Get your subtitles ready because Netflix is going global. After the success of international originals such as Cable Girls and Good Morning Call, the streaming platform released its first Turkish series called The Protector.
Set in modern-day Istanbul, the show follows Hakan (Çagatay Ulusoy), a young bazaar vendor who discovers he is actually the Protector, and is given mystical powers thanks to a talismanic t-shirt. He soon meets a group of Loyal Ones — most notably father and daughter duo Kemal (Yurdaer Okur) and Zeynep (Hazar Ergüçlü) — who are dedicated to helping him find and kill the last surviving Immortal and save Istanbul. What could go wrong?
"He must quickly learn that his hometown is under threat from the mysterious, mystical Immortals, and it’s his job to stop them," Netflix wrote in a press release. "It’s a task he’s not only unprepared for, but resists — will he fulfill his destiny as the last protector?"
So, what do you need to know about The Protector? Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Where is The Protector filmed?
The show was really filmed in Istanbul — and many of the important scenes of the show are centered around the Hagia Sophia, an Ottoman mosque turned museum, which was built in 537 AD.
According to the Globe Post Turkey, Netflix was initially not happy with the first five episodes and the original director, Can Evrenol, so he was replaced by directors Umut Aral and Gönenç Uyanık, who reshot the scenes and completed the series.
Who is the Immortal in The Protector?
Hakan is convinced that Mazhar, Faysal Erdem's chief of security, is the Immortal since he was the one after the talismanic shirt, and pretty much the perfect villain. However, Hakan is shocked to discover Mazhar is not the last surviving Immortal — after he killed him without the dagger needed to slay the Immortal.
Hakan quickly discovers his boss and billionaire businessman, Faysal, is the real Immortal and had Mazhar working for him to find the Protector. Hakan sets out to confront Faysal but he has already taken his girlfriend, Leyla, hostage. To try to save her life, Hakan agrees to give the Immortal his mystical shirt, the dagger, and some of his blood. Turns out, Faysal just wants to bring his wife back from the dead.
Unfortunately, Leyla dies in the cistern — and Hakan teams up with Zeynep to take down Faysal, who is already in the tombs of the Hagia Sophia attempting to bring his wife back.
The show ends with Hakan's blood spilling on the floor amid the fighting, and making its way to the tombs of the other immortals — bring them all back from the dead. Zeynep was also able to bring back Leyla from the dead using Faysal's blood — but it is unclear what affect the Immortal's blood will have on her.
Will there be a Season 2 of The Protector?
Thanks to that cliffhanger ending, it's no surprise Netflix has already renewed the Turkish series for a second season. The cast of the show recently revealed that Season 2 will be released on April 26 — just a few months after the first season premiered on the streaming platform. Plus, there is also a possibility for a third and even fourth season, per Netflix insiders.
And despite the language barrier, the series has been compared to Iron Fist and other superhero originals on Netflix and has gotten mostly positive reviews from U.S. audiences.
"I’m watching The Protector on Netflix and damn it’s pretty impressive," one fan tweeted before another added, "I’ve been watching a Turkish Netflix series called The Protector and while this is usually not the kind of show I like this one’s just charmingly done somehow."
So, mark your calendars for Friday, April 26 for Season 2 of The Protector on Netflix.