Marie Dompnier: a third series of witnesses likely

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Even though series two of Witnesses was a huge mess, there’s no denying that Sandra Winckler is one of our favourite characters in crime drama, and Marie Dompnier is a fine actress. That aforementioned second series of Witnesses took a while to get to our screens (thanks to BBC Four for snapping it up), and there has always been speculation on whether there would be another series. We hope so, and so, it turns out, does Dompnier. Continue reading

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Review: Witnesses (S1 E5&6/8), Saturday 9th December, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

After last week’s third and fourth episode – where Sandra Winkler and Catherine Keemer went rogue and formed their own crime drama version of Thelma and Louise – things are now bubbling nicely on Witnesses, although Sandra’s torturing of suspect Martin Souriau left a bitter taste in the mouth. You got the sense that these two women, who had formed an unlikely friendship and bond, were being pushed to the absolute limits: their children and personal lives had been threatened and they were willing to do anything – anything – to resolve their situations and protect their families. Continue reading

Review: Witnesses (S2 E1&2/8), Saturday 25th November, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Witnesses – or Les Témoins in its native French – was a big hit with us when the first series aired here in 2015 on Channel 4. The French series had that classic Nordic Noir feel about it, with plenty of those addictive qualities we lap up year after year – a darker than dark murder story, an obsessive female detective lead, bleak landscapes and a twisty-turny plot with plenty of dollops of addictive procedural goodness. Judging by its first series, Witnesses isn’t underpinned by socio-political explorations like many Nordic Noirs. Instead, it focuses on social constructs – like the family and, in likely in this series, marriage and motherhood. We’re delighted that it’s finally back for a second series (it’s been hanging around for a while now), especially now it’s on BBC Four, which feels like a much more natural fit for the show. And if these first two episodes are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. Continue reading

BBC Four confirms Witnesses 2 transmission date

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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! Continue reading

BBC acquires series two of Witnesses for UK transmission

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Back in 2014 French series Witnesses came in at number five in our top crime dramas of the year (go here to refresh your memories), and we couldn’t wait to see what series two had up its sleeve. And then we waited. And waited. Channel 4 – who broadcasted the series here in the UK – was quiet. Too quiet. And then we started to hear that series two had begun filming, and Spiral’s magnificent Audrey Fleurot had joined the cast, which was too exciting for words. But the waiting continued and we were eager to find out when it would be arriving in the UK. Now we know, and it’s not going to be on Channel 4. Continue reading

The Killing Times’ Euro 2016 Of Crime Drama: The Bridge (Sweden) v Hinterland (Wales)

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EURO2016Yesterday saw the closest and most entertaining game of the tournament so far, when two of the favourites – France’s Spiral and Iceland’s Trapped – went head to head. It was a thrilling affair. Now we go back to Group B to check in with another of the tournament’s favourites – The Bridge – who take on a strong contender: Wales’ Hinterland. Continue reading

Spiral’s Audrey Fleurot joins season two of Witnesses

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XVMe038882a-d0b3-11e5-a404-91b19219e4e7French crime drama, Witnesses, was one of our favourite dramas of 2015 (see our appraisal here). It was the Normandy-set story of two police officers – one brought out of retirement, the other his protegé from police college – who tried to find the Clown Killer, a perpetrator of some grotesque crimes. It was engrossing, twisty-turny and turned out to be a multi-layered procedural that paid homage to all your favourite Scandi noirs. With filming set to start in the coming weeks in northern France, we’ve got our first sniff at the plotlines and one major piece of casting news. Continue reading