DNA on Viaplay. Olivia Joof Lewerissa as Neel, Anders W. Berthelsen as Rolf Larsen and Thomas Bro as Jarl Skaubo

DNA is a Danish series on Viaplay about a Copenhagen detective, Rolf Larsen (Anders W. Berthelsen), whose daughter goes missing while he is working a kidnapping case. But the circumstances are very different. The kidnapped baby, Minna, was snatched from her daycare, whereas Rolf’s daughter’s pram fell down the stairs of a ferry on a stormy night, likely launching her into the sea. But Rolf is sure she, too, was kidnapped. Five years later, Rolf is grieving, divorced and working as a cop in a small Swedish town. Neither Minna nor Rolf’s daughter have been found. When the DNA from Minna’s case makes a match with the DNA in a French murder case, Rolf is called back to Copenhagen to help the French catch the murderer and hopefully find out what happened to Minna. Naturally, his hope is restored that he can find his daughter.

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I should note that it seems VERY unlikely that Rolf’s daughter is alive. Rolf left her outside in her pram on a violently rocking boat (he was in the bathroom being seasick), and when he came out the pram was gone. Frantic, he finds the pram at the bottom of the stairs, tipped over and leaning against an open railing, but no baby. Literally everyone in his life believes she fell overboard, but for some reason, perhaps because he is working a kidnapping case, Rolf believes she was taken. He runs her DNA through the database but there is no match. Five years later, a broken Rolf is numbly working an easy small-town job. A new colleague, Neel (Olivia Joof Lewerissa), makes a bad first impression, but then redeems herself on a local case. When Rolf is called back to Copenhagen to help French inspector Claire Bobin (Charlotte Rampling) catch a murderer, he takes Neel with him.

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Meanwhile, in Poland, 19-year-old Julita (Zofia Wichlacz) is pregnant. Her boyfriend asks her to marry him but his parents are vehemently against it. Refusing to get an abortion, she seeks refuge at an unwed mother’s facility in a convent. But she has a bad feeling about the place. It’s not immediately clear how this subplot ties in with the Denmark story, but it definitely does.

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Our Take on DNA

I found DNA to be really compelling, mostly because I didn’t know where it was going. I liked that there were plot lines in Denmark, Sweden, Poland and France, and the twist of Rolf’s daughter disappearing was unique. The DNA angle is interesting, because it’s a relatively new technology, but we rely upon it as unimpeachable evidence, not yet knowing where the flaws are in the apparatus. The performances are fantastic, and Rolf and Neel make a good pair. Rolf’s steadfast belief that his daughter is still alive causes him to do some questionable things, and gets him in trouble with his superiors. At 5 episodes in, I’m still not sure how that story will end. If you can stomach the kidnapped children theme, I recommend DNA. Note that there is a season 2 as well, but it is not on Viaplay in the US yet.

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