1864 - A story of love and war

"1864 is a classic story about power and the abuse of power … of people getting separated,” Danish director Ole Bornedal says. The historical drama 1864 is the latest addition of Danish tv-shows hitting BBC Four, following hit shows such as 'Borgen', 'The Killing', and 'The Bridge'.

New Danish television drama '1864' is the most ambitious and expensive drama from DR (the Danish state broadcaster) whose previous shows 'Borgen', 'The Killing', and 'The Bridge' have reached cult status across the UK. 

A tale of love, war and politics

Taking place in the years of the war of 1864, two brothers' destiny falls victim to the dealings of politicians in Copenhagen as the brothers are called to war against Germany (Prussia). Just like you may have seen in 'Borgen', 1864 takes the viewers behind the scenes of Danish politics and the historical drama also incorporates cameos from the British prime minister at the time, Lord Palmerston, as well as the Queen Victoria.

The actions of the Danish politicians lead to a dreadful war with Germany, a war whose aftermath shook up Denmark and the Danish self-belief. A parallel story of a young girl who has lost her older brother in the war in Afghanistan provides a current spin to the dealings of 1864. Director Ole Bornedal hereby succeeds in incorporating the realism and intensity that have made Danish drama a great success in the UK.

Familiar stars and new

1864 features many familiar faces from Borgen, The Killing, and The Bridge infused with new talent from the Danish acting scene. Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen's prime minister Birgitte Nyborg), Pilou Asbaek (Borgen spin-doctor Kasper Juul), Søren Malling (detective Jan Meyer in The Killing and TV news editor in Borgen), and Lars Mikkelsen (Copenhagen mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann in The Killing 1 and Søren Ravn in Borgen) are just some of the actors who star in this new historic drama. 1864, however, centres on the love-triangle between the brothers Laust and Peter (played by rising stars Jens Sætter-Lassen and Jakob Oftebro) and the beautiful Inge (Marie Tourell Søderberg). 

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1864 on BBC Four

1864 aired with double episodes on BBC Four from 16 May.

A shaping moment

"1864 is a tale about the birth of a nation and about how Denmark rises after the loss of land to Germany, and I believe that many other countries can relate to that" DR's Head of Drama Piv Bernth to The Telegraph

Read the 1864 reviews
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