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The Kingdom (1994 and 1997, DR)

The Kingdom was an eight-episode television miniseries that aired in Denmark on the DR network. (In Denmark it is known as Riget.) For U.S. and UK viewers, Riget
was stitched together into a 5-hour movie. Written and co-directed by Lars von Trier, The Kingdom is set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, the main hospital of both the city and Denmark at large. The show follows a number of characters, including staff and patients as they encounter bizarre human and supernatural phenomena. The Kingdom is notable for its wry humor and sepia color scheme.

The first season produced in 1994 was a quartet of episodes that ended with numerous unanswered questions. The second season, produced in 1997, ended with even more unanswered questions. A third series was planned and, in fact, written by von Trier, but with the death of several key characters season 3 was shelved. The Kingdom is included on the list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

In case you’re wondering, yes, horror writer Stephen King based his miniseries Kingdom Hospital on Riget. In fact, the unproduced season 3 scripts were sent to the producers of Kingdom Hospital, but it is not clear whether they were used.

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