Surprise rippled through the crime drama community when BBC Four announced that it had acquired the second series of Witnesses, the superior French series that was highly-rated when it first appeared on Channel 4 two years ago. We loved that first series, but the switch to BBC Four was a surprise especially because we have Spiral and The Bridge waiting in the wings. We now know when the Normandy-based series will be broadcast. Hurrah!
The new, eight-part series will once again star the brilliant Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler in a new story: on the first day of spring, on a country road in northern France, the frozen bodies of 15 men are discovered sitting aboard an abandoned bus.
The case is assigned to Lieutenant Sandra Winckler (Dompnier), who quickly finds a link between the dead men: all 15 were involved at one time or another with a woman named Catherine Keemer (Spiral’s Audrey Fleurot). But there’s a twist: Catherine disappeared three years ago.
Determined to get answers, Sandra tracks Catherine down and discovers a woman who’s all alone with no memory of her past… except for one thing: she once gave birth to a child, who is now unaccounted for.
Despite all appearances, Sandra believes that Catherine is innocent. But if that is the case, who is responsible for the 15 mysterious deaths? And where is Catherine’s child?
So that’s the set-up for series two and, having seen the first two episodes, I can confirm it starts off very well indeed. But there’s something else to consider here – now the BBC has scheduled this series in the run-up to Christmas the question remains: where is Spiral and when will be shown? Before or after The Bridge in January?
Witnesses: A Frozen Death: Saturday 25th November, 9pm, BBC Four (DOUBLE BILLS)