I have been rather slow on the uptake with this one. The first series was first aired in 2005 in France, and first shown on BBC Four in 2006. There have been another 2 series since then, with the third currently showing on BBC Four.
When a friend mentioned it to me 3 or 4 weeks ago, I sat down to start watching it, not realising it was the THIRD series, until the title credits came up…so I switched it off and got Series 1 Part 1 from Blockbuster.
So glad that I did – I have now watched the whole of series 1 and it is brilliant!
This is a police drama series with true grit and hard-hitting storylines. The series starts on the body of a Romanian prostitute that has been chucked in a skip with her face horribly smashed in. This main story arc continues throughout the series (and will into series 2 by the looks of it!), but other stories are dealt with including a mother whose baby is cut into pieces by the nanny, a father accused of raping his two daughters, a detective with a coke habit and a father accused of killing his handicapped son.
It took a little while for me to get my head around the obvious differences in the French judicial system – judges and magistrates seem to be interwoven into the police investigations. In particular, Deputy Prosceutor Pierre Clement, played rather dashingly by Gregory Fitoussi, and Police Captain Laure Berthaud played by Caroline Proust.
This is a fantastic series – but it’s not The Bill – it’s not for the faint-hearted…it deals with difficult cases with no glitz and sparkle. it shows brutal crimes in exactly that manner. It shows the worst of human nature in a disturbingly believable way.
I have ordered Series 2 and can’t wait for it to show up!