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Spiral: Series 1 [DVD] 
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This recent French TV sensation is a dark and labyrinthine Parisian crime drama with shades of CSI, The Wire and 24.
When the badly beaten body of a young Romanian woman is discovered on a Parisian rubbish dump, the investigation plunges us deep into the murky worlds of prostitution, drugs, business, politics and justice
The investigation is led by Pierre Clément, a young recently-named public prosecutor, who teams up with Police Captain Laure Bathaud and investigating magistrate Judge Roban three indomitable characters with their own methods, beliefs, demons and visions of justice.
As the young womans identity and past life are gradually uncovered, it soon becomes apparent that her story is tied to a network of corruption touching the very people charged with uncovering the truth about her.
Starring Gregory Fitoussi, Caroline Proust, Philippe Duclos, Guillaume Cramoisan and featuring Anne Caillon.
Tense and nasty, restrained and realistic: more Bête than Belle
-- The Guardian
There's an element of CSI in the graphic autopsy scene, a bit of 24 in the fancy camerawork and a lot of the wonderful State of Play in the hints of wrongdoing in high places. -- The Observer
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't expecting to be blown away.
I sat down yesterday, a lazy Sunday afternoon, to watch the first couple of episodes and went to bed at 1am, after having watched the entire series back-to-back.
A complicated storyline, about a murdered young woman found in a skip, that reveals itself episode by episode with surprises right up until the end. A police investigation with flawed detectives. A politically sensitive criminal justice department that will happily persecute anyone without political clout. Shameless lawyers with heart. A dark and twisting crime thriller wrapped up in french flair. Spiral is the name, and the name reflects the plot - don't expect anything to be straightforward.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about the series that gripped me so much. The acting is very good, the interplay between characters is subtle and real, the storyline is fairly straightforward but is interwoven with many subplots, some simple some convoluted. Production values are high. It is the sum of the parts that makes the series excellent.
However, the series does have some flaws. The major flaw is that the storyline, as it reveals, depends on some quite striking coincedences of who knows who, which do stretch credibility once you sit back and think about it. The point is, though, that you don't think about it as the drama is so engrossing.
Another flaw, for some, is that the storyline does not resolve as neatly or as clearly as you might want. Personally, after enjoying the ride so much whilst it lasted, I am not going to complain now.
It looks fantastic. The cast are striking and the whole thing is filmed through a wonderful muted metallic sheen. The camera work is modern and dynamic but not intrusive. It works. The backdrop is Paris, but unlike so many other productions set there this isn't an advert on behalf of the French tourist board. We know we are in Paris but it's no sightseeing tour - there's no time for elaborate scene-setting. The odd glimpses we do get - The Eiffel Tower, Basin de la Vilette, the Bois de Vincennes, the Seine, the Musee Gustave Moreau - are all the better for being so brief.
The plot is excellent. The main story of the dead Romanian girl unravels slowly and brings together many disparate subplots and characters - it is masterfully done. It's not super-complicated, but there are many surprises along the way and almost every episode ends on a cliff hanger so effective that you will find it hard to get off the sofa.
The ideas are fresh and varied. While it's all been done in this type of show, the crimes and criminals in Spiral are well thought out and varied. There are many dilemmas presented to the viewer and an array of villains in every guise. The motives are believable, the stories conflicting, and you are left questioning if everything is as it seems.
The performances are of a very high standard.Read more ›
It refuses to shy away from the graphic realities of the criminal underworld - visually it is stunning and sometimes sickening - probably not for those with a weak stomach. The title in French is 'Engrenage' meaning 'ratchet'. The tale gets more and more twisted, more and more engrossing as it progresses, the tension builds and compels you to watch on. Up there with 24, Waking The Dead and Lost. It's just such a shame that Canal+ haven't made a second series until now, and I cannot wait to see later in the year when it's on British TV.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only watched the first four episodes and I'm solidly hooked. Will now have to watch all the other series too. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Elwyn Evans
brilliant crime thriller. We have plenty of Nordic with subtitles- some of the best crime stuff I know. Well this is up there and French... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Furry Ferret
Lives up to all the other French, Swedish and Danish ones I have watched on TVPublished 14 months ago by Mr. Mb Young