Tag Archives: Rejseholdet

From the Earth to the Moon, across The Bridge to Olympus

Earlier this summer our holiday viewing consisted of rewatching From the Earth to the Moon. After we accidentally caught a bit of Apollo 13, it felt like the obvious choice, and it was high time we revisited Tom Hanks and his astronauts, training to go to the moon.

I’ve said this before and it can be said again; this is one of the best DVD boxes. Ever. I’ll want to watch this many more times. And it’s funny for someone who was around when it happened for real, because you find you get to know these astronauts and all the rest of them from scratch.

I used to subscribe to the idea that Apollo 11 was a lovely trio of men doing something great and special. After watching this though, you feel disappointed that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were such idiots. Seemingly, anyway. It takes a bit away from that night in July 1969. On the other hand, there are many astronauts I knew little about and whom you come to love. Especially Alan Bean, I reckon. Lovely man.

Is it the actors? Or is it the research, where it is now safe to admit to things no one would have mentioned in the 1960s? And speaking of actors, it’s interesting to see the parade of NCIS guest actors donning astronaut gear and looking so much younger. The episode on geology is one I could watch more often than most, even though that sounds like a pretty boring statement. Geology rocks.

This part of our summer Daughter and I are catching up on my chronological watching of Rejseholdet/Unit One, which suffered a long delay some time ago. The resident IT Consultant gave up, again, after half an episode, not being able to cope with the Danish soundtrack and Swedish subtitles.

As with the astronauts, hindsight now shows us Rejseholdet was first to introduce us to all the actors we have subsequently seen in The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge. The younger Brix was particularly chilling as a sweeter looking but fairly disgusting character.

Towards the end, we came upon the episode that was our first. I had no intention of watching anything Danish back then, but we switched on and came in when Gaby enters Fischer’s hotel room after he has been concussed, and then hides in the bathroom while Johnny speaks to Fischer. We had no idea who any of these people were or what was happening, but it took only minutes for us to be hooked.

It’s a little harder to find the time to watch, when one of us can’t join in, so we tend to eat to the accompaniment of selected episodes of NCIS season 11. (What do you mean, conversations with dinner?) Last night we watched Olympus Has Fallen, which was more one-sided and bloody than even I had expected. Fine if you don’t mind a film that is nearly all about Gerard Butler. Personally I want more variety than that.

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Seeing Red

They could always kill her. Paris Summerskill. The name alone is enough to bring me out in a rash. Thing is, when they piloted NCIS: LA they had to remove and later kill the female boss. They can’t do the same again. She needs to die – or resign, I suppose – in part 2 of Red.

NCIS Red Team

But enough of dear Paris for now.

It’s the spin-off idea I’m wanting to mention. I still feel LA is the weaker sibling of NCIS, except that this last year the writing has been better for LA. I suspect it’s because Shane Brennan is giving it most of his attention. And now he has come up with Red, the travelling NCIS unit. (Which doesn’t at all look like the Hollywood take on Rejseholdet. Oh, no.)

Nothing wrong with either spin-offs or stea… borrowing ideas. But I understand that Donald Bellisario – the wily old fox – had it written into his contract that he had rights on stuff that might happen later, even after he was got rid of. And whatever your opinion of his effect on NCIS or his departure, a contract is a contract. That he’s already rich enough not to need any spin-off related money has nothing to do with it.

(But, I do feel another spin-off might be taking spinning too far. On the other hand, a company that sits on the most popular show will want to get a larger piece of the cake if they can. I still feel small is beautiful. NCIS was best at the beginning. Bigger isn’t better.)

(Photo © CBS)

Unit 1

You are already wondering what on earth to do when Borgen finishes in two weeks’ time, are you not? It’s understandable. There will be no more The Killing. Don’t know about more Bridges, and we have all seen Wallander several times over.

Rejseholdet

But do not despair. Unit 1 is here. (Honestly, what a title. But no doubt I shall get used to it, and will soon talk about it in three languages.) I mean Mord-kommissionen, as it is in Sweden. Or its original title Rejseholdet, as the Danes know it.

It’s not coming to BBC4 next, unfortunately. But desperation for more murderous Danes and role model female detectives will send you hurtling into the nearest HM.., no it won’t. You’ll probably buy it online. It’s what we do these days. Anyway, Rejseholdet, aka Unit 1, will be available to buy from tomorrow.

