step back from the microphones and playing an unplugged version, with horns standing behind. This worked very well and received rapturous applause, before another three tracks from the album are beautifully performed, leading to a second new track, Roses on a Breeze. Again, this goes down well with the packed venue.


Sahara (Parts I and II) from a 2013 EP is next to get an airing and then Davie tells us that the next song will be the last with no chance whatsoever of them coming back to do an encore, making it very clear that his tongue is firmly in his cheek.

The gorgeous and emotional Above the Clouds of Pompeii closes the set, which sounds great, but some of the fragility to the song seems to have gone to have it close this part of the evening, which is a shame really.

The shortest gap between main set and encore I think I have ever seen and they are back on stage, with Davie asking the crowd if it is ok if they come out and sing in the main body of the audience. This has become a trademark of the band and the three main players get right into the middle of the standing part of the audience and ask for quiet as they play an unplugged version of album closer Bad Blood. I think it’s the quietest and most respectful I have ever heard an audience at a gig and mobile phones are everywhere filming. It sounds amazing and it’s easy to spot from the balcony smiling faces everywhere (including the band members themselves)


They get back on stage for the last song of the evening, the wonderful Agape, undoubtedly my favourite banjo led song since Bell X1’s Alphabet Soup.

It’s a shame to see the concert end. This is a band who seem to be at the peak of their powers and the 75 minutes they are on stage goes very quickly. It’s also a shame that they didn’t play Stubborn Beast, but I digress.

Mumford lover or hater, you really should give these boys a listen.




Don’t Let the Sun Steal You Away


Think of England

Red Earth and Pouring Rain



The Love We Stole

When You Break

Roses On A Breeze


Above the Clouds of Pompeii


Bad Blood


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Cordon: Episodes 9 and 10

Cordon Episodes 9 & 10


The final episodes. Who lives? Who dies? Who still hasn’t got over the shower curtain scene? (Apart from me).

We continue where we left off with the door to the fire escape in the lab being smashed in. Despite my hopes to the contrary, it isn’t Jack Nicholson that comes through it, but Lars, Melissa and the men who were terrorising the outside on the bikes. Sam has a lighter and aerosol which he is using as a flame thrower to try and keep them back, but it runs out in about 10 seconds.


When they discover it is a computer lab and not one which contains the drugs they are hoping for, Lars blames Melissa and is dragging her around by the hair. Jana is trying hard to hide from the man who she stabbed in the eye with her shoe and half blinded in the other eye with the pepper spray. He soon spots her though and chases her and punches her in the face, knocking her out.

Lex goes to see Gryspeerts and asks him why he hasn’t blogged about what they found out. The journalist tells him that he is scared and there is a lot at stake. They argue, but Gryspeerts phones his contact in public health, who says that he would need to see a copy of the files before he does anything. Lex agrees that the files are sent.


Lien and Jokke are out looking for Tyl. A man tells Jokke about someone who is immune to the virus and he is drinking the urine from this person that he has bought, as it is said to have healing powers. Despite the fact it is probably reassuringly expensive, it’s unlikely to have the taste or aroma of Stella Artois.

Lex is telling Nald about what he has found out and is asking how the cordon was up so quickly and that Cannaerts and Lommers are responsible. Nald is disbelieving and asking why he would believe some old journalist who stitched him up rather than his friends and colleagues.

Jana comes round and is asking Melissa if anyone touched her. It seems they were all too drugged up to do anything. Lars and co have gone, but have left one of the men in the area outside the office before the lifts as he is infected. Melissa and Ineke have stayed. Jana is scrubbing herself down in the shower, but thankfully with no shower curtain action.

Jana and Sam have an intimate moment and kiss. She tells him that they are all going crazy and then says “Stop. Leave me alone”. She’s such a tease.


Lommers is skyping Cannaerts and telling him that questions are being asked. He has to make sure all traces have been removed and the truth is what they say it is. She will stop the questions at her end.

Lex is with the team investigating the shooting that Nald did last week and the story seems to pan out. The money that was paid by the people escaping the cordon has gone, but the investigator will follow the trail.

Lex phones Gryspeerts. He doesn’t answer. Lommers is with him.

Sam and Melissa go out of the lab to get powdered milk for Ineke’s baby and for some food. Jana tells them to ask for Jokke. One of the men at the supermarket tells Jokke there are people there to see him and when he asks who, he replies “Cinderella and Bob the Builder”. But it’s just Sam and Melissa.

Sam buys a gun from the remaining brother at the supermarket and is asked if he wants to escape the cordon. “I’ve heard that story before” he says.


The man that Lars and co left behind, Remco, manages to burst through the doors at the lab, causing untold panic, but dies before he can do too much damage.

Lex is set to meet Gryspeerts in an underground car park, where all shady dealing takes place, but Lommers turns up and asks if he is waiting for someone. She tells him that he needs to go to a psychiatrist after the shooting incident with Nald. After telling her that he is meeting one of his men, she says that “you can’t trust some people can you?” and gives him a knowing look.

Lex goes to see Gryspeerts who says that he had taken a sleeping pill and slept through their arranged meeting. Gryspeerts tells him that there isn’t anything that his contact has revealed and they may have got the dates wrong that suggested the scenarios for dealing with the cordon had been drawn up before the outbreak. Lex says the dates have been changed and attempts to upload the files from his mobile phone, but it doesn’t seem to be working. When he goes to his office to retrieve the files from his laptop, the files are remotely deleted.

Sam is speaking with Jana and Suzy back at the lab and talking about trying to escape the cordon again. Suzy, being very politically correct shouts “Are you retarded?” Ineke overhears them and says they must take her baby.

Lex blames Gryspeerts for the files being deleted and he says he didn’t do anything but they need to forget exposing anyone. It is too big and will put the whole country into chaos. Nobody will believe them.

