Jan Guillou Epic The Great Century Set For TV

The Great Century (Det stora århundradet) series of novels by Swedish author Jan Guillou, better known for his Hamilton spy thrillers, are to be adapted by Petter Skavlan (Kon-Tiki) into an epic new TV drama.

The first season, based on The Bridge Builders (Brobyggarna), follows the three Lauritzen brothers who set out on an adventure that lays the foundations for a family dynasty across Norway, Sweden and Germany. The action begins in a poor Norwegian fishing village in the lead up to the First World War, but moves on to Germany, West Africa and the UK.

Lead writer, Petter Skavlan, said: “The Lauritzen family saga is more than a journey back in time: with its themes of blind faith in new technology, the rise of nationalism, and the battle for gender equality and sexual freedom, it also holds up a mirror to our own divisive times.”

Executive producer, Patrick Nebout, added: “With Jan Guillou’s gripping family saga spanning several generations and countries, it’s safe to say we’re in for the long haul.”

“I can think of no other writer than Jan who has explored in such scale and depth the complex bonds between Scandinavia and Germany in the early 20th century… This is Scandinavia’s answer to The Crown or North & South, with a modern take and tone.”