If you’ve recently watched Netflix’s new action thriller Extraction and spotted a few scenes with some Protons in it, we know exactly how that fleeting sense of pride felt like. To keep the ball rolling, we crept deeper into cyberspace to look for other foreign movies or TV shows that have featured some of our national cars, and the results were quite surprising.

Did you know that the 1989 Proton Saga 1.3 was featured in Tomorrow Never Dies? Yes, the 1997 James Bond flick, but only for a very brief scene in a multi-storey car park. To make this a more meaningful story, we decided to list just the 10 most prominent foreign Proton appearances, some of which include actual driving scenes by main characters of a show.

1. Proton Saga 1.5 SE in Fifth Gear

We’ll start with the obvious – first on the list is a short five-minute segment that we might all have seen before, and that is the 1991 Proton Saga 1.5 SE featured on the 16th season of Fifth Gear. Here, presenter Tim Shaw swapped out his E46 BMW M3 for an “old banger” that is the Saga, and attempted to live with it for a full week.

Besides looking weathered, the car fared well for something of its age (and price) – it was nearly 20 years old when Tim took it for a spin! After some digging, we found that the white Saga was manufactured in 1991 and registered the same year on June 7. It’s almost as if we could smell the car from the inside…

2. Proton Saga in Mr Bean

This one is another classic, and a scene anyone familiar with the Proton brand would remember for life. In fact, it’s possibly the single most memorable scene involving a Proton car (and a golf ball) in a foreign show. Feel free to revisit the episode – nobody’s too old for some classic comedic gold by Sir Rowan Atkinson.

3. Proton Satria GTi in Fat Pizza

Back in the day, no Proton could set the hearts racing like the Satria GTi, as far as road legal Protons go, that is. So to see Malaysia’s very own “hot hatch” used (and driven by the main cast) in an Australian film called Fat Pizza was quite a treat, even if no one had literally heard of the film from this part of the world.

4. Proton Satria Neo in Top Gear Australia

Proton has had a long-running presence in Australia after the Wira was exported Down Under in 1995. Consumer uptake was relatively mild, to say the least, but the Satria hatch was once again put in the limelight in 2008 when The Stig drove a bone stock Neo model at the Top Gear Australia track. It was a great display of the car’s talent, one almost as good as the impact of the publicity stunt itself.

5. Proton Satria Neo S2000 in Top Gear UK

Before Chris Mellors of Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM) went to town with the Proton Iriz R5, there was the Satria Neo S2000. The rally-bred hatch proved to be a formidable machine in the hands of Alister McRae, the younger brother of rally legend Colin McRae.

For this special Top Gear episode, MEM supplied two identical Satria Neo S2000s for a friendly competition between Top Gear UK and its Australian counterpart. The episode featured a five-event challenge including a drag race, drifting, and rallycross. In the end, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were crowned the winners. No sledgehammers were featured in this episode, thankfully.

6. Proton Gen2 in Yaprak Dökümü

If you feel like the list is starting to get weirder, that’s probably the case. The Proton Gen2 had been repeatedly used by the cast of Yaprak Dökümü, an award-winning Turkish TV series. As a matter of fact, it featured the Gen2 and Waja in three successive episodes, possibly making this the most “successful” outing for the national brand in a foreign show.

Apparently, Proton seems to have a decent following in Turkey. Older models such as the Wira and Saga can be spotted in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, whereas the Waja is being used as taxis in Istanbul. Proton is currently being distributed by Ulu Motor in Turkey.

7. Proton Perdana V6 in Jaggubhai

We’ve got to admit, nobody at the team had actually seen nor heard of this show before, but this Tamil movie might as well been a Malaysian one, considering the amount of Protons and Peroduas (with Malaysian license plates!) featured in it.

The show was shot in 2008 in multiple locations – Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Chennai, but most scenes portraying Australia were shot in Malaysia. In some car chase scenes, only the main cars, including the Perdana V6 above, had foreign plates, but even those were very clearly stuck on.

8. Proton Wira in Battle of the Damned

You’d think the popular Proton Wira would get more screen time than some of its siblings in this list, but somehow that is not the case. We meant to find more meaningful appearances for the Wira instead of cameos such as this, but we think having Dolph Lundgren play a gunslinging soldier in this post-apocalyptic movie makes for a rather satisfying consolation.

The movie was shot in Malaysia and released in 2013, depicting a virus-stricken world where those infected turn into flesh-eating zombies. Reviews were mixed, but if you’re a Rocky fan, consider adding this to the list.

9. Proton Wira Aeroback in Ordinary Lies

Ordinary Lies was a British TV series that was watched by millions, and BBC ran it for two seasons between 2015 and 2016. In the fifth episode of the first season, a degraded Wira Aeroback was spotted, but that’s about the only time a Proton was featured in the drama. Who else misses their Wiras?

10. Proton Saga Iswara Aeroback in Power Rangers Jungle Fury

The final entry on this list is the Proton Saga Iswara Aeroback, which was part of a brief acrobatic fight scene in Power Rangers Jungle Fury. The little-known series was shot in Australia and New Zealand (explains the foreign plate) and released in 2008.

There you have it, folks. That pretty much sums up the series this time around. Which of the films above have you seen, or rather, which one is your favourite Proton appearance in a foreign show? Let us know in the comments, below. Also, feel free to let us know if you’ve spotted any other Protons in other non-local shows!