Veerle admits to Bert that she lied and did not see Micheline. Despite his compound fracture, Bert manages to go round to their house with the aid of a crutch and he and Micheline are reunited.


Melissa is sneezing a lot in the office and claims it was the pollen when she was out getting food, but they force her into the area outside the lift.

Things continue to go wrong for Lex. He tries to phone the secure line at the NIIDA, but the codes have been changed and his name is not on the list of names to be given the new code. He goes to see the psychiatrist and asks her what they have asked her to write in her report. She asks “Do you think people are conspiring against you?” Looks like she won’t have to make anything up.

Despite Sam’s reservations, they are going to take the baby. They are at the supermarket to arrange it all and Jokke sees Jana and asks if she will take Quinten. Jana says there is no more room, but she will look after him if Jokke gets him out.

A man comes to the supermarket looking for ammunition for a gun which Lien realises is the gun Tyl had. Jokke forces him to take him and Lien to where he is. He takes them to a house then runs off. They enter the house and find lots of things that have been looted and one of the boys who was bullying Tyl is there. He is drinking urine.

Lex is asking Nald to look into what he has discovered as he needs proof and they are watching him. Nald eventually agrees.

The shooting investigator phones Lex and asks him to come to the scene of the shooting as he has found something. There is a receipt down the side of one of the seats in a car at the scene that is for blow torches. There is also a box in the car with the same equipment that is uses to lock the containers at the cordon. They use the car’s sat nav to go to its last location, which is one of the containers, stationed above an entrance to the sewers. Nald and Lex open the container and find a hole has been cut in the floor directly above a manhole cover which leads to the sewers.

The bully tells Jokke and Lien that Tyl seems to be immune to the virus and has been taken to a big house where they are using his blood and urine to help people.

Jokke and Lien go to the big house and finds Tyl on a table with blood being taken. He takes Tyl out. He tells Lien to go back to the supermarket and he will take Tyl to the NIIDA.


Nald tells Lex that he can’t get the courier details of the package that was delivered to the NIIDA that the first doctor infected was carrying that Lex had seen on the CCTV footage without a court order. Lex tells him he will give him the details of a judge that owes him a favour.

Sam and Jana have noticed that Ineke is infected, despite her trying to hide it. They say they are not taking her baby as it may be infected. Tony hears what is being said and is standing with the gun that Sam had bought. He is angry that Jana is going to escape and leave him there, taking a cleaner she has just met and a stranger’s baby. He tells them if he doesn’t go, no-one does. Sam grabs for the gun and is shot in the foot. Suzy hits Tony on the back of the head and Sam and Jana manage to get in the lift.

Jana tells Jokke that she can now take Quinten on the escape route.

Cannaerts has discovered that Tyl’s blood helps slow down the virus. He tells Jokke that it is looking good, but that Tyl may still be a carrier despite not being affected. Jokke says he was in close contact with Tyl so must go into isolation at the NIIDA.

Lex asks the army boss for his code to phone the secure line at the NIIDA and phones Jokke. A nurse takes the phone to him in isolation. Lex tells Jokke all about what he has found and that the package the doctor had was from a place in Brazil that deals with infectious diseases. The army man cuts him off and tells Lex he is a psychopath. “A psychopath you gave your code to” says Lex.


Bert and Micheline’s doorbell rings and when they go to the door, Ineke has left her baby on the doorstep with a note for them.

The army boss tells Lex he is taking over his Unit. The rota drawn up to watch the containers to catch whoever is making the escapes has one of the containers without anyone watching. Lex shows him what he drew up on his iPad which shows he did have that one being watched. Lex and the army man head to said container.

Cannaerts is at the window of Jokke’s isolation room with Jokke shouting at him. The doctor remains calm and says that they are always testing new diseases and it may well be the case that a sample was indeed sent from Brazil.

Cannaerts comes through a container with Tyl to the media and Lommers with a crowd there to greet them. They will be taking Tyl to a special unit.

Mees and the brother are leading Jana, Sam and Quinten through the sewers. Lex, Nald the army boss and two soldiers are now also in the sewer. They split up in the tunnels.


Cannaerts returns to Jokke. The virus has taken hold of Jokke now. Jokke wants the truth before he dies. Cannaerts explains that a trainee made a mistake and she was distracted flirting with a doctor. Lommers had the idea of blaming the Afghani. It would help her increase the counter terrorism budget. He told a small lie which got out of hand. Jokke says he has to tell the truth, but Cannaerts says the truth is they save millions of lives, and he couldn’t allow one mistake to ruin it all.

As Cannaerts starts walk away, Jokke shoots through the window of the room and chases after him. He catches him and kisses him full on the lips to make sure the virus is transferred.

Shooting starts in the sewer and Lex sees all the army men dead, along with the brother. He sees Nald standing above Mees and shooting him. Nald says that Mees pulled a gun on him. Lex says it looks like he was expecting you and pulls his gun out. Nald tells him that Jana is there and he got her out. He shows Lex a bagful of money and says they can split it and he has Jana. Lex says he has to do his duty. Sam, having not learned his lesson, grabs for Nald’s gun when he goes for it and is shot. Lex shoots Nald.

Jana and Lex see each other again in the sewer. Jana tells him she is not ill and asks if she can come with him. He says that “If I do that, it will all be in vain”. She asks what he wants. He tells her he only wants what he wants is her. Awwwwwww. They kiss.

We see Jana, Lex and Quinten climbing out of a manhole. But it’s on the side of the cordon where the infection is. Then a horse walks past? And it ends.

As ridiculous as it was, this turned into a very good thriller. It was tough to try and get past the negligent way in which people carried on, but it was well done. With a second series on the way, we will find out what happens next.


Will Tyl infect everyone outside the cordon? Will Lex expose the truth? Will Bert and Micheline contract the virus from Ineke’s baby? Is it too late for Jokke? And Cannaerts? Will Lommers get her comeuppance?

