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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Salamander: The Complete Season One [DVD] [2012]
Format: DVD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2014
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 22 February 2016
At Jonkhere Bank desperate attempts at a cover-up, sixty six highly sensitive deposit boxes having been emptied in a raid. Are secrets of corrupt top Belgian officials about to be exposed? Top priorities: seek out and destroy the thieves; stop in his tracks intrepid Chief Inspector Paul Gerardi, who strongly suspects what is going on....

As tension increases, reputations are on the line. Ahead lie resignations, disappearances, suicides, a high body count. Formerly regarding themselves as all-powerful, invincible, members of the top secret Salamander organization will stop at nothing to remain supreme. Gerardi is like David squaring up to Goliath, with no guarantee this confrontation will end the same way.

Twelve episodes. English subtitles. Not the start of a series either, but a box set satisfyingly self-contained. This may not be Premier League Nordic Noir, but it is a great thriller full of menace and suspense, not to mention revelations that may surprise.
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We saw the programme on TV. Which was spread over six weeks so decided to get the DVD so we can view the film over a couple of nights. Very good story.
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on 23 May 2017
I thought this was an excellent series. Waiting for the second one
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on 15 May 2017
Excellent sub-titled thriller series.
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on 18 January 2016
Salamander is a 12 part political thriller centered around a Bank robbery of 66 safe deposit boxes that could bring down the Danish government. A multilayered, complex & compelling story Salamander moves back and forth between the robbery and events from WWII that are behind the crime. All 12 episodes lead to a conclusion that is worth the effort (9+ hours) to get there and follow one another with increasing tension & excitement. In 'tone' I found this show much more 'French' like 'Spiral' than other awesome 'Nordic Noir' shows like 'The Bridge'. If you want even 'better' Danish crime shows than Salamander, you cannot top 'Unit One' or "The Protectors" which are my all time favorites.
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on 24 May 2017
Gripping, thoroughly enjoyed. Totally worth the effort of subtitles.
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on 27 July 2015
I'm a Belgian living in the UK, so possibly slightly biased: it was great fun for me to see some well-known landmarks of my hometown (Brussels) feature in a major political thriller co-produced by the BBC! This being said, I honestly think this is a very good show, as do many of my British friends. It is also a fairly accurate depiction of the the Belgian "soul", i.e. a unique and hopefully endearing mix of cynicism, self-loathing and good-natured wholesomeness, all laced together with multiculturalism. The fact that the mostly Flemish soundtrack is peppered not only with a few French words but entire (if short) French conversations adds a nice and very unique touch.
It would have gotten 5 stars had it not been for the obviously rushed and utterly unsatisfying conlcusion. This is most definitely a show to be enjoyed for the journey, not for the disappointing destination. Well worth your time...
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on 25 February 2014
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 4 March 2014
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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