With the success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo it was inevitable that there would be interest in any new (and a revival of old) Scandinavian crime related sensations. First it was the murder mystery series The Killing with its Twin Peaks-esque whodunit tease-fest and now the Danish series The Protectors.
The Protectors also known as “Livvagterne”, is a series about a Danish Personal Protection Unit. We follow three recruits: Arab born Jasmina El-Murad, Danish born Rasmus Poulsen, and Jewish Jonas Goldschmid as they go through the annual admission test and go on to become protectors.
The show focuses on the three protecting their clients, while exploring their lives, the clients’ lives and some major political themes affecting Denmark. The most central recurring theme is the impact of Muslim culture and its assimilation into Danish culture. To balance this out it also deals with issues such as White Extremists, political, environmental, and moral corruption.
The Protectors is a very multi-cultural show and in the eyes of Anders Behring Breivik this aspect would serve to prove his notion of the “Islamic Threat” and how Scandinavian culture is being destroyed. In wake of his actions watching a show like this does make you consider how traditions and cultures might get forgotten amidst so much culture. Having said that it’s really up to the individual to judge the nature of the show. This is obviously an issue in Denmark and they are not focusing only on extremism but the reasons for it.
Ultimately The Protectors is a nice break from the typical cop/action series. We get something a bit more fleshy and realistic although it still manages to provide some action and suspense sequences. One thing Scandinavian films and TV always excel in is character development and the show is more about the characters than the action which again is a nice change. Recommended for those who liked The Killing.
Madman’s release of Series 1 consists of 10 episodes spread over 3 discs with no special features.
Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.