Whatever happens in Series 2, I think I’ll stay off the Belgian chocolate for a while.


  • I don’t think the scene with Sam and the aerosol is likely to become a Lynx advert.
  • Lex clearly doesn’t know how much effort it takes to blog. No, really.
  • Loved Jokke’s reaction to people drinking urine. “Ok”.
  • How did Lien recognise Tyl’s gun? Is she a gun expert?
  • What contribution have the army actually been making? We have seen very little of them.
  • All that blood taken out of Tyl and not once did we see him get a drink and a biscuit.
  • How many of you thought when Lex got the call from the investigator to meet him that it was a trap?
  • Dr Cannaerts looks scarily like Labour Party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.
  • If Ineke’s baby has the virus, she has just killed Bert and Micheline.
  • I doubt that Nald was anyone’s first choice for a naked shower scene.
  • If Tyl is possibly a carrier, why would you take him to the side without the disease?
  • Given how delirious people get with the virus, was it not a bit daft to leave Jokke with his gun in the isolation room?
  • That was nothing like kiss chase when I was at school.
  • Sam seemed to get about pretty well with his shot foot.
  • We see no animals apart from rats all the way through, then a horse appears in the final scene. Odd.
  • Given Jana’s kiss with Sam, the first website she goes on when the internet is back up and running is likely to be Ashley Madison.
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Cordon Episodes 7 and 8

Cordon Episodes 7 & 8

Odd introduction on BBC4 where we are told that next up is the “Belgian science fiction drama”. Science fiction??

Katja continues to deteriorate in isolation. Her son comes to see her and she makes him promise to phone her brother when the phone signals are back. I’m not sure if the translation was wrong or if she was becoming delirious, but his number ended in “or 74”.

Jokke and Lex are meeting in a container again and Lex is handing over the vaccine. He tells Jokke he officially doesn’t know what is in the box, but Jokke spells it out anyway, in case we weren’t paying attention. Lex also gives him the keys to his flat and asks Jokke to give them to Jana if he sees her again.

As Jokke returns to the NIIDA, he tells Dr Cannaerts that one of the vaccines is for Katja. The doc tells him that it is too late for her. It would have to be in the first couple of hours of infection or before it has been caught.

Jokke is at the window of the isolation unit speaking to an increasingly unwell Katja, who says “I’m not looking my best”. It’s hard to argue. She tells an already tearful Jokke that she has fallen in love with him. That will help. Especially when she dies soon after.


The junior brother holding court at Ineke’s family’s supermarket seems to have contracted the virus. The senior brother tells Ineke she is responsible for looking after him. Lien seems to step in to do this. Ineke leaves the supermarket with her suitcase.

Sam the cleaner is telling Jana they need to get out of the lab as there is nowhere to go if people break in. He says that he knows someone who is helping people through the cordon. She says that she will not go and he should report the man to the police.

Gryspeerts has posted on his Son of Horseman blog asking why Dr Cannaerts is lying about patient zero. Later on, a pool ball smashes through his window, and it seems that someone has posted that it is him who is the Son of Horseman. He thinks Lommers was the one who gave him away.

Ineke arrives at the NIIDA and asks if she can have her baby there. She hears someone saying they are on the list for the vaccine and finds Dr Cannaerts and asks to be put on the list. He refuses because she is pregnant, but she eventually gets him to agree.


Jokke, after drinking heavily goes to the lab and gives Jana Lex’s keys. He tells her that they are all going to die. This makes her decide to go with Sam and try to get through the cordon.

Ineke has lots of blood tests leading up to her getting vaccine, but one of the other doctors, Luc, says he wants the vaccine and threatens Dr Cannaerts with revealing what he knows (whatever that is). This seems to mean that Ineke is off the list and Cannaerts tells her that one of the samples has been contaminated, so they can’t give her it. She thinks he is lying. As does everyone watching.

Jana and Sam have got out of the Lab and are almost immediately accosted by the men on bikes. Sam runs and Jana stabs one of the men in the eye with the heel of her shoes and runs. He catches up with her and she sprays him in the other eye with pepper spray she seemed to have in her bag. She picks up a crowbar on the ground which she beats him with. Sam reappears after all the trouble has subsided. Jana drops the crowbar and picks up her shoes. Women and shoes eh? When they get to the rendezvous point, the people who they are supposed to be going with are not there.


Lex gets a call about bodies on the beach and finds some dead people on the beach who had been on the escape route Jana and Sam seemed to be going on. Although he is about 30 yards away and a woman is face down in the water, he thinks it is Jana. It isn’t.

Ineke is ringing the doorbell of Micheline and Bert’s house. Bert of course isn’t there. Micheline doesn’t answer and is eating what appears to be a rat she has cooked.

Lommers speaks to Lex about the gap in the cordon that the bodies on the beach must have got through. She says that there must be mole in his team to know where they could get through. Lex says this is a bit of a leap, which is exactly what I was thinking.

The officer who pulled the bodies from the beach is showing cold symptoms, so Lex is to be put in quarantine for 48 hours as he touched bodies too. When asked if he has touched anyone else, he points out that Lommers touched him, so they go in together. Lommers is on the verge of a breakdown and is freaking out. Telling Lex that he has no idea of the things she has to deal with and the decisions she has to make about the “doomsday scenarios” that she has to decide on. When someone comes and says that it looks like they will be ok, she tells him to forget what she said. Yeah right!

The other doctor has had the vaccine and like the other patients, his kidneys have failed. Dr Cannaerts is with him. He tells Cannaerts he wouldn’t have said anything, whatever it was he was threatening he would say. He dies.

Jokke leaves the NIIDA with Quinten, Katja’s son, much to the annoyance of Cannaerts who says that “You know who your friends are”. Jokke joins up with the crooks running Ineke’s store.


