Unit One Rejseholdet promotional picture

Unit One is an old Danish cop series recently released by MHz Choice. The show aired over 4 seasons from 2000-2004, and starred a young crew of now very famous Danish actors, including Mads Mikkelsen. “Unit One” refers to a mobile national task force that helps local police solve cases that they aren’t equipped to solve themselves. The cases aren’t particularly complicated, like in the U.S.’s CSI or NCIS series, but Denmark is a small country with a low crime rate, so it makes sense that many local police forces aren’t prepared to solve murders. The series is episodic, with the mysteries wrapped up in each episode (or 2, sometimes), as was the style of TV in 2000. What makes Unit One interesting even now is the relationship between the characters, who are stuck together for 200 days a year in an office built out of a tractor trailer. Although dated, the quality of the show remains, reflecting more subtlety of a British show, such as Prime Suspect, than the U.S. shows mentioned above.

For more recommendations of great Danish crime shows, click here.

The Characters

Unit One starts with DCI Ingrid Dahl (Charlotte Fich), who is known for being a great detective, but also for being ambitious, getting a controversial promotion to lead Unit One. Ulf (Erik Wedersøe), the chief of Unit One who stays in Copenhagen and works with the police commissioner and the DA, does NOT want Ingrid to run Unit One. She drives him nuts, and also, he doesn’t want to have the first female head of homicide on his watch. Unlike in Prime Suspect, Ingrid doesn’t suffer near the sexism that Jane Tennison does, but it is a plot point. Her team consists of IP (Waage Sandø), a kind older detective who was overlooked for the promotion, but who supports Ingrid anyway. Fischer (Mads Mikkelsen) is the slick, tough detective who grumps a lot but is ultimately loyal. La Cour (Lars Brygmann) is the crime scene specialist who amuses the local cops by talking to himself as he walks through the crime at the scene. Gaby (Trine Pallesen) is the manager of the cases, making calls from the truck, and getting toxicology reports, etc. Johnny Olsen (Lars Bom) is a former national soccer player who drives the truck and sets up the office in new locations, but fancies himself an amateur detective. While this irritates Ingrid, he actually saves the day several times, kind of like Barbro in The Truth Will Out.

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Our Take on Unit One

Yes, Unit One is 24 years old. And according to some reviewers, the quality of the series declines over the seasons, which happens. And yes, you will be able to predict some of the plot points-do we really think Ingrid’s supportive husband will remain so after she’s gone for 2/3 of the year? But the quality is there. The things that we appreciate about our favorite crime dramas, such as realistic dialogue, great acting, and flawed characters who share a bond, are all part of Unit One. There’s comfort in that, and it’s a pleasure to tune in. Also, I should mention that because the team travels all over Denmark, we get to visit areas that we never usually see, which is a nice bonus. If you are looking for a Spiral or a Prime Suspect type series, you’ll enjoy Unit One.

Note: Currently, MHz is releasing several episodes weekly. All 12 episodes of season 1 will be dropped by May 7, 2024.

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