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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Suspense Drama
This is a great series, well-acted and brimming with suspense. It is tight in a way a modern BBC production would be languid and riddled with limp PC dialogue. This has no padding and moves at a pace, quite impressive and realistic. The notion of the elite running the show behind the scenes fits Belgium nicely, especially with the EU overlay on Belgium's seedy politics...
Published 5 months ago by Black Prince

versus
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy rules!
Fresh from the brilliance of the Bridge I and II I was looking for something to replace the Nordic crime slot in my viewing and noticed another foreign import on BBC4. Okay it's not Nordic Noir and it hasn't the obvious darkness of The Killing or the aforementioned Bridge. Nevertheless, there is definitely something rotten in the state of Belgium and detective Paul...
Published 4 months ago by still searching


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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Suspense Drama, 25 Feb 2014
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great series, well-acted and brimming with suspense. It is tight in a way a modern BBC production would be languid and riddled with limp PC dialogue. This has no padding and moves at a pace, quite impressive and realistic. The notion of the elite running the show behind the scenes fits Belgium nicely, especially with the EU overlay on Belgium's seedy politics but it does beg the question why the BBC could never produce such a drama about The City-Palace-Whitehall Establishment and dirty secrets...........too close to home.

I am really impressed by Salamander an expected not to be !
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy rules!, 4 Mar 2014
By 
still searching (MK UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Fresh from the brilliance of the Bridge I and II I was looking for something to replace the Nordic crime slot in my viewing and noticed another foreign import on BBC4. Okay it's not Nordic Noir and it hasn't the obvious darkness of The Killing or the aforementioned Bridge. Nevertheless, there is definitely something rotten in the state of Belgium and detective Paul Gerardi sets out to find and expose just what it is. It opens with a cleverly executed bank heist. The bank is private, solely open to only the most exclusive clientele who keep their dirty dark secrets safe from prying eyes, so they think, in safety deposit boxes deep in the vaults of the Jonkhere bank.

However, only a carefully selected 66 boxes are opened out of the hundreds that line the vault walls. What is it about this particular set of boxes that interests the burglars? Gerardi doggedly pursues the clues wherever they may lead and whatever the personal cost and they lead to the highest places in the land; no-one's secrets are safe and murder and mayhem follow.

This is a very well made crime series with excellent production values and acting to match. For me, though, it doesn't meet the exacting standards set by its Nordic counterparts; it's neither as tightly plotted nor pacey, especially towards the end when it appears to run out of steam but, these caveats aside, in the absence of Noir of the Nordic variety, recommended nonetheless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salamander video full of danger, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Loved it on the TV and now love it even more without breaks for adverts and breaks in between episodes. Very good.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Language Special, 16 Mar 2014
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
One of the pleasant byproducts of watching policiers and cycle races is that one sees different countries and hears different languages. With Salamander you also get a cracking mystery to resolve. Being set in Belgium the conversations behind the subtitles often seem to be in French, Flemish and English in the same sentence for Belgium is a country of many influences. Into the conspiracy, to which we are alerted early on, come the wonders of constitutional monarchies and the existence of large Roman Catholic monasteries. Add in the architecture of Brussels and the rich farmland around it and you have as strong a sense of location as the endless skies of Borgen or The Bridge. Then we have the unique features of the Belgian legal establishment much as Spiral allows us to see how the French manage such things (never was Juge Roban more needed than in Bruxelles). As with all conspiracies our hero must race against time, but in this case there are a number of parties in the race, sometime helping, sometimes hindering the others. There is also a reluctance by many of them to use ultimate force; they regret it when families are collateral damage, they hope money rather than blood can resolve all. The naked violence of many Hollywood (as against American) films is lacking though if push comes to shove they'll chamber a round with the best of them. I found it very engrossing, and at 12 episodes (compared to the Norse 10) it does like Spinal Tap and goes to eleven.
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33 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theres credible favourable, and credible critical reviews, but beware of idiots writing reviews that lay bare the plot, 9 Mar 2014
By 
J. A. Sugrue - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
My wife and I are watching Salamander on BBC Four, and have yet to watch the last two episodes which are on next week. Now we are firmly in the five star camp on this production. So I think I need not say anymore to supplement what has been written in the five star review entitled: Outstanding Suspense Drama, dated 25 Feb 2014.