Ineke, back at the flat she went to earlier in the series that her friend Melissa is at. Melissa is quick to share Ineke’s food that she has in her case with the boys she is sharing the flat with. Ineke also tells Melissa that she knows a lab where they will be safe that Jokke had told her about.


Jana and Sam are back, but the office boss Bram isn’t letting them in. He is angry that they left them in the office. They are made to go to the floor below, but Bram soon comes and apologises and invites them back up so Jana can help get a phone working that Tony has been working on.

Lex is looking for information in Lommers office and manages to get into her computer. Just at this point, Jana tries to phone him as they have managed to enable the phone at her office. As it is a number Lex doesn’t recognise, he rejects the call. She leaves a voice mail and almost immediately, the authorities block that phone. Lex downloads all the files from Lommers computer onto a USB stick.

Gryspeerts’ Son of Horseman has posted on his blog that he thinks that the vaccine is fake. Where is it? He asks. Lex goes to see him with the USB stick. There are various scenarios about how to deal with the outbreak on it. Lex thinks that they are just going to let it run its course based on what they see. Then they spot that the first scenarios were drawn up the week before the outbreak. Gryspeerts says he will speak to a contact he has inside Public Health.

Lex phone Cannaerts at the NIIDA and asks to speak to Jokke. The doctor tells him that he has left and asks if he wants to leave a message, knowing that Jokke won’t be coming back. Lex says no. We then see Cannaerts phoning Lommers saying that he phoned.

Ineke wakes up in the house to find her housemates taking drugs. The man who seems to be the leader, Lars is saying that if only they knew where a lab was to get some ether. Melissa says that Ineke knows where one is.

Bert comes round and asks the nurse, Veerle, to go and check on Micheline. When she goes to the house, a rat crawls out of the letterbox and she goes straight back to her own house and tells Bert that she is fine.


Melissa and the boys from the flat have brought Ineke to Jana’s office and have unsuccessfully tried to get in. Those in the office need food again and Jana and Tony draw the short straws and have to go. They go down in the lift, but a van is parked immediately outside and Jana appears to get shot in the hand. They quickly go back up in the lift.

Jokke takes Lien back to her house with the intention of burying Tyl, but there is no sign of him. They go next door and see Micheline, who is concerned about Bert, but also tells them that she saw Tyl with two boys outside. Lien puts up posters of Tyl saying “Have you seen this boy?”

Police officer Nald has done as told by Lex and followed the trail of money for those who paid to escape the cordon. He is at the house of the suspect and phones Lex who tells him to wait for backup. Nald of course goes in and Lex hears a shot and rushes to the scene. Lex arrives and is being shot at with a submachine gun. There is eventually a single gunshot and Lex sees Nald standing over the suspect who he has shot and killed. They see photographs at the site with the suspect and Mees in.


Bram decides that he will go down in the lift and negotiate with those in the garage, and while he does, Tony and Jana can sneak out down the stairs and go and buy some food. As they go into the fire escape, they hear a baby crying and see Ineke, who has now given birth. Ineke tells Jana that Jokke sent her and she takes her upstairs and tells Tony he will have to go on his own. Why I’m not sure. Tony returns soon after saying he can’t get out.

The lights in the office go out then come back on and the lift starts coming up. The door opens and bloody Bram is standing there who collapses, seemingly dead. Just then, the doors to the stairs start being smashed through.


One week left and it’s not looking good for, well, just about everyone. With another series on the way, I hope they are going to finish this next week.


  •  Was there really a need for the blokes to all be walking about in their pants in Jana’s office?
  • I can’t believe that they didn’t just about kill Tony after he pretended to have caught the virus.
  • Nice of Sam just to run and leave Jana with the blokes on the bikes.
  • Micheline has either run out of food, or Heston Blumenthal has been round to cook her dinners.
  • Will they ever stop touching their faces with their gloves?
  • Jokke better hope Katje wasn’t wearing that t-shirt he sniffed after she caught the virus.
  • I wonder how much Maersk paid for the product placement of their containers.
  • Jana and Tony drew the first two straws on who went to get food and both had to go. Were they all like that?
  • I’m sure Nald was the one shooting the sub machine gun at Lex and had already killed the suspect.
  • If someone had seen Tyl and saw one of Lien’s posters, what were they supposed to do? Write yes on the poster?
  • How handy that a crow bar happened to be lying around when Jana needed it.
  • I’m still not sure if Katja died from the virus, or something else that she caught from the shower curtain
  • Are there no black people in Belgium?
  • Does nobody have pets in Belgium?
  • At the end, I half expected Jack Nicholson to pop his head through the door and shout “Here’s Johnny!”
  • As the doors were being smashed in, why was Suzy repeatedly shouting “Sam!” who was standing beside her?
  • How did Bram remain standing in the lift until the doors opened?
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Cordon Episodes 5 and 6

Cordon Episodes 5 and 6


A bit late with this week’s update, but my birthday got in the way.

Lex barges into a meeting Minister Lommers is having to castigate her for blocking the phones inside the cordon, but is sent out with his tail between his legs.

Journalist Gryspeerts is on a roof with Lex asking him who shut off the phones. Lex tells him to “Ask Lommers”. Gryspeerts is using a hidden camera to record what Lex is saying and then posts it on the Horseman’s blog.

The 3 kids who were bullying Tyl at school have come to his house and announce they will be staying there. Tyl pulls out a gun and as they torment him, he shoots one of them in the leg. The other two start giving him a kicking and he shouts on his sister to run. As she runs, she hears another shot.

Bert, now back at home with Micheline, hears the gun shot next door and tells his wife that he won’t go back to the NIIDA with the rats that Dr Cannaerts had asked him to bring.


Lommers is considering the possibility that the virus has been spread deliberately and thinks it may be some kind of terrorist attack. She isn’t happy with Lex after the Horseman’s blog comes out. They have traced the IP address (that took a while) and have tracked the blog as far as Belarus.

