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128 Reviews
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series
Started watching Series 3 when it started on BBC4 recently but, thought it wasn't doing much to introduce the main characters. Then the penny dropped, this must be the latest series, so I googled it and, lo and behold, this was Series 3. Still suffering withdrawal symptoms since The Killing, I hurriedly sent of for Spiral Series 1 & 2. Absolutely brilliant, couldn't watch...
Published on 15 May 2011 by weeredbull

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2.0 out of 5 stars someone suggested this after I watched and enjoyed "the Killing"
someone suggested this after I watched and enjoyed "the Killing" : sadly the graphic images and sex references meant that I threw it in the bin. Seedy and unpleasant compared to the clean investigations of Sarah Lund!
Published 3 months ago by P. J. Waterton

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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series, 15 May 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Started watching Series 3 when it started on BBC4 recently but, thought it wasn't doing much to introduce the main characters. Then the penny dropped, this must be the latest series, so I googled it and, lo and behold, this was Series 3. Still suffering withdrawal symptoms since The Killing, I hurriedly sent of for Spiral Series 1 & 2. Absolutely brilliant, couldn't watch them fast enough. Terrific characters and really nitty, gritty story lines. First class, hope there's more to come
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234 of 246 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, fast moving and near perfect !, 12 Jan. 2011
By 
J. Tracey "filmlivesforever" (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Wow! What can I say about this series except that it is riveting! From the first episode to the last I had a very hard time being able to stop between the episodes. Unlike the formulated American dramas like 24 which leave you with artificial cliff hangers at the end of each episode this series gives you only limited information every 50 minutes and your brain has to do the work and connect the dots.

That in itself shows you how intelligent the writers are and that in itself hooks the viewer in to want to (if possible) do a marathon of all episodes all the way to the end.

Refreshing to see something not set in the UK or the US. IE: we are transported to France and NOT just to look at the Eiffel Tower.

It is gritty and the viewer feels the grit. The cops, the low life characters and even the white collar crime bosses all come across rightly so as real people you can identify with... and you get up close and personal with all of them. You absorb their lives, their problems and their mind sets. It is done impeccably.

The actors are first rate and the story moves at a marathon pace; you really can feel exhausted after watching each episode.

As the French do a lot of talking there is a lot to take in with the subtitles (as the language of course is in French) but I didn't find that an issue at all. Yes; I did have to pause and "rewind" maybe a single time in each episode but that was just to ensure I got the right combination of dots connected with the clues.

A brilliant series. A brilliant cast. Extremely well done and definitely a keeper for anyone with a dvd collection. I look forward to re watching later down the road.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a French Taggart...when it was still good, 29 May 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
After being thoroughly disappointed with The Killing - so grim - I was reluctant to give this as go. That was totally unfair. And totally unfair of the Beeb to bury it on Four like an embaressing penpal they have over on an exchange visit, while they're airing such dross on One and Two - The Shadow Line I'm looking at you!

It looks fabulous, in an understated and cool way, and, as another reviewer has commented, it has a grittiness which is so much more authentic than in many British shows. Also a nice change not to be patronised by the writers and left to read between the lines yourself.

Loved it, will almost certainly rewatch it, and would recommend it heartily to anyone who enjoys high quality crime drama.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and fast moving, 8 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
I watched part of the series on on the BBC but kept missing episodes due to shift work. I loved the pace and the raw humanity of the characters. I decided I had to see the whole series and purchased a box set. I am thoroughly chuffed with my purchase and have enjoyed every minute. My ability to understand French is non-existent but with subtitles I don't even notice I can't speak the language.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh continental air, 2 April 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
British people are notoriously reluctant to read subtitles, so the roaring success of several foreign-language detective series, of which Spiral is one, tells us that we are getting pretty jaded with the home -made (sorry, Midsomer, Taggart, Lewis et al.)

The 'who dunnit' is refreshed by these new kids on the block from Scandinavia and France.

Each series of Spiral is 'stand alone' and although a few references are made to the past, you can follow the plot easily without having seen the previous series. However, as series 3 of Spiral is about to air on BBC, how useful to have the previous episodes on DVD.

