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4.3 out of 5 stars73
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2013
The first season of The Protectors lives up to the expectations raised by such shows as Wallander, The Bridge, Borgen and The Killing. This five year old Danish T.V. series is not quite so dark and gritty as the some of those and features younger actors in the primary roles, with a few more familiar faces among the supporting cast.

As the title implies, it is a crime thriller focusing upon a special protection unit of the Danish police force and follows the experiences of three new recruits. The treatment does reach into the domestic lives of the characters but not so much as to detract from the continuity of the plot. In general this is more like the recent Arne Dahl series than, say, The Killing. Each story is told over two episodes and there are ten to complete the season. The plots are reasonably varied given the nature of the unit, there is quite a lot of action and most episodes are likely to spring at least one surprise on the viewer. On the minus side, the new recruits are pitched into the deep end rather sooner than would be the case in real life and - even for those not speaking Danish - it is evident that the English subtitling is no more than adequate. Overall, this is yet another entertaining addition to Arrow Films "Nordic Noir" collection.
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This series ranks at the top of Nordic noir, right alongside the original Killing and The Bridge for its note-perfect performances, devious political plotting and edge-of-seat tension.

The series follows the work of the Danish equivalent of the American secret service; the ever-present guys in dark suits who may have to take a bullet intended for a politician. They also investigate possible terrorist and other threats: if a bomb goes off then it's because they've failed. Over storylines which span two of the hour-long episodes, the series explores the thorny aspects of modern life, both in politics and the real world: so dealing with deaths in warzones abroad; the integration of immigrants into society; the acts of lone radicals or groups of neo-Nazis; the dishonesty and lies between wives, husbands and friends - all wrapped around a solid plot and featuring some riveting performances from its ensemble cast.
The dramatic decisions which face the cast feel lifelike and credible - to arrest suspects early, and forestall an atrocity, or take the risk of a major incident and many casualties if it delivers more of the network and solid convictions. None of this is played out lightly and the razor-sharp dialogue and nuanced performances make it all the more compelling. Not all of The Unit are superheroes; the admin officer suffers very real anxiety as a result of facing extremist threats every day. The development of the relationship between the three new team members is quietly compelling too. Each has his or her own motivation, and the writers don't shy away from showing inter-faith interaction and occasional misunderstandings - the sort which abound in modern, complex urban environments.

Gripping, intelligent and superbly well realised TV drama. My one complaint is that there's obviously far more going on in the dialogue than is translated for the subtitles, so we miss out on some of the smartest parts.
9/10
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on 9 April 2013
I enjoyed this series. Each story is told over 2 episodes and there is character development throughout the series. A bit like Spooks in part with the surveillance and bugging. Acting is good with a balanced mix of characters.

Entertaining plot lines, if a bit formulaic, and in some instances unbelievable (would newly qualified bodyguards really be given such high profile assignments?) There was a greater focus on immigration and integration than I expected. The last story was probably the weakest, but did have the most English spoken if you were getting fed up of subtitles.

Now, it was the subtitles that let this series down. Having lived in Denmark years ago I can still remember some Danish. Most of the subtitling was OK, but it lacked subtlety and in some instances accuracy. On occasion it did not reflect the intricacies of the personal relationships and the plots, which detracted from my enjoyment of the series. Whoever did the subtitling seemed to take a 'less is more' approach, settling for the broad meaning rather than a faithful translation of what was being said. For example in response to a question someone replied in Danish 'good enough' but the translation was 'yes'. Some dialogue wasn't translated at all. I found this very irritating.

The subtitiling for 'The Killing' and 'The Bridge' was much better.

Still if you want some non-demanding entertainment (and don't speak Danish), this is worth watching.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 January 2013
Ten episodes of Livvagterne, a Danish series which screened on DR1 during early 2009 revolving around the world of the elite protectors of VIPs, ministers etc in Copenhagen. The three Protectors are relatively unknown even to fans of other recent Danish dramas. Lesser roles and guest stars will have familiar faces including Dar Salim (Borgen: Series 1 & 2 [DVD]), and from The Bridge - BBC Series 1 [DVD] Ellen Hillingsø and Lars Simonsen among various others. Krøniken Complete Series (Better Times) Official Danish release with English subtitles star Maebritt Saerens pops up in my favourite story concerning a satalker. We also get to see one of the UK's finest actresses, Diana Quick as the main focus of a story involving MI5 too.
In keeping with other similar DR series aimed at the whole Danish population at 8pm on Sundays, each episode is an hour long and has acting, cinematography, scripts and directiuon of the highest standard.
Hopefully the concluding series 2 will be available soon.
Subtitles in English for all non-English audio. Most dialogue is in Danish.
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The Danish Protection Unit - efforts taken for granted when all is well, destined for flak when something goes wrong.

Focus is on three new recruits: Rasmus, Jonas and Jasmina. Only twenty of seventy-two passed the rigorous training course, Jasmina the first ever woman to succeed. They join as the Unit mourns the death of a charismatic colleague, killed when an irresponsible Minister left a protected area in order to phone his mistress.

From the very start we thus know any new assignment could well prove the last.

Danger is indeed never far away. Extreme right-wingers try to engineer riots against immigrants. Moslem terrorists target Jews. The Prime Minister's imminent marriage is threatened by a stalker. A conference on climate change is lobbied by activists who think not enough is done.

This is not a series for those who crave non-stop high-speed action. It concentrates on routine, behind the scenes procedures. Not here are some of the ingredients beloved of certain glossy American offerings: ultra glamorous stars, posturing, much swishing of gleaming shoulderlength hair, dramatic car chases. No intrusive music either. Here are characters convincingly able to get on with the job, storylines not following a predictable course.

Ten episodes of almost an hour. No bonuses. English subtitles.

THE PROTECTORS may not be Premier League Nordic Noir, but it contains much that impresses.

Recommended.
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on 18 April 2014
Without giving any of the plots away (which I hate in reviews) each story is told over 2 episodes. There is some great acting, but the story-telling is quite simple and there are no twists. The story running through the whole series about relationships between the core characters is little more than filler. Not relating to season one, but in one episode in season 2, a 'protector' appears at the beginning of an episode who was being sent on assignment. I thought it was odd that the character hadn't featured in previous episodes and guessed from the beginning the reason why straight away (as promised, not giving anything away)

Søren Vejby seems to appear either shirtless or in underwear in most episodes.

Despite my negative comments, it is very well-acted and very easy to watch - just don't expect gripping drama.
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on 16 April 2013
With great characters you care about, interesting plots, and plenty of suspense, this is a must watch series. some series take ages to get going but this one pulls you in and interests you right from the start.
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on 23 June 2013
A good series.... Worth checking out! Before the killing and the rest, a quality Danish series, with great acting and story lines.
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on 21 December 2014
Very watchable Danish TV series (subtitled in English) for fans of foreign TV series with a more serious theme. Stories are based on a team of people working for the Danish Security Services, whose role is to provide bodyguard cover for important public VIPs - such as members of the Danish Parliament & government, and so to protect them from a variety of threats. Characters are engaging, and believable, and the acting is very good indeed. All in all a very watchable series, which I recommend most highly.
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on 8 September 2013
This is more along the lines of British police thrillers, but the characters are well drawn and likeable. This series is entertaining and easy to watch. For fans of The Killing, The Bridge and Arne Dahl.
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