Tuesday, 13 October 2020


In Saignac no one can hear you scream.

Created by Laurent Mondy (Les Cordier, juge et flic), French mystery drama Commissaire Magellan was launched on France 3 in november 2009. Produced by Jean Luc Azoulay's JLA Productions with France Télévisions and set in the fictional northern town of Saignac, it stars Jacques Spiesser as Commissaire Simon Magellan. Selma Kouchy plays Lieutenant Selma Berrayah, his deputy. The other regulars are Nathalie Besançon as Magellan's companion Florence Higel (a journalist for the local paper La Sentinelle), Franz Lang as Simon's nephew Ludo and Marie de Stefano as Cordelia (the commissaire's younger daughter).

Magellan is part of the very popular regional crime drama line-up of France 3 and even crossed over twice (in 2016 and 2018) with Mongeville, another hit of the channel. Jacques Spiesser is always brilliant as the debonair (and sarcastic) detective in  those old school whodunnits, built according to a proven formula, which deliver exactly what the fans like and expect. In many respects, this  heir to Les cinq dernières minutes, Navarro (a production of Jean-Luc Azoulay) or even Derrick (1) is France's answer to Midsomer Murders. Written by Lucile Brandi, Pascal Perbet and Nicolas Durand-Zouky, Sang d'encre is directed by Étienne Dhaène. It's the 35th episode of Commissaire Magellan.

Adrien Beauval, a famous crime writer, returns to Saignac after 15 years for a book signing event in the shop of his friends Virginie and François Coudrier. Much to the disappointment of his readers and even his publisher, he announces that he will end his bestselling "Commissaire Aristide" series. He's murdered a few hours later and his body is found in the bookshop. Magellan and Selma discover some rumours of plagiarism, publishing rivalries and secrets from the author's past. Simon's ex-wife Barbara wants to introduce Édouard, her new boyfriend, to him and Cordelia. Ludo likes horoscopes, Selma runs and Édouard comes to dinner.

The murders are off-screen, the crime novelist element is underused and the drone shots are annoying. But all the ingredients of Commissaire Magellan are there and actor/former gameshow host Thierry Beccaro is very funny as Édouard. Guillaume Denaiffe, who plays François Coudrier, had a different role in Magellan et Mongeville (2016). Agnès Soral first played Barbara in an episode from 2011. Also with Guillaume Cramoisan (Zacharie Dubreuil), Ludovic Beaude (Vaugan), Gaëla Le Devehat (Virginie), Carole Brana (Élodie Mérove), Bruce Tessore (Astrid et Raphaëlle, Plus belle la vie) as Adrien Beauval, etc.

Produced by Richard Berkowitz. Exec produced by Bernard Paccalet. Nicolas Durand-Zouky is the head writer. Melissa Kadjan Smila is the production manager for JLA. Elizabeth Bonnay is the production manager for France Télévisions. Music by Frédéric Porte. Cinematography by Thierry Jault. Filmed in the Département du Nord. Commissaire Magellan is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Magellan. Apparently, France 3 has decided to axe both Mongeville and Commissaire Magellan (2)
(1) Not to mention, Les Cordier, juge et flic (naturally). 

Monday, 5 October 2020




- Agatha Raisin - Series 3 (Acorn TV):

The best series of Agatha Raisin to date.

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/06/agatha-raisin-series-3-episodes-3-4.html (Episodes 3 & 4)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/05/agatha-raisin-series-3-episode-2-agatha.html (Episode 2)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/agatha-raisin-series-3-episode-1-agatha.html (Episode 1)

- Van der Valk (ITV):

Aired by pubcaster France 3 as Les enquêtes du commissaire Van der Valk, this contemporary adaptation of the character created by English author Nicolas Freeling is available here on DVD from this week thanks to L'Atelier d'images (https://www.latelierdimages.fr/produit/les-enquetes-du-commissaire-van-der-valk-saison-1/).