Lex phones Gryspeerts, angry at being tricked. The journalist says he just did what everyone else is doing and sent the videos to the Horseman’s email and that he doesn’t know anyone in Minsk. He couldn’t have known anything about Minsk though and when he answers the door as he is on the phone, he finds Lex there and they fight. After managing to hurt each other, they sit and have a beer.

One of the boxes of medicine hasn’t arrived at the NIIDA and Jokke goes out to check if they have been delivered by accident to one of the food outlets. The brothers are holding court in Ineke’s family’s supermarket and Jokke isn’t happy to find that they are charging for the emergency food supplies that are supposed to be given out free. And double at that! They also have the drugs that they claim to have found.


Once Jokke goes, the senior brother tells the other that he must let the medical supplies through.

Jana and her colleagues Suzy and Tony are going to investigate that terrible smell which seems to be coming from the air vents. They find some much needed clothing, but also find a room where there are dead bodies lying directly under an air vent in the basement. One of the dead bodies is Chandra, the woman that Dennis had been with last week.

A man appears in the corridor behind the work colleagues and is clearly infected. He appears delusional and is rambling (he may have just been a politician). They manage to push their way past him, but he traps Jana and as he comes closer to her face Jokke appears and manages to knock him away.


It’s all happening at the NIIDA with one of the rats that they had been testing an antidote on reacting well. Lommers is asking Cannaerts if it could be bioterrorism, which he reluctantly agrees that it could be. On the request of Jokke, the doctor has also tested the lunchbox that Anwar had with him and finds that the yoghurt contained the virus, adding fuel to the idea that it may have been started deliberately.

With Afghani asylum seekers being attacked, they will need to be careful about news of it possibly being started on purpose. Lommers discovers that Anwar lived near a terrorist training camp.

Tyl’s sister Lien has found her way to the supermarket after fleeing home and Ineke is welcoming her. One of the brothers is quick to spot the new girl and Ineke has to come to her rescue when he is trying to take her off somewhere. He returns later though and is groping her.

Lommers has found out who The Horseman is and sends the police to take away all his computer equipment. Gryspeerts tells Lex that he still has an encryption box and will have a new blog up and running within the hour.

Jokke tells Katja that the virus may have been released on purpose. She tells him that she saw two dead doctors in the NIIDA before Anwar died, but that Cannaerts told her not say anything.

Jokke decides to review CCTV footage from inside the NIIDA, although the disc with the relevant footage on is missing. Cannaerts says that the police took it, but Lex ensures Jokke this is not the case.


Micheline has convinced Bert to return to the NIIDA with the requested rats. Partly because they also need some food.   Cannaerts is pleased to see Bert with the rodents. As Bert returns home, he is mugged and his food stolen. He is left lying in the street.

Lex and Jokke meet in a container on the edge of the cordon and Jokke hands over a cool box with DNA etc in for testing. He tells Lex he has met the woman of his dreams. He also says that he saw Jana who is at her work and is ok.

Gryspeerts is setting up his new blog. He is calling it “Son of Horseman”, so no chance anyone will know who that is. Lex arrives and tells him to take off the terrorism claims and tells him about the two doctors.


As Jana and co have run out of food again, they draw straws once more to find out who will go and get it. Jana and Suzy have to go this time.

Cannaerts is telling Katja that he has had a call about the doctors and people are now jumping to the wrong conclusions.

A woman at the NIIDA to be tested for the virus has wandered off and ends up hugging one of the children, Britney. She is put into isolation. It isn’t clear what they do with the woman.

Jana and Suzy manage to get back to the lifts outside their work, but are being surrounded. The cleaner who works in their building comes to their rescue and they manage to get up in the lift. They now have to stay outside the main office for 48 hours to ensure they aren’t infected before they go back in.

On patrol on the edge of the cordon, Lex sees a balloon in the air and shoots it down. A memory card is inside which he takes to Gryspeerts. It contains a film of a girl celebrating her birthday with her family and wishing her grandma could be there, who is inside the cordon.


Gryspeerts tells Lex about a story he did years ago about a female politician who ended up killing herself. He later found out she had nothing to do with the allegations he had written.

A couple are in Micheline’s house taking food. She sees them, but can’t stop them. Bert is still lying in the street.

Lommers goes to visit Gryspeerts and he says to her “You’ve got my computers, my routers, my back-up. What more do you want? My body?” I’m guessing no. She tells him he is worrying people and he needs to stop.

Tyl is nursing the boy that he had shot. The boy has the gun. He also has the virus and dies in Tyl’s house.

Lex and Gryspeerts are watching CCTV footage from the NIIDA and see the red haired doctor receiving a package. She doesn’t appear to be ill then. Lex asked Jokke to check it out, but Cannaerts says it was probably just a text book. Hmmmm.

The brothers ask Jokke to join them, but he is having none of it. He gives a very heavily pregnant Ineke the address of Jana’s office and tells her she would be safer there.

A woman rescues Bert from the street and takes him into her house. He has an open fracture but luckily enough, she is a nurse.

The man who was being a racist at the NIIDA last week decides that he is going to take the children to safety and piles them all onto the school bus with the intention of ramming his way through the cordon. As Katja and co chase after the bus, the police shoot the man through the head as he drives. Katja and co get on the burning bus to try and rescue the children, but many of them appear to have died in the crash. She picks up Britney and carries her off, getting her blood all over her face.

Katja returns to the NIIDA and is showering frantically, but is soon in quarantine, as the virus takes hold. Britney has now died. Jokke is crying.


Cannaerts thinks he may be close to an antidote and wants to test it, but Lommers doesn’t think enough tests have been done yet. He asks Jokke to pick up a package as he is going to test it anyway.

Two weeks to go. How many more will die?

