TV Review: Spiral

‘Spiral’ is a French cop show, called ‘Engrenages’ (Gears) in French.

BBC Four is now showing series seven, and I had been eagerly awaiting it for over a year.

OK, it has subtitles. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t usually like those, as it is easy to understand the action.

This is a TV cop series at its very best. We get the seedy side of Paris, the underworld that carries out crime there, and the detective teams that try their best to combat those criminals.

We see the judges like Judge Roban, attending magistrates assigned to cases, and working alongside the police teams to get a conviction.

Then the lawyers, good ones and bad ones. Honest ones, and corrupt ones. Like Miss Karlsson, looking to profit from protecting criminals, and ending up in prison for their trouble. The cop team headed by the troubled Laure, supported by her loyal colleague and sometime lover, Gilou.

Nothing is over-dramatised.
Nobody is too handsome, or too beautiful.

They are just ordinary people.
They could be us, you and me.

This is TV at its best, and worth trying to find. Wherever you live, and whatever language you speak.

If you can, try to start at series One, as the continuing story is not unlike a serial.

Here’s a short trailer.

66 thoughts on “TV Review: Spiral

  1. Thank you for the recommendation, Pete! Sounds very interesting. Even a challenge for me,watching a TV-series in French language (i know in doses like others are knowing radioactive elements), with English subtiteling (at time for me a foreign language too. Lol). Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Pete. I must say your words “We get the seedy side of Paris” evoked “The seedy sie of
    Washington, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” Or the seedy side of London “10 Downing Street.” Just saying. Warmest regards, Theo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So pleased you rate this highly – one of my favourites ever, too. Apologies for not keeping up with posts. Explanation due. Except for brief pauses for paid work, last 3 months have been spent mostly on long distance trains visiting hospitals and care homes with limited internet use. Dementia – not my own yet. That and Brexit….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry to hear that you have someone suffering from that awful condition, Pippa. I well remember my own Nan, and the last months with my Mum too.
      Never any need to apologise, I assure you.
      Best wishes, Pete. x


  4. Yes we’ve followed every series of Engrenage and doesn’t that word sound better than gears or spiral? I love sub titles and try and watch any series with them, I like seeing other countries, scnery, homes, people and a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am watching the Dublin Murders, Mary. I admit that I am hoping for a BIG twist though. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Spiral is addictive. Start at series one, and it will carry you through a harsh winter!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We are on the same page here Pete. We eagerly awaited the new series too having watched all the others. Brilliant acting and terrific storylines. As for the subtitles? We dive into all the Scandawegian programmes on BBC 4, More 4, etc. The Bridge was an amazing series too. We get a TV guide once a week here in Spain and mark up only the stuff we want to watch. Also we often need subtitles for the programmes in English – with slurred dialogue, extreme accents and throwaway lines they might just as well be in North Korean.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Night and Day channel 4 – 11pm Sunday 20th it started. Our friends in France watch English TV, but I was surprised when our son got posted to Las Vegas and they managed to watch British TV on whatever magic device they have got!

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Not quite my cup of tea, I have to say, but I can understand the appeal. I keep missing or forgetting to record the latest incarnation of Maigret, starring Rowan Atkinson in a fine straight dramatic rรดle; I wasn’t terribly impressed by the couple of Simenon originals that I read, but I like the latest dramatisations very well. I did get into watching Vera, after reading & enjoying some of the original novels. Oh, and I also buy the Radio Times ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed Atkinson as Maigret, and I think I have seen them all now.
      I really like Brenda Blethyn as an actress, but found her character of ‘Vera’ hard to watch, to be honest.
      If Spiral is not your thing, Jon, that’s fine.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean about Vera, Pete, and some of the stories are a bit contrived, to be honest (but then again, I think a lot of detective & police procedural stories are), but I like the scenery, as it’s quite close to home ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. We love Spiral too Pete, we’ve been waiting for it to come back. As you say, Paris in her grittiness. The characters are compelling to watch, though I do wish poor Lauren could find some happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks, Pete. I watched the first two or three series when I was in the UK and loved it, although when I mentioned it to my friends in France they hadn’t watched it. I must keep watch for it. I also found the characters compelling and the stories credible. Great performances as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish theyโ€™d advertise this. The only way I ever find out is when you blog about it. Itโ€™s a great series, I canโ€™t wait to catch up with it.

    By the way, I think youโ€™d like Money Heist on Netflix. Itโ€™s a Spanish cross between The Italian Job and Oceans Eleven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I buy the Radio Times every week, so I am usually aware what’s coming on. I also get emails from the BBC website. (Which I subscribed to) I think the whole of Spiral was on the BBC I-player at one time, Ian.
      Thanks for the Netflix recommendation, I hope I get time to catch it between Julie’s medical programmes!
      Cheers, Pete.


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