The Kingdom (Danish title: Riget) is an eight-episode Danish television mini-series, created by Lars von Trier in 1994, and co-directed by Lars von Trier and Morten Arnfred. It has been edited together into a five-hour movie for distribution in the United Kingdom and United States. It is currently available on DVD in the United States from Koch-Lorber Films, in the UK from Second Sight, and on Madman Entertainment's Directors Suite label in Australia and New Zealand.
The series is set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet, the city and country's main hospital, nicknamed "Riget". "Riget" means "the realm" or "the kingdom" and leads one to think of "dødsriget", the realm of the dead. The show follows a number of characters, both staff and patients, as they encounter bizarre phenomena, both human and supernatural. The show is notable for its wry humor, its muted sepia colour scheme, and the appearance of a chorus of dishwashers with Down Syndrome who discuss in intimate detail the strange occurrences in the hospital.
The first quartet of episodes ended with numerous questions unanswered, and in 1997, the cast reassembled to produce another group of four episodes,Riget II (The Kingdom II).
This second series ended with even more questions unanswered than the first, and a third series was planned. However, due to the death in 1998 ofErnst-Hugo Järegård (who played Stig Helmer) and the subsequent deaths of Kirsten Rolffes (Mrs Drusse) and Morten Rotne Leffers who played the male dishwasher, the likelihood of a third series is now very remote. Von Trier actually wrote the third and final season, but the production was not picked up by DR. At that point, five regular cast members had died and it seemed impossible to continue the series. The abandoned scripts were sent to the producers of Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, but it is unclear whether they used the scripts or not.
Day 7: "Gargantua"7
Day 6: "Trækfuglene" / "Birds of Passage"6
Day 5: "Mors in Tabula" / "Death on the Operation Table"5
Day 4: "De levende døde" / "The Living Dead"4
Day 3: "Et fremmed legeme" / "A Foreign Body"3
Lars von Trier's surreal hospital soap. Day 2: "Alliancen kalder" / "Thy Kingdom Come". All episodes in the archive!2
The first episode of the ultra-scary Lars Von Trier helmed TV show known in English as The Kingdom1
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