News reaches me that a second series has been commissioned. I don’t know if this means an entirely new story, or this one not finishing.


  • Where was the roof that Gryspeerts was speaking to Lex? Was it the Crisis Centre? If so, what was Gryspeerts doing there?
  • Lex isn’t much of a hero, unable to beat an old journalist in a fight.
  • Lex also seemed to make friends with Gryspeerts pretty quickly after he did the dirty on him.
  • Was Dennis in the basement? Did I miss that?
  • I thought yoghurt with bacteria was all the rage these days? (Mmmmm Danone).
  • A lovely way for Jana to thank Jokke after he had rescued her by shining her torch right in his face.
  • Katja temporarily thought she was Bruce Willis, telling Jokke “I see dead people”
  • Dr Cannaerts is very suspicious. He’s definitely trying to cover something up.
  • Is it a Belgian thing to sit in chairs at the front door to talk like Lommers and Gryspeerts did?
  • I was thinking that ginger haired people were immune, but Katja puts paid to that.
  • How did the bloke get Britney out of isolation to put her on the bus?
  • How have Tyl, Cannaerts and Jokke not contracted the virus yet?
  • Although I’m sure she will ultimately prove to be bad, I find myself agreeing with the vast majority of things Minister Lommers is doing. I must be getting old.
  • When she got back from rescuing Britney, Katja was showering like she just got back from T in the Park.
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Cordon Episodes 3 and 4

Cordon Episodes 3 and 4


It has been quite a while since there has been something on BBC4 at 9 on a Saturday which I’ve looked forward to, but despite some of the problems it has, I was glad Cordon was there to save Saturday night TV.

Lex and the other police officers are moving into a command post where they will also be sleeping.  The army will be coming to relieve them.  While I try not to think of any sexual connotations for what that might mean, the police start to sing “we’ll take them dry up the arse!”  O……….k then.

Jana isn’t happy with Lex for not telling her in advance that the cordon would be up for longer, but he explains that he was ordered not to say anything.

Journalist Gryspeerts has a contact inside the cordon, Ingrid, who is video calling him on her laptop and sending him videos of some of the happenings inside the cordon.  She sends footage of Anwar being taken into the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NIIDA).  Our journo publishes it with the heading “Is this patient zero?”

Minister of Public Health Sabine Lommers phones Dr Cannaerts and tells him she wants him to release information on Anwar being patient zero and any other details so that they can get ahead of the story.


Things are deteriorating at the NIIDA.  The bodies are piling up (including Anwar’s cousin) and the incinerator appears to be slowing down.  One of the men is holding up a food cart claiming that “wogs shouldn’t be getting our food”.  Jokke does what we all want to do and punches him several times.  Three kids are showing signs of the virus, including Thomas, who Dr Cannaerts does some blood test on, but doesn’t think he is getting worse.

Ineke and family are trying to ration what people can buy in supermarkets so that there is enough for everyone.  A man runs out with his basketful and then a man spits on his hand and threatens to rub it in Ineke’s dad’s face and leaves with his basket.  I wonder if that would work in Waitrose?

Minister Lommers is holding  a press conference where she is asking the press to be more balanced and not be so xenophobic about Afghani Anwar and to stop sensationalising stories and panicking the people.

As our ginger friend Tyl heads home, he sees prisoners giving the warden a kicking in the street.  It’s not clear how they got out.  As he goes to see if the warden is ok after the prisoners have gone, the warden touches his face.  He really needs to stop people doing that.

Ingrid is on videochat with Gryspeerts again.  She sends a video of her flatmate convulsing with the virus having taken hold.  Ingrid also has the virus and says she is not going through it and will be ending her own life.  She says that she wants him to show this video.  Gryspeerts’ boss says he can’t publish the video, so he creates his own personal blog called “The Horseman” and posts it there.


Tyl makes it home to his parent’s house where he receives a phone call from Bert at the NIIDA who asks if he can check on Micheline, who lives next door.  Micheline had dropped her phone down the stairs when Bert rang and being wheelchair bound, couldn’t retrieve it.  She is lying at the top of the flight of stairs the phone fell down and seems to have sprained her wrist, but is ok.  Bert manages to get home.

The police are arranging for food supplies to be given out to those inside the cordon and while this is happening, they are to transfer Thomas from the NIIDA across the cordon so he can be taken to the Hospital outwith the cordon.  Thomas is spotted shaking near the cordon and is seen by those collecting their food.


Panic ensues and people are running everywhere and the food giveaway needs to be abandoned after people are trying to break through the cordon.  Inspector Mees is cut while stopping them coming through and Lex makes him go through to the other side of the cordon in case of infection.  “You’ll regret this!” he shouts.

After the death of Thomas, Minister Lommers announces that if people have the disease, it will have taken hold within 48 hours of the initial symptoms, although Dr Cannaerts does not think this is definite yet.  This is clearly going to come back to haunt them.

Video emerges of Lex sending his colleague into the infected area and he has to explain to the media why he had to do this.

As a man tries to steal more stuff from Ineke’s families supermarket, her dad points a gun at him, but can’t bring himself to shoot.  As he is surrounded by the family he spits at the mother.  Two brothers appear with guns and shoot him.  An arrangement is quickly made that they will stay with them and protect the store and its stock.


After drawing straws at the F-Tran office where Jana works, two of her colleagues go out and try and find food.  When they come back with it, Jana tells them they can’t come back in until 48 hours are up, after the announcement by the Minister.  They aren’t best pleased about this.

The army finally arrive at the command post, but to the police officers disappointment, they are there to assist rather than relieve and all police leave has been cancelled.

The Horseman blog is picking up a lot of attention as Gryspeerts continues to post pictures of dead bodies and bodies being dumped in the street.  His boss is annoyed that these are all coming to light and they aren’t getting them.  Gryspeerts points out that they wouldn’t be able to use them anyway.

