One of the heavyweights of European crime drama, Spiral (Engrenages), returned for its sixth series premiere on Monday night in its native France. The hope is that we’ll be able to see it here in the UK on BBC Four before the year is out, but in the meantime, there was much excitement on the other side of the Channel, as our French friends tucked into the first episode. Let’s get some reaction…
Time to start with a few bits from social media…
This is what Télé Loisirs said:
To turn a series in a state of emergency, this is the problem that the team of Engrenages was confronted for season 6 of the series of Canal + . For the first time in the history of Engrenages, the production took several months before finding a commune accepting to host the filming, due to the safety problems. Especially when the scenario includes a particularly impressive riot scene.
If it were not for Engrenages to write a season on terrorism, it was nevertheless necessary to find a way to evoke the subject, which is very present in everyone’s mind, without making it the subject of these episodes. The backdrop of Engrenages in this sixth season is rather the uneasiness of the police officers, starting with an investigation into a murder of cops.
Elsewhere, Télérama said this:
If there is no question of terrorism, this season, written between the attack on Charlie Hedbo and the killing of Nice, and turned with the constraints imposed by the state of emergency, is nume of an unprecedented excitement. Nothing has really changed, but everything seems to be just a thread, like the life of the premature baby brought into the world by Laure and cared for in a neonatology department. Roban, the examining magistrate, no longer succeeds in concealing the disturbances of memory which disrupt his mission. Tintin accuses the blow of his divorce and the departure of his children. Even Joséphine Karlsson, the twisted lawyer, touched in her flesh, will lose foot.
Engrenages continues to firmly grasp the harshest reality of this “other side of the periphery” deserted by fiction. Herville, the ex-Sarkozy boss of the group, is hired at the head of a police station in Seine-Saint-Denis, and is working to “empty an ocean of shit with a spoon”, armed with his sense of formula. Business of all kinds, social misery, youth adrift … The series assumes since its beginnings its desperate vision of a society on the brink of implosion, sometimes flirting sometimes with caricature. Column avoided this season thanks to secondary characters, rogues or corrupt cops, endowed with an unexpected thickness.
I also managed to get a Spiral fan in France to give us the lowdown on the first episode. This was our friend Gwendoul’s take on the first episode:
Three years. For three years we’ve been looking forward to this sixth season. This time was certainly long, but we like to say that the longer the better. And we plunge back into it right in the first few minutes of the season premiere in the main features of the show: dark atmosphere, neat aesthetics, an extra glaucous touch, complex and extensive writing, well-known faces, raw conversations… We’re reminded (somewhat hazily, it’s been three years!) the end-of-season events. Added to that is the big investigation that will unravel this year: a human trunk found in a sports bag, left in garbage in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The team – Laure, Gilou, Tintin – remains the same, the other characters have hardly changed, some new heads appear to booster curiosity, and last but not least, a huge upheaval arises for Laure, with the birth of her child. Each character will be confronted with major decisions, some positive others negative. All this mixture takes place naturally during 60 minutes, despite some lengthy passages. But after three years, we can afford it. Did I enjoy this return? Indeed I did. Will I see the full season? Definitely. Should you watch it? It would be a shame to miss it!
Thanks to Gwendoul, who has now officially made us excited about the series. Let’s hope it appears on BBC Four soon.