MDP On TV: The Protectors (Danish)

The ProtectorsMy love affair with Canadian TV has now extended to Danish TV. Everyone has heard of The
which ranks among my all time favourite shows. You can read my reviews here and here (hanging out for season 3!).

Recently, another Danish show that’s just come to my attention is The Protectors. I’m nearly finished series two and it’s just getting better and better. I love the way the Danish screenwriters create dialogue – such a happy lack of cliche! Often times characters don’t reply to each other in conversation, or if they do, it’s so awkward that it seems completely realistic. Less is often more and this show is a perfect example.

For those who’ve never heard of the series, here is the premise:  In today’s violent world, the lives of many politicians, industrialists, heads of state and other VIPs are often endangered. To counteract these threats, the Danish Intelligence Bureau established the elite Personal Protection Unit – a force of competent, quick-thinking and dedicated bodyguards. This Emmy award winning Danish crime series centres around the lives and missions of these specialists, the people they protect and their enemies. 

The Protectors_CecilieAs each episode is fairly plot heavy, it takes until the second series for the characters in the PET protection unit to fully develop. This is the pay-off that attracts me to television over film; the reward for an investment. I’m particularly enjoying the often volatile camaraderie between the three main bodyguards, Jasmina, Rasmus and Jonas. Having graduated through a tough selection process together, they maintain a sibling-like rivalry and a bond that is as close as family.

The stories are what you would expect; misbehaving politicians, international espionage, terrorism. The tone of the show is unpretentious and almost as gritty as The Killing (though it lacks The Killing’s unparalleled slow intensity and creepiness). It spends a fait bit of time exploring racism and gives a clear view into the racial tensions in Northern Europe. I’ve slowly accustomed to the Danish language and I’m starting to pick up nuances that the translation ignores – another enjoyable part of the experience. It’s very hard to go back to normal TV fodder after watching Danish TV. Highly recommended!

  • bossoccer

    I agree this is a great show–why only two seasons??! I have only two more shows left and I’m already going through withdrawal.

  • Yes, I’m not sure if more are being made. I’ll have to go looking on the Internet I do recommend some of the French shows if you’ve run out of good DANISH TV. Spiral and Braquo are both excellent. best MDP

  • elizabethss

    I found this series on Hulu over the weekend, and have just finished season 2. It’s one of the best police drama series I’ve seen. I too enjoy the dialogue. I’m looking forward to the release of Season 3.

  • Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. I’m glad other people are enjoying it too. Do you know when s3 is coming out? best MDP

  • Bob_Hudson

    We just finished watching both seasons on Netflix – what an outstanding show. Even my wife, who has not been a fan of subtitles or crime dramas, got hooked. I hated to see it end, but tonight we started watching The Eagle, which I have read comes from the same creators as The Protectors. In the first episode of The Eagle, the bad guy is none other than Thomas W. Gabrielsson who played Security Chief Leon Hartvig on The Protectors.

  • Hi Bob, I’ve scoured the Internet and can’t find any mention of season 3. Maybe it’s still in the works?? Thank you for commenting! I’m also watching Borgen but I find the politics a little boring. I like the action of The Protectors. best Marianne

  • Jedi Woman

    I just finished watching both seasons on Netflix. I almost dread watching European drama bc when it ends, I am stuck with American programming, which is lousy! After watching the Killing in Danish, I’d been on the hunt for other Danish drama. I didn’t expect to like the Protectors; but I became hooked with the first episode. Isn’t it wonderful to see Muslims that aren’t portrayed through a stereotype? I came to love British crime drama with Prime Suspect; any British programs I can find I watch. Now I have come to appreciate Danish material, too. I don’t even notice the subtitles; strangely enough I find myself recalling the dialog from the Killing as having been spoken in English!! I just hope we see more and more programs from countries all over the world.

  • Jedi Woman

    I understand it was canceled after two seasons after their primary sponsor pulled out. I suspected it was coming to an end we were being told many in the the group were moving on to other endeavors. Too bad!

  • Hi Jedi Woman, thank you so much for this update. What a shame! Have you tried any of the French cop dramas? Braquo or Spiral both excellent though quite violent. I’ve reviewed them both here. Just look under the reviews category on the left hand index. Really appreciate your comments!

  • The index is on the left column of the home page.

  • Helen Cole

    I love Danish TV too….you might enjoy Unit One (4 seasons) and The Eagle (also 4 seasons). Also special, The Bridge, a joint Danish/Swedish show.