You will love it.

If you don’t, it will be your own fault. I have gone on at length about it, for years, and here we finally are. It’s season one only, which I think means the first nine episodes. There is a total of 32, so no doubt the rest will follow, once they have you hooked.

Rejseholdet

It is being sold as something starring Mads Mikkelsen. Only as a member of the team, however. It’s even been described as having his brother Lars in it. (Troels, you know.) I think only as a minor character in one episode, just like Søren Malling who is Meyer/Torben. And then there is Lars Brygmann, the other Troels (Höxenhaven), when he was younger and much sweeter.

Rejseholdet

And anyone else you can think of, most likely. It also has a few people you might never have met, but who will soon become your best friends. Like IP, who we look out for every time we land at Kastrup. What’s more, for those of you who believe Denmark is always dark and cold and wet, you will now get the tourist’s Where’s Where of this lovely country. The murderers obligingly murder somewhere new each time, and we get to visit the whole country.

Very nice.

I almost envy you coming to this fresh. I definitely envy you getting the English subtitles. We are still labouring away with the Swedish ones. Not me, but the rest of us.

(Here are a few links to my previous rantings on the lack of Unit 1 in the UK. Link 1. Link 2. Link 3. Link 4.)

We want Rejseholdet!

And we want it now. Are you listening, BBC4? Pretty please?

What I mean is, seeing as British viewers are now clamouring for – almost – anything Danish, especially with a woman at the helm, we could do with a speedy purchase of Rejseholdet, aka Unit 1.

It’s old, so should be affordable, and it would be a pleasant way to spend the time before we get Borgen 2 or Forbrydelsen 3. Has been available in English speaking countries, so should come with ready made subtitles. (Unlike us at CultureWitch Towers who are working with the Danish original, complemented by Swedish subtitles.)

Rejseholdet

Old, but not too old. They do have mobile phones. And sex. Not to mention a strong woman – Ingrid Dahl – heading her team of Denmark-wide detectives. It’s ideal. I’m surprised no one has thought of it. And if they have, what’s happening?

Just think! 32 episodes of beautiful Danish crime, and the marvellous Charlotte Fich doing a Lund/Nyborg. (And two Troels connections.)

Relationships

You can only have one favourite favourite television series to obsess about. And for us that is NCIS. But then we have a few more on the next level, one of which is the Danish Rejseholdet. Having just gone on holiday, we are continuing watching through all the episodes again. What strikes me is how similar they are. And also quite how different from each other.

Rejseholdet

Both are police teams of some sort, where the group have become family. You don’t necessarily want to watch it out of order, as it’s important what went before, between X and Y. And the whole team is aware of it. Or not.

Whenever the fans want Tony and Ziva to get together, you have to stop for a reality check. It’d be nice, perhaps. But would it work? No, it wouldn’t. The same went for Gibbs and Hollis Mann. Fine for a while, but it can’t be allowed to become permanent. Then Gibbs wouldn’t be Gibbs.

I assume that real NCIS agents have families. And that it works. But the television team can’t have long term happiness and stability.

In Rejseholdet they do. Have relationships, that is. Not certain that it always works, and it definitely gets in the way of the policework. But then maybe real families also interact with real policing.

Fischer gets somewhere late, because his wife is upset with his infidelities. IP’s girlfriend is angry when he doesn’t have time for her theatre plays. Ingrid is always having to sort things out for her children, finding ‘babysitters’, although they are teenagers, or coming home to find there has been a party. La Cour, naturally, seems the most sorted of them all, and does get back together with an old flame. And Gaby and Johnny have their very public disagreements in the lap of the team.

It’d be easy to say that the Danes are the normal ones, but I wonder if normal means always having things happening within a small group of people. How likely is it to have the head police officer finding she’s investigating the murders of her brother-in-law and his family?

NCIS

And good looking though the Danish team are (it is television, after all), they are nowhere near the Hollywood good looks of NCIS. I mean, take Palmer out of autopsy, and even he is handsome.

Maybe their looks help us like people to begin with. I’m certain I’d love the characters after a while, no matter how they look. In fact, I disliked Gibbs for most of the first two series because of his California perfection, and to begin with I found Fischer unbearably ugly. But you get used to both, and once you’ve become ‘friends’, you just like.