Liam Rudden: Remakes a Bridge too far

The Bridge: Sofia Helin as Saga Noren and Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde. Pic: BBC
The Bridge: Sofia Helin as Saga Noren and Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde. Pic: BBC
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I HAVE never seen the point of remakes. Whether on TV or in the cinema, especially when the subject matter being reshot is already considered a classic. The same goes for radio dramatisations and, to an extent, stage plays and musicals.

In a world of ever diminishing, finances the chance of these remounts coming close to their predecessors is, well, unlikely at best. But it’s not just about the money, nor about the scale of the production.

More often than not it’s about the integrity, that magical chemistry that came together in the original that can not be replicated, whether that be down to the casting, the director or more usually, a combination of both.

Right now, though, my big bugbear is the current trend of remaking foreign language films and TV programmes in English. What’s the point? The Bridge, for example, was quite a brilliant piece of Nordic Noir, as the genre has become known.

For the uninitiated the drama, now in its second series on BBC 4, saw detectives from Denmark and Sweden forced to work together to investigate a murder on their countries’ borders.

Okay, it required reading subtitles if you weren’t fluent in Danish and Swedish, but that’s no real hardship, is it?

The British/French remake, The Tunnel, finds the same scenario taking place closer to home, the bridge replaced by the Channel Tunnel.

It’s not that The Tunnel is bad; on the contrary, it’s good TV. But why? Why make it in the first place? Surely there are enough writers and producers in TV-land with an original idea that deserves development.

Sadly, with any remake it’s all too often about box office and ratings than creativity. People want to see what they are familiar with we are told, which is a shame. Audiences, be more adventurous. You might be pleasantly surprised.