  • Hi Helen, I have The Bridge ready to go but my DVD player is having a hissy fit! Plan to get THE EAGLE asap too! Thanks for your comment. :) MDP

  • Anne Pitkin

    So I am not alone! I’ve watched Swedish Wallender, seasons 1&2 twice. I stumbled on The Eagle, and now onto the Protectors. Thanks for the other suggestions I see in comments. I can barely keep from watching several episodes of Protectors, but if I do watch, then it’s over even sooner, and I’m bereft.

  • Yes it’s always hard not too watch these things to quickly. I find I never am able to exercise any self control when it comes to good TV> thanks for you comment Anne!

  • Ruth Hill

    I love this show. I watched all shows. It’s nice to watch a show with normal cops instead of the moribund, depressed, cops with no morals or good relationships. The psychiatrist is excellent. It’s also great to see the support they give to all the protectors when they get in jam or have terrible things happen to them. Jasmina is a great character instead of so many women characters who are just sex characters. She is the whole package.

  • Bunnymama5

    Would recommend Scottish show, Taggart…good police procedural…has understated cast and filming like the Danes…

  • Thank you for the suggestion!

  • Loved Jasmina too!

  • Jamie

    I love this show. Real, great dialogue, good stories, convincing characters. Are you sure there is no season 3? I have one show left. I’ve been holding off watching it as done want it to end.

  • Hi Jamie, I can’t see any mention of it anywhere :(

  • lacovi

    We just finished season two and are diamayed there won’t be any more of this excellent series.thanks for all the suggestions of other shows like it I’m sure they will help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. BTW I’m surprised not to see The Fall among the list, it’s a good one too.

  • hi lacovi, thanks for your message. I’ll have to check out THE FALL.

  • Lolly Kakumani

    I am searching on Netflix under the protectors and it doesn’t bring up anything. Could you tell me if it is under a different name? Thanks

  • Hi Lolly, I’m not sure if you can get it on Netflix. Unfortunately we don’t get NF in Australia. :(

  • Lolly Kakumani

    Thank you Marianne. I called Netflix and apparently they don’t have it any more. Too bad.

  • Shame! Can you buy a hard copy on Amazon?

  • Lolly Kakumani

    Unfortunately Us isn’t au courant with foreign TV. I did get to see engrenages and Wallander on NFC.

  • Engrenages is brilliant, eh!

  • Lolly Kakumani

    Marianne, I finally found The protectors and Braquo on Hulu Plus. Very good shows. Waiting for the Engrenages fourth season.

  • Hi Lolly, so pleased to hear that you enjoyed them. I’ll have to check out HULU, see if you can get it in Oz. best M

  • Just checked and no go in Australia :(

  • aj

    Hi did series two have 10 episodes or 5 …. i am getting different messages from local library where i borrowed it .. IMB seems to show that the actors were appearing in 20 episodes?

  • Hi AJ, mine has 5 episodes – but they are long.

  • Murphyman

    Hi Everyone, just finished the first series of “the Protectors” and thought it was amazing, waiting for the second series to arrive. I will tell you one of the best TV Series I have seen was “Spiral” it has four series and it is French and it is really good. I too loved “The Bridge” “The Killing” but not so keen on Borgan. Love these series, if you hear of any new ones let me know.

  • Hi Murphyman, I highly recommend BRAQUO as well. Like Spiral but a little more violent and focussed just on the police force. Not so keen on Borgen either, a bit slow for me. Try some Canadian TV series too, like THE BORDER and my all time favourite INTELLIGENCE (Ian Tracey – don’t mix it up with the US series).

  • Murphyman

    Hi Marianne. Thanks for the info, I will certainly try your recommends. I will not get mixed up with the US Series. I just gave Homeland and Hostages a try but they did not work for me at all. We had a new one start last night called “Salamander” sounds very good, I have not watched it yet.

  • I’ll check out SALAMANDER. I don’t mind HOMELAND but not familiar with HOSTAGES. best MDP

  • dallmovieguy

    The “crime” of this show is that it was stopped by Netflix, then the next crime is there is not additional season. If you want to see another great show Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter… This is from the producers of Wallender. You find your self saying turn up the sound so I can read the words better – LOL. The folks in the Scandinavian countries are doing so great stuff – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy is the best of all.

  • Thanks for the tip; I’ll go and check it out! best MDP


davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





Keep in contact through the following social networks or via RSS feed:

  • Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Pinterest
  • Follow on Google+
  • Follow on GoodReads
  • Follow on Tumblr
  • Follow on Flickr
  • Follow on YouTube