The reason I've put pen to paper so to speak, is the warn others like myself who visit Amazon book and DVD reviews to get an understanding, maybe a flavour of whats on offer. But every now and again, you come across reviews written by people so full of their own sense of self importance. So sure that their view of things is unquestionably correct, that they endeavour to impart said all knowingness on us lesser mortals. They lay bare key cornerstones of the drama, and yes would'nt you just believe it one has turned up on this review thread. It's a two star review entitled: Nordic Noir? More Like Belgian Boo-Hoo!,dated 7 Mar 2014

Am I being unfair in my view as expressed ? Well one would have to read the aformentioned review I condem, to make a fair self judgement. But than of course one would be exposed to the plot spoiler. All I would point out is the following :

At the time of writting it's the lowest star rating review, but Amazon did not highlight it as the "most helpful critical review" for the very reason it is not helpfull at all, it's a plot spoiler. It's a pity more reviews have not been written, as that way the averaged out scores would be more reliable as to the validity of the headline scoring. Suffice to say YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing with fire, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
After Scandi-noir, the Belgian "Salamander" series seems like a return to old-fashioned crime thriller form, with hero police detective Paul Gerardi: cussed, scruffy, middle-aged yet still somehow irresistible to women, his marriage almost on the rocks under the strain of work pressures. The attempted cover-up of the theft of compromising material from the safes of sixty-six establishment figures at the Jonkhere bank is more than Gerardi's sense of justice can overlook, and when he begins to pay a personal price for his persistence, it is only increased by the desire for revenge.

I was soon hooked on this fast-paced thriller by the spiral of suspense as to how Gerardi can possibly keep evading his pursuers. The tale is tightly plotted, but the sheer intensity of the early episodes means it is hard to retain enough gunpowder for a satisfying grand finale. Loose ends are tied up, but all in a bit of a rush in the last episode, with a few convenient plot twists that stretch credibility beyond its limits.

It is true that this series lacks some of the depth of recent Danish series, such as the exploration of the grief of parents after the murder of a teenage daughter in "The Killing". As a result, I was left less moved by some tragic events than I should have been. The villains in particular, the sinister leader of the bank heist, megalomaniac inheritor of the Jonkhere Bank, and over-ambitious young upstart Vincent, are pyschopathic stereotypes incapable of arousing any complex twinges of sympathy. How on earth can Gerardi win out against them all?

The deep corruption running through police and politics to the very palace left me wondering how the series is viewed by those wielding power and influence in Belgium, although perhaps the recent period of 589 days without an elected government has bred a certain amount of cynicism.

Will Series 2 manage to maintain the gripping excitement?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 66 Boxes, 20 Mar 2014
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Hot on the heels of The Bridge series 2 came Salamander to our screens. A Flemish crime drama this time and a very watchable one at that. It began with the very slick robbery of a rather anonymous Brussels private bank in which a select number of safety deposit boxes were raided. However the police were not even called and the damage repaired within hours as the bank fought to cover up any intrusion. It was only a tip-off to Inspector Paul Gerardi that bought it to attention of the police but even then the Jonhkere bank denied anything had ever gone down. However when a number of high ranking politicians and public servants went missing, resigned or committed suicide even, Gerardi was again led back to the secretive Jonhkere bank and it’s corpulent and charismatic owner Raymond Jonhkere.

This was a compelling story of blackmail, revenge and intrigue concerning a secret organisation that pulled the country’s strings and had its roots back in the WWII resistance movement. Gerardi was forced to go into deep cover as Salamander had deep pockets and an even deeper desire to protect it’s secrets at any cost.

Gerardi is an excellent creation, the curly topped and unkempt cop with the David Ginola accent. Dogged and brave, he goes to the wire to bring the bad guys to book in the face of a shocking personal tragedy. The Jeffrey Archer-esque plot did waver slightly in parts and you didn’t need to be Tin Tin to work out the WWII back story but the acting throughout was good if let down only slightly by the weak action scenes.

Not as good as the Bridge or Arne Dahl but if like me you’re a bit hooked on European crime dramas then this won’t disappoint.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, 16 Mar 2014
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
I have been riveted to all twelve episodes of this "political" thriller and will be watching it again once the DVD is available. Without repeating the details of the plot that other review have so ably done already I can only say that this is one drama that had me on the edge of my seat. With an absorbing plot (that did not get so convoluted it became impossible to follow) it combines political intrigue, police investigation and links to the Second World War in a completely credible way. The acting is first class and the dialogue a blend of mostly Flemish and French. Can't recommend highly enough.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Both my husband and I watch a lot of foreign dvds with subtitles and this is one of the best. It kept us interested right the way through and the ending did not disappoint as they sometimes do. Thoroughly recommend.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes a Change, 3 April 2014
This review is from: Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Instead of glossy fast paced American police shows where all the girls are pretty and the guys are square jawed models, this show was slower, methodical and very entertaining.

It came across as real and the pace was good, fairly unknown but good actors and an interesting plot. I know Belgium so it was good seeing the landscape and towns and was a good change from the usual UK TV drama.

It doesn't have the impact or tension of the first series of 'The Bridge' but was a good foreign drama.
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Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD]
Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] by Frank van Mechelen (DVD - 2014)
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