Paris Police 1900: A Recommendation

This is a recommendation for an excellent French-language drama series, currently being shown here on BBC 4, with all episodes available free on i-player.

It is set around some real events in France at the turn of the century, particularly the Dreyfus affair, and the rise of far-right antisemitic parties at the time. The police force is outdated and corrupt, but is slowly being forced into the modern age.

Amazingly authentic sets and costumes give a real feel of the period, and committed performances by the cast ensure that each character is completely believable.

Some parts are very violent, and there are scenes involving sexual content, and drug use. But it never feels salacious, or exploitative.

If you don’t mind subtitles, this is top-notch Saturday evening television well worth watching.

(For readers outside the UK, I have no idea if this is being shown elsewhere at the moment.)

Here is an official trailer, with subtitles in Englsh.

28 thoughts on “Paris Police 1900: A Recommendation

  1. I’ve also been watching this, Pete. I’ve found it a bit hard going at times, more because of the content, but I can’t fault the production values or the acting, so I will definitely watch it to its conclusion. Cheers, Jon.

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    1. It has powerful themes, particularly the rabid antisemitism. I recommended it to a Jewish friend in London, and he found it distressing to watch. But I am completely invested in the main characters, and think it is so well done, I am hoping it becomes a long-running series. It is one of the most expensive TV series ever made in France, and that shows in every scene.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I think there are only two French films in my DVD collection that feature French subtitles. I understand French, but movie characters sometimes speak a bit too fast for me. So I highly appreciate French subtitles when watching a French film. I often converse with my songwriting partner in French during Zoom sessions. Occasionally, I’ll catch a France 24 live newscast. I enjoy a number of YouTube language videos like French Mornings with Elisa, and also frequently watch other videos like Solange te parle. As for Paris Police 1900, I’d love to watch it, but I wonder if it will be made available with French subtitles. When I don’t understand a foreign language, as was the case when watching Train to Busan (S. Korea) recently, I have no problem viewing the images and reading subtitles simultaneously. But when watching a French film with English subtitles, my brain is torn between listening and reading while watching the images unfold on the screen, (Just for the record, I usually engage subtitles on English language films. What’s good for the French goose is good for the English gander.)

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  3. Looks good, Pete and I like to try to listen to the French although normally they speak too quickly for me to keep up. Was it you that spoke about the other great series Spiral? I loved it. Hope we can get this one here soon.

    Liked by 2 people

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