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I think my family must be the only one in Australia that sits down and watches Unit One every Friday. But we do. We stumbled across it last year when nothing else was on, and have watched it every week since. Not only do I enjoy listening to the Danish speakers, but the story lines are great. Unit One is a mobile police unit, that travels over Denmark in a semi-trailer that is their office. The group are not only colleagues, they're like family. Each week a new crime must be solved, sending them from one end of the country to the other. But the stories also dive into their personal lives. Ingrid's son, Allan's wife, Gaby and Johnny's relationship... Each week is a new and exciting episode. That is what keeps me coming back, despite the bright yellow subtitles I have to put up with. All in all, Unit One is a brilliant show, with wonderful writing and acting. I give it 8/10
First off, I'm an American -- I haven't seen any comments on IMDb about this series yet from a U.S. viewer. Secondly, I work in the television business in development. So I wallow in much of the sludge that comes out of American broadcast programming. "Unit One" is an example of television that's a throwback to what I would attribute as '70s-style scripting, feature-wise. Namely, those films made by young autueurs who had free rein to make the dramas feel more realistic and to allow for organic character development. It tacks more along the lines of stellar British dramas like "Cracker" and "Prime Suspect" as well as Australia's brilliant "Underbelly." "Unit One" features stand-alone cases that are committed, then solved, each week. The mysteries aren't extraordinary or particularly byzantine. They usually center around one single twist, clocking in generally at the 40 minute mark, and resolution is neatly wrapped up in the 15 minutes thereafter. What makes this series a breath of fresh air is that it features main characters that you are hooked on and find relatable by episode 2. These are real, breathing, alive characters that have personal baggage, yet it's not a talky, batty type of baggage that American flotsam such as "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives" spoons out. These are realistic individuals whose backstories unfold leisurely over the course of the series, as if you work with them on a daily basis. After the mindless decade of "CSI's," "NCIS's," and "Criminal Minds," along with their subsequent spawns, it's refreshing to actually sit down to watch friends you want to spend time with, as is the case with "Unit One." The quippy banter, the unemotional wooden dialogue, and the over-the-top jeopardy that those American series I mentioned bludgeon us with each week are absurd compared to the nuance and the quiet resonance you get with this remarkable Danish series. I'm on episode 7 of the first season, but I've already bought all four seasons and am in for the long haul. If you need explosions and farcically-hopped up testosterone, along with music by The Who and fast-cutting, neon-lit, jittery palsy-cam action with cipher-like main characters as your main diet of television drama viewing, I suggest you stay away from this series. If you are an adult with a hunger for subtle, poignant, thoughtful and, yes, sometimes straight-forward procedural crime dramas, I urge you to check this show out.
I've seen selected episodes of Unit One on German television and am extremely impressed. I'm a fan of several Swedish crime series (Commissar Beck and the Henning Mankell mysteries), but Unit One is just as good, if not better. What is surprising is how much it packs into little over an hour. Not only does it cover the case in all its complications, but it also covers various back stories, the private conflicts that affect the members of Unit One. The writing, the cast, the photography, the direction are all superb, and I can only hope that ZDF in Germany will show all the episodes, and when they do, that they will put the series in primetime, and not in a late-night slot as they have up to now.
Rejseholdet is the second project from the national danish TV-station DR1
bear that name, and it is by far the best of the two shows.
The plot is very basic. The danish police force has a team that can move out and assist the local police in cases where expert knowledge is required. Each episode is based on real-life crimes commited in Denmark and (so far) the neighboring countries of Sweden and Germany. The story follows the away team, and much of the plot is focused around the character's interaction between themselves, their private life, and the people they meet during the cause of the investigation.
What the series lack in action, is made up in the show of realism presented. The crimes are not solved at gunpoint, but rather in careful examination of the crimescene and the general public's help (remember Denmark is a small country, so often someone is bound to know something or have seen something).
The acting is quite good, and very realistic compared to most contemporary danish shows and films. Especially Mads Mikkelsen (as Fischer) and Lars Brygmann (La Cour) stands out. The two characters suplement each other very well and are the ones with most depth.
What also makes this movie very popular, is the fact that a lot of neglected locations in Denmark, is shown in the show. No town is too small for a crime, and most danes will have their city, or one close to them, featured in one of the episodes.
It is no wonder that almost a quarter of the danes watch this series every week. And it is also no wonder that the concept has been sold to other tv-networks - so look out for your own version of "Rejseholdet" soon.
Taking inspiration in actual events in Danish crime history, this series simply rocks. I've just bought the whole series on dvd, and I must admit that it is quite amazing to see the development of the characters during the run. Finally a Danish series that can give the American ones, like CSI, Colombo, Murder She Wrote a.s.o. a little fight for the money.
After living in Sweden for a period during 1998/99 I had grown accustomed
fairly good quality local made TV, allbeit there wasnt that much of it
unfortunately. I had since heard that Mordkommissionen (Rejseholdet orig
Danish title) had become must see TV for some Stockholm friends during its
Swedish TV4 play. Luckily the series was out on DVD when I was there again
during New Year 2003, so I took a chance and bought the whole lot. What
excellent buy! I have so far allowed myself to see the first 12 episodes
which are by far better than any American crime series found on countless
stations. I want to make it last so I have another 18 to watch over the
few months. What a treat this show is! I just wish that a UK channel would
bother to even consider buying it, so that friends here can see it with
Well done DR TV on the probably the best non-English series I have seen!
Yep, I too love the series, shown here in Australia on SBS. When it's
on I fire up google earth and get my aerial view of the crime scene in
Denmark! Charlotte Fich, and Trine Pallesen are gorgeous although some
people say that Charlotte looks a bit like New Zealand Prime Minister
Helen Clarke (well Helen Clarke would do well if she looked more like
Some things puzzle me a little, First is the video "treatment", it seems to have some "texture" or treatment which puzzles me a little as it looks like it has passed through analogue production processes.
Second is one of the bridges in the opening title sequence. Is this bridge the one between West Zeeland (Vastsjaelland) and Fyns?
Well done to the team at "Rejseholdet", and glad IMDb has the literal translation of the original title.
This series only began (on SBS TV) here in Australia around a month
ago, and I'm already hooked!! Whilst not the best or the most original
cop show there is, it's well made, and the stories are believable, and
the characters of the police are well drawn. Mostly, I like the balance
between the crime-of-the-week and the personal lives of the detectives,
where the latter never ever seems to overshadow the former, as it
should be, but the personal insights into regular characters gives them
substance and dimension.
I'd recommend it to anyone who likes their crime shows on TV to be straight-forward and without too much fanfare and sensation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Have just seen the last episode, No 32, (though the site says only 30 episodes were made) and I must comment on the fact that this series was really very good and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime/cop stories. Supposedly all 32 were based on fact with information at the end of each episode of the court sentences imposed on the perpetrators of the crimes, this has at times been a gritty, well acted, believable and dare I say, entertaining series. The fact that the powers in Denmark decided to disband the unit was almost unbelievable as they did their work so well and in the series at least, never failed to "get their man"! It's a definite 10/10 for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Minor spoilers ahead*
I agree with most people commenting about this series. It is good, in fact better than most of the worse than bad TV programmes, movies and so forth from this part of the world (speaking mostly out of experience of Swedish television, though). Fine acting, with the exception of Lars Brygmann (plays Thomas La Cour - maybe not entirely his fault, but it's just silly that he all of the sudden became psychic, it takes away a lot of the credibility for his character - feels like it's more of a shortcut to tying together loose ends within the script than anything else).
Hope to see more episodes of this show in the future.
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