According to French sources, this is the first French series the BBC has bought since Belle et Sebastien

Is it as good as the Killing? Erm, not quite. ( But then, what is? Spiral is still top quality, and think what it may do for your French! )
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral Series 1 and 2, 23 May 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Good value, delivered promptly and enjoyable viewing if you like gritty crime stories. The subtitles worked really well and it also helped refresh my very rusty French.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling police drama, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Not much to criticise here. Both series are characterised by gritty realism (the cert 18 is justified) and a fast-moving plot, yet parallel scenes are interwoven without the choppy feel of some modern productions. Part of the grip this drama exerts on the viewer must be the way it evolves on different levels and the way events turn on fatal flaws in the personality of the protagonists, goodies and baddies alike. In this respect miles ahead of so many cop films and TV shows which are too static, too shallow, or both.
Just a hint of revelling in gore and violence (graphic to the point of turning off some viewers, I would estimate) and perhaps the portrayal of institutional corruption in the French justice system is a bit overdone? All good dirty fun, nonetheless, and conspiracy theorists will love this aspect of the series.
The only real negative for me was that the French speech was so fast and colloquial that I had difficulty in keeping up with the dialogue - the subtitles flashed past at the same pace - without losing some of the nuances of the excellent acting. Still, I'd rather live with that difficulty than a dubbed soundtrack, any day.
Overall, for those of a robust constitution, first class entertainment and a good case for buying Series 3.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH, 18 Jan. 2015
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Tough and dark. In Paris Laure Berthaud and her police team investigate crimes that sicken the strongest stomachs. Often lines have to be crossed to secure a conviction - tactics unconventional, interrogation methods more physical than one might expect. The strain can lead to unwise ways of unwinding, these in danger of putting jobs on the line.

Two seasons, each of eight episodes. French with English subtitles. No bonuses.

Season 1 has newly appointed Deputy Prosecutor Pierre Clement in deep trouble when trying to help lifelong friend Benoit. He is unaware of a lifestyle now decidedly dodgy, involving corrupt members of the Establishment. Pierre's dogged probing may bring an early end to his career (perhaps even of him).

Season 2 concentrates on a ruthless, tight-knit drug/gun trafficking family. How best to bring them down? Samy infiltrates to sow discord, there no guarantee he will emerge alive.

As ever it is interesting to see another country's different police and court procedures, to watch storylines spared cliches that dog some British and American offerings. Perhaps it is my imagination, but characters here seem to say far more than their Danish, Swedish (etc.) counterparts. Keeping up with subtitles required a little more effort.

An asset indeed is Philippe Duclos as wily old Examining Magistrate Roban. Charismatically he steals every scene he is in, lined angular face forever expressive as he skilfully probes.

Uncomfortable viewing but, for many, there is no denying the impact.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a spin, 23 April 2011
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This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
After watching the Killing it took a couple of episodes to adjust to the pace and style of this gaelic offering.
However, it is equally engrossing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for my French, 5 Jun. 2011
By 
bookwormsu "thrifty" (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Spiral - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Spiral - Series 1 and 2 [DVD] Well this series 1 is good for my French. I wish there was the option of having French subtitles, just to check up on missed phrases. However the DVD is a great improvement on watching it on BBC 4 where you can't turn off the subtitles (or can u?) But I would have thought subtitles options in other languages too, German, definitely and what about Swedish and Norwegian (for the competition)? I thought the subtitling was fairly easy to read though and after Wallander and The Killing am getting used to them now.

The film is really really good. I love the characters and interactions and the occasional shots of "tourist Paris" also the bits of real Paris (though I haven't been there for what, 40 years). It reminded me of Spooks there. I thought Clement a bit too good looking and a bit hammish, but nice to look at. It was engrossing. I don't understand why all these foreign detective stories have to be quite so violent. I have to cover my eyes quite often. That apart it's pretty good. the monotonous colours give the bleak feel to what are horrible events. My big puzzle was I didn't understand the end. I didn't know who "les deux" were or who the little girl was. I was bemused. I still have Series II to watch but will give it a break first.Maybe I will have to watch it all again. I wish I understood the end................why i dropped a star

Well worth buying.
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