1864 E1-4 (BBC4)

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Having made its international reputation with acclaimed crime series including Borgen, Forbrydelsen and The Bridge, Danish public service broadcaster DR has set its sights even higher with the most expensive Danish TV production to date in the form of period drama 1864.

1864Foregoing the lingua franca of murder mysteries that has served DR so well up to now, this new eight-part miniseries has a much more intensely regional focus as it tells the story of the disastrous Second Schleswig War between Denmark and Prussia. Fired up by nationalistic fervour, the Danes attempted to annex the Duchy of Schleswig into their kingdom in breach of treaties with Prussia settling a previous conflict 15 years before. However they were no match for Otto von Bismarck who used the conflict to help set in motion the unification of Germany, while the Danes ended up losing a quarter of their land by the time the war ended. It was a blow to the Kingdom’s self-image and imperial aspirations from which the country has arguably never recovered to this day. Read the rest of this entry »