If you’re looking for an unpredictable small screen thriller to sink your teeth into, then you sometimes have to look beyond the television output of the UK and the US. To France, in this case, as three series of the highly acclaimed TV show Spiral
have been brought together in this single box set. And, along with The Killing
, it’s an international television treat that’s aching to be discovered.
The show goes under the name of Engrenages in its native France, and it’s a police drama series starring Caroline Proust and Gregory Fitoussi. Known as Spiral when it was broadcast in the UK, what’s drawn people to the show has been how intelligently it treats its viewers. You’re not spoon fed everything here, as instead, the writers offer you enough, but aren’t afraid to let you do some of the work. The conventional Hollywood approach to such subject matter is absolutely nowhere to be seen.
It’s gripping drama, made all the better by it being set in another country, and thus dealing with a different way of accomplishing things. For an English viewer, that certainly helps make Spiral interesting. But it’s the sheer quality of the three series you get here, and the willingness to stray from convention, that make this boxset worth the money. It’s gritty, unpredictable drama, and with further series ordered in France, it’s great to hear that there’s more of it to come. --Jon Foster
All four series of the acclaimed French police drama starring Grégory Fitoussi and Caroline Proust. In the first series the discovery of a young woman's badly beaten body on a rubbish tip in Paris sets in motion a police investigation that unravels a trail of corruption leading from the dark worlds of prostitution and drugs to the halls of government, business and the judiciary itself. In the second series public prosecutor Pierre Clement (Fitoussi) once again joins forces with Police Captain Laure Berthaud (Proust) and crusading judge Francois Roban (Philippe Duclos) to infiltrate Paris's underworld of organised crime, international drugs trafficking and arms dealing. During series three the emergence of a brutal serial killer offers Berthaud the chance to restore her reputation, but will her very determination to track down the killer lead her over the edge? In series four, lawyer Joséphine Karlsson (Audrey Fleurot) risks all by attempting to defend the rights of a group of unwelcome immigrants. Meanwhile, Berthaud finds herself in the thick of the action when she is seconded to an anti-gang unit shadowing the activities of dissident students engaged in bomb-making.