The army, who are more used to dealing with logistics, are to set up a second attempt at food distribution, and three shops within the cordon will give it out.  This will include Ineke’s shop.  Inspector Mees is now in league with the brothers and is supposedly acting as the liaison within the cordon.

Minister Lommers criticizes The Horseman on TV and says that he is a parasite and that the videos he is posting are scaremongering with things that may not even be from inside the cordon.

During the night, Jana finds the fire escape door open and when she investigates, finds one of her colleagues, Dennis making out with a woman on the stairs.  As the others go to investigate, it turns out this was a woman who had been where they had got food.  As Jana says that they must wait 48 hours to come back in, Dennis goes mad.  He had been one of the two who had just been outside the door after getting food.  As he tries to fight his way back in, Jana’s friend and colleague Suzy gets pepper spray in her eyes.


Katja tells Jokke that she had been in an abusive relationship where her ex-boyfriend had beat her and even burnt her with an iron.  He had done this when she was pregnant and she had begun self-harming.  Jokke seems to suddenly be a mental health expert and tells her that she no longer needs to be taking the anti-depressants she is on.

Dennis is hammering on the door to get back into the office as the woman he is with is getting ill.

Tyl and his sister’s parents have died and Tyl even sees them being burned after their death.  It really isn’t his week.

As Jokke is taking a shower, Katja comes in and they kiss and feel each other through the shower curtain.  Yuck.

Minister Lommers is concerned that everything is getting out of hand.  Especially due to “Twitter and fucking Facebook”.  There is a suggestion that they may cut off communications from inside the cordon.


A young man has got on top of the containers on one of the streets at the cordon and despite the police repeatedly telling him to get down, he doesn’t.  Lex (who seems to be everywhere) fires a shot in the air and the man falls off from the great height.

A very dejected Lex is on the phone to Jana when the line suddenly goes dead.

The level of fear is being conveyed well and the difficulties surrounding dealing with the outbreak.  The lack of care in terms of contamination and people being allowed to roam freely seems increasingly daft though.  How will this end well?


  • The police and the army in Belgium sound as if they don’t get on too well judging by the song at the start. Or maybe they do!
  • Not sure why Jana was in her bra when speaking to Lex on the phone the first time in tonight’s episode.
  • Great idea on the rationing to prevent panic buying. The amount people buy in the UK at Christmas when the shops will be shut for one day is astonishing.
  • How did Ingrid get the footage of Anwar in the NIIDA?
  • Why are all heads of news outlets twats? Printing a top ten of killer diseases is something you can really imagine in the tabloids.
  • Why was it a good idea to try and transfer Thomas to the hospital? Was his case special enough to be worth the risk?
  • Amazing how quickly the arrangement was made for the brothers to stay at the supermarket.
  • Since Ingrid has gone, where is Gryspeerts getting all his footage from?
  • Don’t know why Suzy was so angry at Jana. Especially since the girl Dennis was with had been infected.
  • Expect Mark Zuckerberg to sue Minister Lommers at any moment.
  • Things could be contained if everyone just stayed in and read a book.
  • The Horseman clearly hasn’t watched much TV. They can always find you via an IP address.
  • The “F” word seems to have been exported to Belgium.
  • Gryspeerts always looks like he is on holiday in Hawaii.
  • Shower curtains never look clean at the best of times, but touching one in the middle of a virus outbreak?
  • Can’t imagine it was too nice a moment between Jokke and Katja. My body tenses up if a shower curtain even touches against my leg.
  • They even used my Cordon Blue joke from last week!
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Jane Seymour in Edinburgh, 28 June 2015

Jane Seymour: In Person

28 June 2015

Traverse Theatre

Another event which is part of the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Jane Seymour is 64.  Sixty-four.  And she looks amazing.  I could end the blog there, but the 90 minutes on Saturday, superbly hosted by Siobhan Sinnott, was so much more than just marvelling at how good she looks.


Jane’s latest independent film is called Bereave.  Jane plays Evelyn, the wife of Garvey, and they have been married for 40 years.  Fatally ill, Garvey plans how he is going to die.  But when Evelyn goes missing, he must live to save her.

Siobhan opened the discussion by asking about Bereave and how she had been offered the part.  She said that Malcolm McDowell, who plays Garvey, showed her the script, saying it was a game changer.  She thought it was a great role and met the film makers the Giovanis brothers.  They raised the money for the film through a crowd funding exercise and it was made in around 18 days.  In one scene, she is running down a street wearing a wedding dress – which is actually her wedding dress from when she was 20.  Jane says she works with first time film makers a lot – if it’s good material and they have a good cast then she’s happy to be involved.  Jane has also been producing for many years so she respects how hard it is to make, fund and promote films.

Siobhan asks about the feature Jane has done on the country singer Glenn Campbell, who has Alzheimer’s.  She was asked to chronicle his tour, thinking it would be a few gigs here and there – it turned out to be 150 sold out concerts.  She says Glenn is so funny and he wanted to do something to help other people with the disease, so decided to share his experiences with others.  Jane tells us 1 in 2 people in the USA, will suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia by the time they are 80, and so this was a good way to raise awareness of the disease and share Glenn’s experiences.


We are then taken back to the start of Jane’s acting career, which started almost by accident.  Jane was going to be a ballerina (indeed she played a dance teacher in last year’s High Strung and appeared in the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars).  She trained as a ballet dancer and appeared in the Nutcracker, but when she injured herself she became an actress.  She tells us that her mother was a huge fan of Strictly, and she passed away during Jane’s time on Dancing with the Stars – she was meant to learn a tango in 3 days when she heard the news of her mother’s death, and did the show in her honour.

Jane then tells us that her proper name is Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg, and she was told that it was too long and too difficult to spell. She chose Jane because she liked its plainness, and her agent suggested Seymour because it was easy to spell. It wasn’t until later that they discovered that they had actually taken the name of Henry VIII’s 3rd wife. In a spooky coincidence, it’s believed that the King’s wife died a few days after childbirth from pre-eclampsia. This was something that Jane had when she had the twins – fortunately medicine has moved on and she was able to be treated.


We move on to Bond. Jane was 20 when she played Solitaire in Roger Moore’s first Bond film Live and Let Die. (Still my Favourite Bond film).  The people casting the movie had seen Jane in The Onedin Line. In the books Solitaire was supposed to be black and she had long black hair. The film makers wanted Jane’s brown hair to be black and to cut it but she wouldn’t let them. They gave her a hair piece instead and darkened it slightly – she also has different coloured eyes so sometimes has to wear contact lenses. We are treated to an amusing story about how Roger Moore didn’t do any of his stunts (he didn’t even really do running according to Jane). At one point there is a stunt where she is on a bus, which goes under a bridge and gets the top deck chopped off. She was to do the stunt, but when she asked whether it was safe, she was told “we did the stunt on paper, so it works.” Highly reassuring. She also said that the snake scene got a little bit hairy – and that when her kids wanted boas for their 2nd birthday she had to be the brave one and handle them.


Siobhan invited questions from the audience and the first question is about what it was like working with the late Christopher Reeve. Jane says it was one of the greatest experiences of her life and she and Christopher became really good friends – one of her sons (Chris) is his godson. They were so close that when Chris’s wife couldn’t be with him, Jane used to go and hang out with him instead. She says he was the inspiration to start The Open Hearts Foundation. This is a non-profit charity which shares the philosophy of transforming personal adversity into an opportunity to serve others, with communities worldwide. Each year, the Foundation recognises the achievements of individuals whose inspiring stories illustrate the Foundation’s mission; they have overcome difficult situations by creating positive improvements in the world around them. Jane also designs Open Hearts jewellery to complement the foundation’s work.


The other questions were on:

  • What was it like to play two strong women characters, Wallis Simpson and Maria Callas – Jane played them back to back. She thought they were both great roles, and since playing Mrs Simpson, she has spoken to a few of the Royal family about the role. The Queen Mother couldn’t watch but the Queen wanted to know how Jane knew so much about Royal family secrets. Lord Lichfield also photographed Jane in the same poses as he had photographed Wallis Simpson. For Callas, Jane researched her a lot and had to sing 3 arias in 3 different languages in one day. She says this role is one of the hardest she has ever taken on. She tells the audience that, even though someone else’s voice was dubbed over the songs, she still sung at full voice and ended up damaging her vocal chords. She was then injected in the wrong place and went into anaphylactic shock, resulting in her having a near death experience.
  • How life completely changed after that near death experience; how she values life so much, with her message being that the only things you take with you are the love you’ve shared and the difference you’ve made;
  • How she got the title Queen of the Mini Series and that she was supposed to play alongside Richard Chamberlain in The Thorn Birds but for an unfortunate incident with her breast milk;
  • Her experiences on Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger in one scene she had to play chess with a baboon, and it wasn’t until she saw the movie that she realised what they were doing with the special effects;
  • How she took on Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman at a time in her life when she needed the money, but how proud she is of what was made – it’s now been relaunched in the UK on CBS Action and is still running in 98 countries. Her father was a doctor so she had watched surgery from when she was 10 – she’s attended 3 open heart surgeries and a C-section;
  • How does she still look so good? Jane says she doesn’t feel like that at the moment as she’s just been on a cruise where it was “Seymour, eat more”. She loves a Mediterranean diet and grows lots of fruit and veg. And no, she hasn’t tried (and doesn’t intend to try) haggis;
  • She doesn’t like the idea of cosmetic surgery – as an actress, you need to be a blank canvas and she wants to be able to turn herself into a character and move her muscles. She says it’s all about the light, which was why in past times women used to wear frilly white collars. The dress she has chosen today is a McQueen, which has a thistle type pattern on it – clearly she puts a lot of thought into these things;
  • What was Malcolm McDowell like to work with? Jane says that he is one of her closest friends. He’s so eccentric and loves to act, which is why he is working all the time. He’s very cheery and a fantastic father to his two families – he has 4 grandchildren with another on the way (the little girl who is about to get a little sister, calls her mum’s bump “pizza pizza”);
  • Jane has just appeared on Who Do You Think You Are and whilst not wishing to give away what she found out she tells us that she knew her mother had been in a Japanese concentration camp. She says they don’t tell you where you are going or who you are seeing, so it’s a complete surprise;
  • She tells us an amusing story of how terrified Owen Wilson was when he had to squeeze her breasts in Wedding Crashers – of course, Vince Vaughan didn’t help by asking if he was “ready to see more of Seymour”!
  • Jane still paints as often as she can and tries to put on 12 art shows a year in America. She paints impressionism and uses her open heart theme. She also designs furniture. She loves teaching people, especially those who don’t think they can paint;
  • Whilst she thinks that if things had turned out differently, she would still have gone to America when she did, Jane says she would love to come and film in Scotland – and treats us to a decent Scottish brogue;
  • Jane talks about how she and her ex-husband James worked for 11 years on making Walk the Line the film about Johnny Cash. The promise she made to Johnny and his wife was that it would be about redemption and she had hoped they would finish it before they passed away, but that didn’t happen.


The final question is about what does Jane think is the most important thing in life. She says it’s to be authentic, be the best you can be under whatever circumstances are thrown at you. Just be real.

Jane was happy to talk and the event did run over its allotted time, which was a bit of a blow. Not because she wasn’t interesting, far from it, but the fold down two-seater seats at the Traverse are really not designed to sit in for anything longer than an hour. The fact that every time we moved, an almighty creak could be heard didn’t help matters.


If you go here, take a cushion.


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