By Morris Dean
DR is the name of Denmark's national broadcasting corporation. It originally stood for Danmarks Radio, but is now "officially rendered into English as the Danish Broadcasting Corporation" [Wikipedia]. I've come to thrill with some excitement when I see the announcement shown by the inset photo, its two programs we have watched are simply that good.
The Eagle [Ørnen: En krimi-odyssé—The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey] ran for three seasons between 2004 and 2006, with eight episodes each season. My wife and I are still undergoing withdrawal now that we've seen all of them and have no more to look forward to.
"The Eagle" is the collegial nickname of the lead character, a half-Icelandic, half-Danish police officer named Halgrim Ørn Hallgrimsson, who is the lead investigator or chief constable of a new international criminal investigative unit. The cases undertaken by the small team of experts he assembles cross the borders between Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and various other countries, and the languages spoken include Icelandic, French, Swahili, German, Albanian, English, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish. Or so I read on the International Movie Database; some of them sound the same to me, or I'm too absorbed trying to read the subtitles to listen carefully. (We watched by way of Netflix instant download.)
The unit's cases involve biker gangs, former Russian KGB, possible terrorist threats, and international fraud, all of which, I assume, were considered as topical in Denmark then as similar topics would be in the United States now.
There's lots to like about The Eagle. One thing is so striking that my wife remarked on it: "The various agencies, not only within Denmark, but in the different countries are so coorperative. In American TV programs, agencies are usually antagonistic." Antagonism does seem to be the rule, whether because it's accurate or for the sake of "drama." The Danes demonstrate how dramatic cooperation can be. And not just cooperation in the sense of getting the job done, but also in terms of the evident affection that the people involved seem to have for each other. I actually think that I miss this aspect of The Eagle even more than the extremely interesting cases involved. I miss the people.
The Eagle has an official site that seems to still be up.
|Jonas, Jasmina, & Rasmus|
Netflix describes the first season:
As violence and terror become increasingly globalized, even tiny Denmark can be a target of crime and terrorism. For this reason, the Danish government sets up the elite Personal Protection Unit, whose top bodyguards form a tight-knit community.And the second:
Denmark is still shaken by the outrage in the Islamic world over a Muhammad cartoon published in a Danish newspaper. The nation's top protectors, government bodyguards Rasmus, Jonas, and Jasmina, have to be on high alert, whether at home or elsewhere.The Eagle had already exposed us to P.E.T., which seemed to have jurisdictional or even constitutional overlap with the international crime unit, so the two programs are good to pair, if quite different in feel.
Both programs involve lots of travel and multiple languages, but the scenery of The Eagle is much more appealing, giving the impression that its production had a huger budget. Aerials of Iceland are particularly effective, perhaps because the islands were formed by volcanoes.
Both involve a high degree of technology in terms of global positioning, surveillance, computer hacking, and database retrieval (with The Eagle's having the edge in sophistication, I think, due mainly perhaps to the character Michael Kristensen, whom the other characters seem to regard with awe for his computer skills—not that he seems other than completely human and otherwise "ordinary," if unusually physically and personally attractive). And the way aerial views—mainly of Copehhagen—zoom in on locations where things are happening really grew on me.
And both involve camaraderie. With this show, too, it's the characters I miss...well, not miss yet. We still have six episodes to watch (again, by Netflix instant download). But not this evening—unless the Super Bowl is just as boring as any other football game—we plan to watch it on TV to try to glimpse our daughter and son-in-law in the Dome somewhere.
The Protectors, too, has an official site.
Copyright © 2013 by Morris Dean