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/06/van-der-valk-series-1-episode-3-death.html  (Episode 3)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/06/van-der-valk-series-1-episode-2-only-in.html  (Episode 2)  

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/van-der-valk-series-1-episode-1-love-in_30.html  (Episode 1)    

- Amsterdam Undercover (Der Amsterdam-Krimi, Das Erste):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/05/amsterdam-undercover-der-amsterdam.html (Episodes 1 & 2)

- Money. Murder. Zurich (Der Zurich-Krimi, Das Erste):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episode 7)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi_26.html (Episode 5)

- Inspector Montalbano/Detective Montalbano (RAI 1):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/inspector-montalbanodetective_16.html (La rete di protezione)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/inspector-montalbanodetective.html (Salvo amato, Livia mia)

- Joséphine, ange gardien (TF1):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/josephine-ange-gardien-trois-anges.html (Trois anges valent mieux qu'un

- McDonald & Dodds (ITV):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/03/mcdonald-dodds-series-1-episode-1-fall.html (Episode 1) 

- Midsomer Murders - Series 21:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/midsomer-murders-series-21-episodes-3-4.html (Episodes 3 & 4)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020 /01/midsomer-murders-series-21-episode-2.html (Episode 2) 

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/01/midsomer-murders-series-21-episode-1.html (Episode 1)

- Captain Marleau (Capitaine Marleau, France  3):

These are our last reviews of Capitaine Marleau. We humbly supported the megahit of France 3 even before they aired the pilot but it's now blatantly insufferable, judging by one of the two new episodes coming on the channel this month (I didn't watch the other).

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau.html (Veuves mais pas trop)

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau-pace.html (Pace è Salute)

- Camping Paradis - Series 11 (TF1):

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/camping-paradis-s11e05-ma-vie-est-belle.html (Episode 5: Ma vie est belle)

- Police de caractères (France 3):


Sunday, 21 June 2020


The third series (four 90-minute episodes) of British mystery comedy-drama Agatha Raisin premiered on U.S. streaming service Acorn TV between Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020. 

Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Ugly Betty) plays the title role, an ex-London PR queen turned private investigator. 

In Love from Hell, James (Jamie Glover) vanishes after a row with Agatha about a young woman named Melissa Shephard. Melissa is found dead in Aggie's cottage and James becomes a fugitive. The detective teams up with James' sister Sheila Barr in spite of their enmity. Sir Charles (Jason Merrells) and Toni (Jodie Tyack) meet John Dewey, one of Melissa's ex-husbands and the weird owner of a vintage toy shop. DC Bill Wong (Matt McCooey) prepares his sergeant's exam. Mrs Boggle (Marcia Warren) is Carsely's Dirty Harry. Sarah (Lucy Liemann) knows what is a bong. DCI Wilkes (Jason Barnett) has a new friend.

Although Roy Silver (played by Mathew Horne) is missed, this episode written by Chris Niel is another moment of fun in an impeccable third series. Caroline Langrishe (Judge John Deed, Lovejoy) returns as Sheila for the first time since Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death (2014), the pilot of Agatha Raisin. Also with Kelly Adams (Mr Selfridge, Hustle) as Melissa, Robert Daws (Mayor Ted Huxley), Rosie Day (Karen Sheppard), Richard Glover (John Dewey), Sally Scott (Julia), Jo Dow (Dr. Henderson) and singer/actress Katy Baker (Lady Day). Directed by Audrey Cooke.

Series 3 concludes with As the pig turns, a fireworks penned by crime drama virtuoso and regular Agatha Raisin scriptwriter Chris Murray (Van der Valk, Midsomer Murders). The gang relaxes at the local winter fayre but the big unveiling of the hog roast ends up in a sinister manner. Bill is a sarge so DCI Wilkes tells him to stop "fraternizing with the natives". Toni takes driving lessons and she makes very special cakes (1). Sarah discovers a new colour, that she calls... "Conté". Roy is back and he loves likes bisons.

Also with Gerry McLaughlin (PC Billy Tulloch), Marc Bannerman (PC Gary Beech), Dritan Kastrati (Cezary Marciniak),  Aleksy Komorowski (Tycjan Marciniak), John Hopkins (Tom 'Bunchie' Richards), Nancy Carroll (Fiona Richards), Linette Beaumont (Amy Beech), Frankie Beesley, Maya Nascimento and Katy Baker (Lady Day - Radio). Directed by Matt Carter. Produced by Free@Last TV and Company Pictures (an All3Media company). Co-produced by Acorn Media Enterprises (a division of RLJ Entertainment, Inc.).  

Barry Ryan and David A. Walton exec produce for Free@Last TV. Michele Buck exec produces for Company Pictures. Catherine Mackin exec produces for Acorn Media Enterprises. Produced by Guy Hescott. Co-produced by Ian Strachan. Music composed by Evan Jolly. Theme composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. Cinematography by James Moss. Editing by Rob Platt (Love from Hell) and James Hey (As The Pig Turns). Titles by Light Creative. Distributed by All3Media International, except for English-speaking territories which are handled by Acorn Media International. Based on novels by M.C. Beaton.

(1) And someone remembered that Toni has a photographic memory.


See also: