Sunday, 21 June 2020

AGATHA RAISIN - SERIES 3, EPISODES 3 & 4: LOVE FROM HELL & AS THE PIG TURNS (ACORN TV)

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.

https://www.katybakeractress.co.uk/

See also:

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

VAN DER VALK - SERIES 1, EPISODE 3: DEATH IN AMSTERDAM (ITV)

Marc Warren (Beecham House, Hustle) stars in the title role of Van der Valk, a 3 x 90-minute crime drama which aired this spring in the U.K. on ITV.

« I thought Van der Valk had the monopoly on cynicism in this office. »
 
Van der Valk
is based on a character created by Nicolas Freeling (1927-2003), an English novelist who spent most of his life in continental Europe and admired Belgian author Georges Simenon. Simon "Piet" Van der Valk, a cynical and intuitive Amsterdam police commissioner married to a French woman named Arlette, appeared in 11 books from 1962 to 1989. The "Dutch Maigret" was popularized by the Thames Television series Van der Valk (1972-1973, 1977, 1991-1992) starring Barry Foster. Composed by Jack Trombey (1) and played by the Simon Park Orchestra, its theme music (called Eye Level) became #1 in the UK charts in 1973.

Filmed entirely in Amsterdam last year, Van der Valk is produced by Company Pictures (Agatha Raisin) with Dutch company NL Film (Penoza), Germany's ARD Degeto (Der Donnerstags-Krimi), Masterpiece (United States) and All3Media International. Scriptwriter Chris Murray (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders), who exec produces with Michele Buck and wrote the three episodes, brings back the detective for a modern and international audience. One of the notable changes of this new series concerns Arlette Van der Valk. Dutch director Jean van de Velde helmed Death in Amsterdam, the third episode.

Ed Loman, a fashion vlogger/influencer, is murdered and his eyes are sewn. Intrigued by a graffiti signed "Omega 616", Van der Valk  investigates with his team in the hip world of the ethical and ecologically sustainable clothing brands. Inspector Lucienne Hassell (Maimie McCoy) notices that the Commissaris looks preoccupied. An adversary from Piet's past wants to take revenge on him and Chief Commissaris Julia Dahlman (Emma Fielding). Sergeant Brad de Vries (Luke Allen-Gale) looks for "the invisible man". Hendrik Davie (Darrell D'Silva) keeps an eye on Julia and Lieutenant Job Cloovers (Elliot Barnes-Worrell) saves the day.

« Stat man's got a hobby. Who knew? »

Death in Amsterdam is a splendid conclusion to this first series of Van der Valk masterfully crafted by Chris Murray. An impressive shootout at the REM Eiland restaurant and a big reveal about Piet Van der Valk are the highlights of the episode. Murray's fresh take on the classic British TV detective works brilliantly. Marc Warren is great as the moody commissioner amongst an excellent regular cast (especially Elliot Barnes-Worrell). The talented composer Matthijs Kieboom (Master Spy) did a perfect job with the soundtrack. His superb theme intro, entitled Dutch Detective, and a magnificent piece called Arlette both nod to Eye Level.

Also with Mike Libanon (Cliff Palache), Peter Van Heeringen (Frank), Frieda Barnhard (Agatha Vos) and Christina Cole (Heidi Berlin), Tom York (Dani Nioh), Saman Amini (Chacko Moghadam), Claire Bender (Mila de la Parra), Marieke Heebink (Claudia Cabrera), Maarten Heijmans (Gustav Schneider), etc. Produced by Keith Thompson. David Swetman and Louise Pedersen exec produce for All3Media International. Ronald Versteeg, Kaja Wolffers and Sabine Brian co-produce for NL Film.  Alexander Blaauw and Pascalle Kleingeld are the line producers.

Ian Strachan is the head of production. Cinematography by Willem Helwig. Editing by Sandor Soeteman. Jaap Hoek is the art director. Production designed by Alfred Schaaf. Main title sequence designed by Planet X Title Design. Production supported by the NL Film Incentive. Distributed by All3Media International, Van der Valk is aired in Germany on Das Erste as Kommissar Van der Valk. France 3 will show the series in France.

(1) A pseudonym of Dutch composer Jan Stoeckart (1927-2017). 

http://dramaquarterly.com/walk-the-valk/
https://www.remeiland.com/en/ (The REM Eiland restaurant)
https://www.matthijskieboom.com/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1436726/Nicolas-Freeling.html

See also:

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)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

VAN DER VALK - SERIES 1, EPISODE 2: ONLY IN AMSTERDAM (ITV)

Marc Warren (Beecham House, Hustle) stars in the title role of Van der Valk, a 3 x 90-minute crime drama which aired this spring in the U.K. on ITV.

« You like certainty, don't you? You're very black and white. I can relate to that. »

Van der Valk is based on a character created by Nicolas Freeling (1927-2003), an English novelist who spent most of his life in continental Europe and admired Belgian author Georges Simenon. Simon "Piet" Van der Valk, a cynical and intuitive Amsterdam police commissioner married to a French woman named Arlette, appeared in 11 books from 1962 to 1989. The "Dutch Maigret" was popularized by the Thames Television series Van der Valk (1972-1973, 1977, 1991-1992) starring Barry Foster. Composed by Jack Trombey (1) and played by the Simon Park Orchestra, its theme music (called Eye Level) became #1 in the UK charts in 1973.

Filmed entirely in Amsterdam last year, Van der Valk is produced by Company Pictures (Agatha Raisin) with Dutch company NL Film (Penoza), Germany's ARD Degeto (Der Donnerstags-Krimi), Masterpiece (United States) and All3Media International. Scriptwriter Chris Murray (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders), who exec produces with Michele Buck and wrote the three episodes, brings back the detective for a modern and international audience. One of the notable changes of this new series is the absence of Arlette Van der Valk.

Piet Van der Valk lives on a sailing barge and holds his briefings in a café. He leads a team composed of Inspector Lucienne Hassell (played by Maimie McCoy), his second-in-command and close friend, the laid-back Sergeant Brad de Vries (Luke Allen-Gale) and the young Lieutenant Job Cloovers (Elliot Barnes-Worrell) - who's eager to impress and likes stats. Their boss is the Chief Commissaris Julia Dahlman (Emma Fielding). Hendrik Davie (Darrell D'Silva) is the hard-drinking, full-mouthed pathologist.

A young woman named Aamina Jabara is murdered in a hotel room and her wound is very peculiar. A strange notebook leads Commissaris Van der Valk and Inspecteur Hassell to a museum the victim regularly visited because of an interest for mysticism and religious erotica. Aamina worked as a nurse in a drug addiction clinic. A nun shared with her the same interest for religious erotica. The family issues of the Jabaras disrupt the investigation to an unexpected level.

Only in Amsterdam is basically an episode of Midsomer Murders or Lewis (Chris Murray worked on both) in the Dutch capital with some action, a bit of humour and nice twist and turns. The friendship between Piet and Lucienne gets developed. We learn (a bit) more about Dahlman and Brad provides the comic relief. Job is definitely the most likeable character. Of course, the locations are beautifully filmed by director Max Porcelijn and cinematographer Coen Stroeve.

With Taj Atwal (Aamina & Zafira Jabara), Juliet Aubrey (Sister Joan Pauwels), Tim Dutton (Klaas Gilbert), Taheen Modak (Zaim Jabara), Paul Tylak (Talib Jabara), Eva Marie de Waal (Femke de Haan), Teun Kuilboer (Otto Nelissen), Mike Libanon (Cliff Palache), Martijn Nieuwerf (Lionel Veith), Martijn Oversteegen (Spike), Anniek Pheifer (Janneke Paulis) and Jeroen Spitzenberger (Isaak Graaff).

Produced by Keith Thompson. David Swetman and Louise Pedersen exec produce for All3Media International. Ronald Versteeg, Kaja Wolffers and Sabine Brian co-produce for NL Film.  Alexander Blaauw is the line producer. Ian Strachan is the head of production. Music composed by Matthijs Kieboom. Editing by Annelies van Woerden. Jaap Hoek is the art director. Production designed by Alfred Schaaf. Main title sequence designed by Planet X Title Design.

Production supported by the NL Film Incentive. Distributed by All3Media International, Van der Valk started this week in Germany on Das Erste as Kommissar Van der Valk. France 3 will show the series in France.

(1) A pseudonym of Dutch composer Jan Stoeckart (1927-2017). 

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-04-24/van-der-valk-itv-locations-amsterdam/
https://www.matthijskieboom.com/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1436726/Nicolas-Freeling.html

See also:

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

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

AGATHA RAISIN - SERIES 3, EPISODE 2: AGATHA RAISIN & THE DEADLY DANCE (ACORN TV)

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. 

The Agatha Raisin Detective Agency is severely hit by bad publicity after an article in a local paper-including some unkind words from DCI Denzel Wilkes (Jason Barnett). But Sir Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells) has convinced a friend, the obnoxious Mrs Tiggy Leggat-Brown, to hire Agatha. Her daughter Cassandra has received death threats because of her engagement with Perry Peterson.

« Although I hope you're not the amateur busybody that the police say you are.»

The engagement party ends in the pool for Tiggy, Cassandra and Perry when Agatha Raisin saves them from a sniper but Tiggy Leggat-Brown accuses her of ruining the event. Toni Gilmour (Jodie Tyack) looks for a missing dog with DC Bill Wong (Matt McCooey), James Lacey (Jamie Glover) is disenchanted, a hitman eats a cake, Charles and Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) play dominoes and DCI Wilkes can dance tango.

Australian actor and dancer Adam Garcia guest stars as George Felliet, a tango teacher, in the fabulously funny Agatha Raisin & the Deadly Dance. This episode, adapted from the novel by M.C. Beaton, was penned by crime drama virtuoso and regular Agatha Raisin scriptwriter Chris Murray (Midsomer Murders and the recent Van der Valk). 

Also with Lucy Liemann (Sarah Bloxby), Patsy Kensit (Emma Comfrey), Anna Wilson-Jones (Tiggy Laggat-Brown), Abigail Carter-Simpson (Cassandra Laggat-Brown), Steve John Shepherd (Jeremy Laggatt-Brown), Angus Castle-Doughty (Perry Peterson), Elle McAlpine (Felicity Felliet), etc.

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 James Hey. Titles by Light Creative. Distributed by All3Media International, except for English-speaking territories which are handled by Acorn Media International. Directed by Roberto Bangura.

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

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

AMSTERDAM UNDERCOVER (DER AMSTERDAM-KRIMI) - EPISODES 1 & 2: TOD IN DER PRINZENGRACHT & AUFERSTANDEN VON DEN TOTEN (DAS ERSTE, 2018)

[Favourite of the Month] Starring Hannes Jaenicke, Der Amsterdam-Krimi was launched almost two years ago by German pubcaster Das Erste. It's one of the channel's feature-length crime dramas filmed abroad for its Donnerstags-Krimi line-up (like Der Zurich-Krimi or Kommissar Dupin).

Amsterdam Undercover (the international title of Der Amsterdam-Krimi) started with Tod in der Prinzengracht and Auferstanden von den Toten, two episodes shot between December 2017 and January 2018 and aired in November 2018.

Alex Pollack (Hannes Jaenicke), an undercover investigator for the LKA in Düsseldorf, wants to bring down a drug baron named Tom Fischer (Sascha Alexander Geršak). He handles the infiltration of his colleague and girlfriend Katja Wolf (Alice Dwyer), who became Fischer's right-hand person in Amsterdam under the alias Isabel Baumann. When Katja doesn't report to Alex for three months, he goes to the capital of the Netherlands without informing neither his superior, nor the Dutch authorities.

Pollack discovers that Katja/Isabel got dangerously close to the mobster. A confrontation with her at the Amsterdam Central Station ends up with Alex arrested by Dutch Commissioner  Bram de Groot (Fedja van Huêt) and his team. They put Tom Fischer and "Isabel Baumann" under surveillance as part of an investigation on a new dangerous designer drug. De Groot wants the man behind the whole operation: Frederik Koning (Raymond Thiry), a powerful investor with many connections. The commissioner joins forces with the German investigator, who must figure out whether Katja has gone much too far.

Loyalty is the theme of Tod in der Prinzengracht, the first part of a couple of captivating crime thrillers. Hannes Jaenicke is at his best amongst some excellent German and Dutch actors in the beautiful Amsterdam. In Auferstanden von den Toten, the death of a female student and the reappearance of a foreign worker provide Pollack and de Groot unexpected leads to Koning. This episode makes a great use of the locations, such as the fascinating Koepelgevangenis in Breda (a former prison).

Written by Peter Kohler. Based on a format by Rebecca Mahnkopf and Klaus Pieber. Directed by Michael Kreindl (Todes in der Prinzengracht) and  Peter Ladkani (Auferstanden von den Toten). Also with Sven Gerhardt (Thomas Breuer), Gijs Naber (Rijkaard), Birgit Welink (Renée), Peter Post (Rutger), Tanja Jess (Susanne Verbeek), Edon Rizvanolli (Driss), Omar El-Saeidi (Molo), Sigrid ten Napel (Hanna Meijer), etc. Produced by Ziegler Film Köln for ARD Degeto and Das Erste.

Marc O. Dreher exec produces. Produced by Barbara Thielen. Florian Nilson and Sandra Moll are the production managers for ARD Degeto. Production services by Ministry of film (Huub Meijer). Music by Andreas Helmle. Production designed by Alfred Schaaf. Cinematography by Anton Klima (Todes in der Prinzengracht) and Namche Okon (Auferstanden von den Toten). Editing by Nina Meister and Nathalie Pürzer. In June, Das Erste will show two new episodes of Der Amsterdam-Krimi (filmed during summer 2019): Tod im Hafenbecken and Das verschwundene Kind.

The same month, the channel will launch Van der Valk in Germany as Kommissar Van der Valk. The ITV detective drama is co-produced by ARD Degeto and filmed in Amsterdam too. Amsterdam Undercover is distributed by Beta Film.

https://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/film/der-amsterdam-krimi/index.html
https://www.zieglerfilmkoeln.de/

See also:


Thursday, 30 April 2020

VAN DER VALK - SERIES 1, EPISODE 1: LOVE IN AMSTERDAM (ITV)

[Favourite of the Month] A classic British TV detective is back. And he's Dutch.

Created by English novelist Nicolas Freeling (1927-2003), Simon "Piet" Van der Valk is a cynical and intuitive Amsterdam police commissioner. Married to a French woman named Arlette, the Commissaris appeared in 11 books from 1962 to 1989. Freeling, who spent most of his life in continental Europe, was an admirer of Belgian author Georges Simenon. Called the "Dutch Maigret", Piet Van der Valk was first portrayed on-screen by German actor Wolfgang Kieling in the British film Amsterdam Affair (1968). Frank Finlay starred in three German/French TV movies between 1972 and 1975 (1). Bryan Marshall played the role in Because of the Cats/Niet voor de poezen, a Dutch-Belgian film released in 1973.

The best remembered version is the Thames Television series Van der Valk (1972-1973, 1977, 1991-1992), with Barry FosterEye Level, its theme music, is remembered too. Composed by Jack Trombey (2) and played by the Simon Park Orchestra, it became #1 in the UK charts in 1973. Some novels were adapted in the 1990s by BBC Radio 4. Now the character returns in Van der Valk, a 3 x 90-minute series produced by Company Pictures (Agatha Raisin) for ITV. Filmed entirely in Amsterdam last year, it stars Marc Warren (Beecham House, Hustle) as Piet Van der Valk. Dutch company NL Film (Penoza), Germany's ARD Degeto, Masterpiece (United States) and All3Media International co-produce. Scriptwriter Chris Murray (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders), who exec produces with Michele Buck, brings back the detective for a modern and international audience.

"The original series was gritty, with stories of sex and drugs, and reflected the Amsterdam of its time. We wanted to develop stories about contemporary Amsterdam," explained Chris Murray to French journalist and TV series expert Alain Carrazé at MIPCOM 2019. "The city has always been this amazing cultural melting pot, with a tolerance for different religions.  We wanted to reflect that in a character who is non-judgmental and tolerant. He's interested in art but he also works in the streets. We certainly want to honour the "brand" of Van der Valk but we move it forward. The novels were quite existential and the stories wouldn't work for the TV audience today. So it was more appropriate to start afresh."

One of the notable changes is the absence of Arlette Van der Valk. Piet Van der Valk lives on a sailing barge and his briefing room is a tad unusual. He leads a team  composed of Inspector Lucienne Hassell (played by Maimie McCoy), his second-in-command and close friend, and the laid-back Sergeant Brad de Vries (Luke Allen-Gale). They are joined by the young Lieutenant Job Cloovers (Elliot Barnes-Worrell), who's eager to impress and likes stats. Their boss is the Chief Commissaris Julia Dahlman (Emma Fielding). Hendrik Davie (Darrell D'Silva) is the hard-drinking, full-mouthed pathologist. In Love in Amsterdam (3), the first episode, politics and art are linked when two seemingly unrelated men are found murdered on the same day and a young left-wing activist is missing.

The fresh approach of Chris Murray, who wrote the three episodes, works brilliantly. It doesn't exclude a bit of humour. Marc Warren is great as the moody detective. The excellent Maimie McCoy and him succeed in making the relationship between Van der Valk and Lucienne interesting. The rest of the regular cast is very good. With Frances Grey (Claudia Oosterhuis), Daniel Lapaine (Paul Oosterhuis), Stephanie Léonidas (Eva Meisner), Vineeta Rishi (Therese Remecker), Frieda Barnhard (Agatha Vos), Kees Boot (Bartel Peters), Reinout Bussemeker (Ed de Klerk), Mike Libanon (Cliff Palache), Peter Van Heerigen (Frank), etc. Director Colin Teague and Tibor Dingelstad, the Director of photography, know how to take advantage of the locations, especially the canals and the Rijksmuseum.

The talented Dutch composer Matthijs Kieboom (Master Spy) did a perfect job with the soundtrack. His superb theme intro, entitled Dutch Detective, nods to Eye Level. Produced by Keith Thompson. David Swetman and Louise Pedersen exec produce for All3Media International. Ronald Versteeg, Kaja Wolffers and Sabine Brian co-produce for NL Film.  Alexander Blaauw is the line producer. Ian Strachan is the head of production. Edited by Sándor Soeteman. Jaap Hoek is the art director. Production designed by Alfred Schaaf. The beautiful main title sequence was designed by Planet X Title Design. Production supported by the NL Film Incentive. Distributed by All3Media International, Van der Valk will be shown in Germany next month on Das Erste as Kommissar Van der Valk.

(1) Van der Valk und das Mädchen, Van der Valk und die Reichen and Le bouc émissaire, aired in France as episodes of Pas de frontières pour l'inspecteur.
(2) A pseudonym of Dutch composer Jan Stoeckart (1927-2017).
(3) Love in Amsterdam is also the title of the first Van der Valk novel.

Special thanks to Alain Carrazé (8 Art Global).

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-04-24/van-der-valk-itv-locations-amsterdam/
https://www.matthijskieboom.com/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1436726/Nicolas-Freeling.html

See also:

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en
https://www.programme-tv.net/tag/previously/ (Alain Carrazé's podcast about TV series)

Sunday, 26 April 2020

MONEY. MURDER. ZURICH. (DER ZÜRICH-KRIMI) - EPISODE 5: BORCHERT UND DIE MÖRDERISCHE GIER (DAS ERSTE, 2019)

Launched in 2016, the brilliant German crime drama Der Zürich-Krimi returned this week on Das Erste with Borchert und die tödliche Falle. Borchert und der fatale Irrtum and Borchert und der Tote im See will follow.

Last year, the pubcaster aired two episodes: Borchert und die mörderische Gier and Borchert und der Sündenfall. Episodes 1 to 4 of Money. Murder. Zurich. (the international title of Der Zürich-Krimi) are available in the United States on the SVOD service MHZ Choice.

Der Zürich-Krimi stars the great Christian Kohlund (Das Traumhotel, Black Forest Clinic) as the melancholic Thomas Borchert, an "unlicensed attorney" who works in Zurich for lawyer Dominique Kuster. Ina Paule Klink (Wilsberg) co-stars as Dominique. Felix Kramer plays Police captain Marco Furrer (1). Star lawyer Dr. Reto Zanger, Dominique Kuster's father and an old friend of Thomas, is played by Robert Hunger-Bühler.

Other regulars are Susi Banzhaf as Regula Gabrielli (Dominique's assistant), Andrea Zogg as Beat Bürki-Borchert's "personal" taxi driver, and Yves Wüthrich (Urs Aeggi, Furrer's deputy). Dominique and Regula hear a strange message on the law firm's voicemail. A distraught young man named Julian Stolz requires a legal help in emergency without further precision. As he recklessly rides his motorcycle on the way to her office, he has a traffic accident and falls into coma.

Touched by the situation of Julian because it reminds him of a personal tragedy, Thomas Borchert starts his own investigation. Stolz, an art student, had a strong interest for Islam and he was linked to the mysterious Said Allawi. The police finds out that a dark van with fake diplomatic licence plates is involved in the "accident". Julian's father is a shady businessman who sells illegal antiques. Borchert feels that this case is less about extremism and more about greed.

Written by Wolf Jacoby (the SOKO franchise) and directed by Roland Suso Richter (The Tunnel), Börchert und die mörderische Gier is an effective return to thriller after the more conventional Borchert und die Macht der Gewohneit. Christian Kohlund, whose presence is always impressive, leads an excellent cast including a subtle and charismatic performance by Neil Malik Abdullah (4 Blocks) as Imam Sheik Ibrahim Al-Khatib.

Also with Kai Wiesinger (Heller), Valery Tscheplanowa (Lisa Stolz), Justus Czaja (Julian Stolz), Alireza Bayram (Said Allawi), etc. Produced by Graf Film for ARD Degeto and Das Erste. Co-produced with Mia Film. Produced by Klaus Graf, Annemarie Pilgram and Michal Pokorný. Kirsten Frehse (ARD Degeto) is the line producer.

Music by Michael Klaukien and Andreas Lonardoni. Cinematography by Max Knauer. Filmed in Prague and Zurich. Made with the support of the Czech Film Fund. Distributed by Beta Film.

(1) Katrin Bauerfeind played Dominique Kuster in the first episode. Pierre Kiwitt replaced Felix Kramer as Police captain Marco Furrer from Episode 7.

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episode 7)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/07/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episodes 3 & 4)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/06/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episodes 1 & 2) 

See:

https://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/film/der-zuerich-krimi/index.html
http://www.kohlund.com/
https://crush.de/klient/neil-malik-abdullah/
https://www.graffilm.com/en/company.html

Friday, 24 April 2020

MONEY. MURDER. ZURICH. (DER ZÜRICH-KRIMI) - EPISODE 7: BORCHERT UND DIE TÖDLICHE FALLE (DAS ERSTE)

Launched in 2016, the brilliant German crime drama Der Zürich-Krimi returned yesterday on Das Erste. This spring, the pubcaster will show three new 90-minute TV movies: Borchert und die tödliche Falle, Borchert und der fatale Irrtum and Borchert und der Tote im See.

Der Zürich-Krimi stars the great Christian Kohlund (Das Traumhotel, Black Forest Clinic) as Thomas Borchert, an "unlicensed attorney" who works in Zurich for lawyer Dominique Kuster. Ina Paule Klink (Wilsberg) co-stars as Dominique (1). Robert Hunger-Bühler plays Dr. Reto Zanger, a star lawyer who's also Dominique Kuster's father and an old friend of Thomas. Other regulars are Pierre Kiwitt (Police captain Marco Furrer), Susi Banzhaf as Regula Gabrielli, Andrea Zogg as Beat Bürki-Borchert's "personal" taxi driver, and Yves Wüthrich (Urs Aeggi). Thomas Kügel returns as Major Beat Wenger.

Reto, who's busy with a mega business deal, asks Dominique to replace him in court at short notice. Alexander Böni, her client, is serving a prison sentence for the robbery of an armoured truck but he's due to be released for good behaviour. The hearing doesn't turn out as planned when Böni takes everyone hostage, including Dominique Kuster, with a gun which was  hidden under his table. Captain Furrer, who arrives first at the courthouse with his deputy, must act as the negotiator in spite of his feelings for Dominique.

Alexander Böni demands 2 million U.S. dollars and a helicopter but Borchert starts to wonder about the real motives behind the actions of the hostage taker, who's a family man with a young son. While Thomas races against the clock to find answers, he discovers that Reto Zanger may hold some of them. Written by Wolf Jacoby (the SOKO franchise) and directed by Roland Suso Richter (The Tunnel), Börchert und die tödliche Falle is a most effective and truly gripping thriller served by excellent actors.

With Golo Euler (Alexander Böni), Kathleen Gallego Zapata (Marie-Louise Mildenberger), Matthias Bundschuh (Dr. Kugler), Stephan A. Töller (Peter Zuber), Torsten Ranft (Hermann Oehli), Christian Bojidar (Sherdan Berashi), Maike Juttendonk (Lucie Schmitt), Jürg Löw (Paul Loitner), etc. Produced by Graf Film for ARD Degeto and Das Erste. Co-produced with Mia Film. Produced by Klaus Graf, Annemarie Pilgram and Michal Pokorný. Kirsten Frehse (ARD Degeto) is the line producer.

Music by Michael Klaukien. Cinematography by Max Knauer. Filmed in Prague and Zurich. Made with the support of the Czech Film Fund. Distributed by Beta Film. Episodes 1 to 4 of Money. Murder. Zurich. (the international title of Der Zürich-Krimi) are available in the United States on the SVOD service MHZ Choice.

(1) Katrin Bauerfeind played Dominique Kuster in the first episode.

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/07/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episodes 3 & 4)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/06/money-murder-zurich-der-zurich-krimi.html (Episodes 1 & 2) 

See:

https://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/film/der-zuerich-krimi/index.html
http://www.kohlund.com/
https://www.graffilm.com/en/company.html

Sunday, 19 April 2020

AGATHA RAISIN - SERIES 3, EPISODE 1: AGATHA RAISIN AND THE HAUNTED HOUSE (ACORN TV)

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.
 
Ex-London PR queen turned detective Agatha Raisin first appeared in a series of mystery novels written by M.C. Beaton (the pseudonym of Marion Chesney), who died in December 2019. Beaton was also the author of the Hamish Macbeth books. Penelope Keith played the character for BBC Radio 4 from 2004 to 2006. In 2014, Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty, Extras) starred in the title role of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, a fun, fast-paced and charming Christmas special aired on Sky 1

Following the success of The Quiche of Death, Sky commissioned a 8 X 60-minute series aired from June to July 2016. In France, Agatha Raisin was shown by pubcaster France 3. Sky 1 gave up on a second series but streaming service Acorn TV ordered three new 90-minute episodes, available between Autumn 2018 and Winter 2019. The third series of Agatha Raisin started on Acorn for Halloween 2019 with Agatha Raisin and The Haunted House.

Agatha Raisin is now officially a private investigator and she opens her agency in a former chapel. Despite the help of Roy Silver and a lot of publicity, she still doesn't have a case until James Lacey mentions Ivy Hall. This manor in Hebberdon, owned by Olivia Witherspoon, is said to be haunted by Sir Geoffrey Lamont (murdered in 1651). Regularly annoyed by ghost hunters and those seeking a treasure rumoured to be hidden somewhere on the estate, the cantankerous Mrs Witherspoon is now terrified by some strange phenomena.

Agatha and James convince her that they can solve this mystery. They spend the night at Ivy Hall while Roy and Sarah Bloxby gather information at the local pub, frequented by men dressed for a big battle reenactment which must take place on the property of Sir Charles. DCI Denzel Wilkes takes his role for the event a bit too seriously. Agatha's housekeeper Gemma asked her cousin Toni Gilmour to replace her. Cleaning up is not Toni's forte but she has a very special talent. Olivia Witherspoon is murdered.

Agatha Raisin often feels like a parody of Midsomer Murders. It was true right from The Quiche of Death but it's even more blatant since the two dramas are produced by the same group, All3Media, via different companies. They share producers, writers, directors, guest actors, the same composer (Evan Jolly, who works on Midsomer since Series 21) and their locations look very similar. The pleasant and entertaining Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House was penned by Julia Gilbert, who wrote three excellent Midsomer Murders

Ashley Jensen and her co-stars are brilliant in this acknowledged nod to Scooby-Doo, although the availability of the actors seems to be a problem from an episode to another. Toni, played by Jodie Tyack, is a great addition to the gang. Also with Mathew Horne (Roy), Jamie Glover (James Lacey), Jason Merrells (Sir Charles Fraith), Lucy Liemann (Sarah), Matt McCooey (DC Bill Wong), Jason Barnett (DCI Wilkes), Marcia Warren (Mrs Boggle), Mark Aiken (Florian Devere), Richenda Carey (Olivia), Joe Sims (Barry Briar), Clare Holman (Robin Barley), etc.

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. Theme composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. Cinematography by James Moss.

Directed by Carolina Giametta. Distributed by All3Media International, except for English-speaking territories which are handled by Acorn Media International

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/06/agatha-raisin-series-2-episodes-2-3.html (Series 2, Episodes 2 and 3)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2018/12/agatha-raisin-series-2-episode-1-wizard.html (Series 2, Episode 1)

Friday, 17 April 2020

INSPECTOR MONTALBANO/DETECTIVE MONTALBANO (IL COMMISSARIO MONTALBANO): LA RETE DI PROTEZIONE (RAI 1)

Il commissario Montalbano, the Italian detective drama launched in 1999 and starring Luca Zingaretti as the character created by author Andrea Camilleri, returned last month on RAI 1 with episodes 35 and 36: Salvo amato, Livia mia and La rete di protezione.

Written by Francesco Bruni, Andrea CamilleriSalvatore De Mola and Leonardo Marini with Valentina Alferj, La rete di protezione is based on the namesake novel by Andrea Camilleri (first published in 2017). A Swedish movie is being shot in Vigàta and Mimi Augello is in charge of watching over the actors. Actually his attention is entirely focused on Maj Andreasson, the main actress and fiancée of director Mats Brolin. Salvo Montalbano meets Monika Sjöström, a cousin of his friend Ingrid  Sjöström, who's the interpreter for the production.

At his office, the commissario receives the visit of engineer Ernesto Sabatello. The man has found in his attic a box full of Super 8mm films which belonged to his father. They include six intriguing reels showing a wall section at the same month, the same day and the same hour from 1973 to 1978, year of the death of Sabatello's father. The engineer asks Salvo to help him find out the meaning of these strange films. Two masked and armed men break into the classroom of Mimi's son. Catarella cannot open a door properly but Montalbano needs his expertise on computers and the internet.

Summer 2019 was sad for the fans of Il commissario Montalbano. First they lost Andrea Camilleri (who died at the age of 93) and then director Alberto Sironi, the helmer of every episode since the beginning. That's why Salvo amato, Livia mia and La rete di protezione are co-directed by Sironi and Luca Zingaretti. Series regulars Cesare Bocci (Mimi Augello), Peppino Mazzotta (Giuseppe Fazio), Angelo Russo (Catarella) and Sonia Bergamasco (Livia Burlando) are back. With Ketty Governali (Adelina, Salvo Montalbano's housekeeper) and Carmelinda Gentile (Beba).

Tuccio Musumeci returns as Cavalier Pintacunda (Il campo del vasaio, 2011). Also starring Carolina Carlsson (Monika Sjöström), Disa Östrand (Maj Andreasson), Fredrik Hiller (Mats Brolin), Dario Veca (Computer store owner), Graziano Piazza (Engineer Ernesto Sabatello), Mario Pupella (Gasparino Sidoti), Ivan Giambirtone (Professor Puleo), Enrico Guarneri (Police chief), Pietro Delle Piane (Marchica), Luigi Tuccillo (Francesco Sabatello), Peppe Tuccillo (Emanuele Sabatello), etc. Il commissario Montalbano is produced by Palomar and RAI Fiction.

Both fun and moving, La rete di protezione is truly brilliant. The location and costumes of the Swedish movie will look very familiar to those who know C'era una volta Vigata, the TV movies adapted from novels by Andrea Camilleri and set in the 19th century. Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti, founder and president of Palomar, and Nora Barbieri with Max Gusberti. Marco Camilli is the producer for Palomar and Erica Pellegrini produces for RAI. Gianfranco Barbagallo exec produces. Chrystelle Robin is the production manager.

Music composed and conducted by Franco Piersanti. Song by Olivia Sellerio. Cinematography by Franco Lecca. Distributed by Rai Com. Il commissario Montalbano is aired in the UK by BBC Four as Inspector Montalbano and in France on France 3 as Commissaire Montalbano. In the United States, the series is available on MHZ Choice under the title Detective Montalbano. The SVOD service will show this episode in May under the title The safety net.

http://www.palomaronline.com/
https://twitter.com/carlopalomar
http://www.vigata.org/

Salvo amato, Livia mia:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/04/inspector-montalbanodetective.html

Last year's episodes:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/06/inspector-montalbano-laltro-capo-del.html

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

INSPECTOR MONTALBANO/DETECTIVE MONTALBANO (IL COMMISSARIO MONTALBANO): SALVO AMATO, LIVIA MIA (RAI 1)

Il commissario Montalbano, the Italian detective drama launched in 1999 and starring Luca Zingaretti as the character created by author Andrea Camilleri, returned last month on RAI 1 with episodes 35 and 36: Salvo amato, Livia mia and La rete di protezione.

Written by Francesco Bruni, Andrea CamilleriSalvatore De Mola and Leonardo Marini with Valentina Alferj, Salvo amato, Livia mia is based on the short stories Salvo amato... Livia mia... (from the collection Gli arancini di Montalbano) and Il vecchio ladro (from the collection Un mese con Montalbano). Agata Cosentino, a young woman working for the municipal archives of Vigàta, is found murdered in the building. The archives were closed for renovation during the holidays and left to specialized workers. The commissario Salvo Montalbano and his team investigate amongst the colleagues and relationships of Agata, who was a close friend of Livia.

Montalbano must also have a talk with Pasquale Cirrinciò, the son of his housekeeper Adelina and an inveterate thief, at the request of night watchman Romildo Bufardeci. Summer 2019 was sad for the fans of Il commissario Montalbano. First they lost Andrea Camilleri (who died at the age of 93) and then director Alberto Sironi, the helmer of every episode since the beginning. That's why Salvo amato, Livia mia and La rete di protezione are co-directed by Sironi and Luca Zingaretti. Series regulars Cesare Bocci (Mimi Augello), Peppino Mazzotta (Giuseppe Fazio), Angelo Russo (Catarella), Davide Lo Verde (Galluzzo), Giovanni Guardiano (Jacomuzzi) and Sonia Bergamasco (Livia Burlando) are back.

With Ketty Governali (Adelina) and Fabio Costanzo (Pasquale). Also starring Rosario Lisma (Antonio Cannizzaro), Luciano Scarpia (Giorgio Scalia), Roberta Giarusso (Mrs Caruana), Federica de Benedittis (Agata Cosentino), Katia Greco (Caterina Giunta), Saro Minardi (Romildo Bufardeci), Vitalba Andrea (Agata's mother), etc. Il commissario Montalbano is produced by Palomar and RAI Fiction. The excellent Salvo amato, Livia mia had the honour of a release in Italian cinemas at the end of February. Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti, founder and president of Palomar, and Nora Barbieri with Max Gusberti.

Marco Camilli is the producer for Palomar and Erica Pellegrini produces for RAI. Gianfranco Barbagallo exec produces. Chrystelle Robin is the production manager. Music composed and conducted by Franco Piersanti. Cinematography by Franco Lecca. Distributed by Rai Com. Il commissario Montalbano is aired in the UK by BBC Four as Inspector Montalbano and in France on France 3 as Commissaire Montalbano. In the United States, the series is available on MHZ Choice under the title Detective Montalbano. The SVOD service will show this episode in May under the title Dear Livia.

http://www.palomaronline.com/
https://twitter.com/carlopalomar
http://www.vigata.org/

Last year's episodes:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/06/inspector-montalbano-laltro-capo-del.html

Friday, 10 April 2020

JOSÉPHINE, ANGE GARDIEN: TROIS ANGES VALENT MIEUX QU'UN 1 & 2 (TF1)

Joséphine the guardian angel gets some help for her new assignment. Well, sort of...

Created by Laurent Chouchan with Michel Lengliney & Philippe Niang, comedy/drama Joséphine, ange gardien started on TF1 in 1997. It's the oldest active series of the channel, since the end of Une famille formidable (1992-2018). Comedian, actress and UNICEF ambassador Mimie Mathy stars as Joséphine Delamarre, a guardian angel sent on Earth to help people solve their problems. The series celebrated its 20th anniversary in autumn 2017.

Joséphine, ange gardien is produced by DEMD productions (Lagardère Studios) with TF1 and distributed by Lagardère Studios Distribution. Its format changed from 90-minute episodes to 2 x 52-minute three years ago. In 2018, Joséphine and the characters of TF1's comedy hit Camping paradis met in their respective series. Trois anges valent mieux qu'un was written by France Corbet, Thomas Perrier and Gioachinno Campanella. This 96th episode is directed by Camping Paradis and Joséphine, ange gardien frequent helmer Philippe Proteau (1).

Joséphine Delamarre manages to be hired as an accountant at the Longeville stables, owned by Rémi Bouvet. This widower is depressed because he cannot reunite with Margaux, Vincent and Antoine, his three children. At odds with each other, they are too busy with their jobs. Rémy and her three new "clients" are a bit much to handle for the guardian angel. As her occasional assistants are unavailable, Joséphine must work with Ludivine and Rosine. They may look like her but their personalities and their clothing tastes are very different.

Trois anges valent mieux qu'un is a fabulous showcase for the comedic talents of Mimie Mathy, who is also Ludivine and Rosine. The former is myopic, romantic and wears faux panther. The latter likes black and is more rock and roll. Francis Perrin (Mongeville) (2) plays Rémi Bouvet. With Marius Colucci (Capitaine Marleau, Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie) as Vincent. The role of Margaux is the third participation of Stéphanie Pasterkamp (Kaboul Kitchen) to Joséphine, ange gardien. Like her, Mathieu Coniglio (Antoine) previously appeared in Camping Paradis.

Charlotte is played by presenter/actress Laurence Boccolini, best known in France for hosting the local versions of The Weakest Link and The Million Pound Drop. She does great through the episode with a hilarious running gag. The rest of the cast includes Julien Alluguette (Paul Luciani), Raphaël Kahn (Fabio), Morgane Manche (Léa), etc. Produced by Sébastien Pavard and Laure de Kervasdoué. Didier Langlade exec produces. Music composed by Xavier Berthelot, Roland Romanelli & Didier Vasseur. Additional music (Hysteria) by Stéphane Schott.

Cinematography by Jonny Semeco (3). Produced with the participation of RTBF (Télévision belge) and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse. Digital special effects by WIP Studio. Filmed partly at the Écuries de Bièvres. Not yet shown by TF1, Trois anges valent mieux qu'un is one of the best episodes of Joséphine, ange gardien.

(1) The potential buyer of the horse of Rémi Bouvet's late wife is called "Monsieur Proteau".
(2) Is "Écuries de Longeville" a nod to Mongeville?
(3) Margaux works for a law firm named "Semeco & Co".

https://www.bievres.com/

Monday, 9 March 2020

MCDONALD & DODDS - SERIES 1, EPISODE 1: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF CROCKETT (ITV)

[Favourite of the Month] Columbo lives in South West England. No kidding.

« OK... What have we got?
- Er... Well, someone's been murdered. »

A homeless man is shot dead in the mansion of engineer/entrepreneur Maxton Crockett, one of Bath's most prominent citizens, while its owner is away from the historic city with his pregnant wife. DCI Lauren McDonald, an ambitious young woman just transferred from South London, arrives on the crime scene and meets her new deputy. It's the middle-aged, shy and modest DS Dodds, back on the field after a 11-year desk job.

Traces of a break-in and a missing ancient Roman artefact suggest a burglary gone bad. Chief Superintendent John Houseman wants McDonald to wrap up the investigation quickly and to push Dodds into early retirement. The biggest pressure actually comes from Max Crockett himself and his family. And DS Dodds seems incompatible with the current style of policing. But the little sergeant in a beige anorak, who dips his chips in butter, has a keen eye for details. Things like a hat, a light bulb, a peregrine falcon and a wet stone step.

McDonald & Dodds -formerly Invisible - is a 2 x 90-minute mystery drama produced by Mammoth Screen (Endeavour) for ITV. Created and written by Robert Murphy (DCI Banks), it's a most pleasant take on the mismatched detective duo where the crime-solving genius isn't in the foreground. It's also an affectionate homage to Columbo in a setting reminiscent of Inspector Morse's Oxford. The brilliant Jason Watkins (The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies) is Dodds, the unassuming DS with no first name.

« He, er... He makes annoying things disappear.
- Not all of them! »

The very good Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) brings a touch of subtlety to the efficiency-seeking DCI McDonald. Other regulars are Pearl Chanda (DC Laura Simpson), Jack Riddiford (DC Darren Craig) and the excellent James Murray (Cucumber, Primeval) as the very politician Chief Superintendent Houseman. In The Fall of The House of Crockett, directed by Richard Senior, guest star Robert Lindsay (My Family) plays the manipulative Crockett, a shakespearean version of James Dyson or Alan Sugar.

With Natalie Mendoza (Mathilde Crockett), Sebastian Knapp (Seth Murdoch), Rosalie Craig (Megan Wattal), Susannah Fielding (Tamara Valentine), Jack Ashton (Jack Valentine), Roger Evans (Mikey Wallace), Navin Chowdhry (Pete Wattal), Ellie Kendrick (Ellie Crockett) and Cassie Bradley (Kasha Perry). Produced by Amy Thurgood. Co-produced by Sarah Lewis. Exec produced by Preethi Mavahalli, Robert Murphy and Damien Timmer.

Music by Blair Mowat (Happy!). Cinematography by Giulio Biccari. Editing by Meredith Leece. Titles by Liquid TV. Distributed by ITV Studios. With its likeable sleuths, its well-crafted plots, great dialogues and a talented cast, McDonald & Dodds has all to please the amateurs of the genre and (of course) the fans of Lieutenant Columbo around the world. It would be pure gold for France 3, the Gaullic home of Vera or Midsomer Murders.

« I suppose I've always been, erm... invisible. »

https://www.itvstudios.com/catalogue/5456
http://www.mammothscreen.com/
https://www.blairmowat.co.uk/

Thursday, 27 February 2020

MIDSOMER MURDERS - SERIES 21, EPISODES 3 & 4: THE STING OF DEATH & WITH BAITED BREATH

The 21st series of Midsomer Murders (four 90-minute episodes) premiered last December in the United States on streaming services Britbox and Acorn TV

In the United Kingdom, episodes 1 and 2 aired on ITV on January 21st and February the 4th respectively. The venerable detective drama stars Neil Dudgeon (DCI John Barnaby), Nick Hendrix (DS Jamie Winter), Annette Badland as pathologist Dr. Fleur Perkins and Fiona Dolman (Sarah Barnaby). Isabel Shaw plays Betty Barnaby.

- The Sting of Death (Episode 3): There's a potentially dangerous swarm on the loose after a case of bee rustling with violence. DCI Barnaby and DS Winter visits the victim, master beekeeper and historic honey producer Ambrose Deddington. Sarah finally convinces a reluctant John to attend a yoga class. An excellent episode written by Julia Gilbert (Agatha Raisin) and directed by Matt Carter.

With Bryan Dick (Cyrus Babbage), Jack Fox (Jude Deddington), Derek Griffiths (Reverend Nigel Bookthorpe), Griff Rhys Jones (Ambrose), Ben Starr (Noah Moon), Imogen Stubbs (Tamara Deddington), Nina Toussaint-White (Hannah Bookthorpe), etc.

- With Baited Breath (Episode 4): Fishermen are eager to catch a giant fish (supposed to lurk in a lake) during the Solomon Gorge "Fishaton". Their plans are threatened when hundred of participants arrive for the Psycho Mud Run, including Jamie and Sarah Barnaby. Most regrettably, the slow and clumsy With Baited Breath is a weak way to conclude this 21st series. 

The fish thing and the mud run weirdly sound like two distinct scripts. Maybe they shouldn't film Barnaby and Winter off duty after all. With Aneurin Barnard (Freddie Lamb), Eleanor Fanyinka (Jade-Marie Pierce), Nitin Ganatra (Eric Skye), Miles Jupp (Cornelius Tedbury), Nicola Stephenson (Izzy Silvermane), etc. Written by Jeff Povey. Directed by Jennie Darnell.

Produced by Bentley Productions (an All3Media company) for ITV.  Produced by Guy Hescott. Co-produced by Ian Strachan. Exec produced by Michele Buck and Louise Pedersen. Music composed by Evan Jolly. Midsomer theme composed by Jim Parker. Editing by Simon Starling (Episode 3) and Peter Williams (Episode 4). Cinematography by Al Beech. Costumes designed by Sue Thomson

Based upon the books by Caroline GrahamDistributed by All3Media International. France 3 will show Episode 1 on March 8.



Monday, 24 February 2020

CAPTAIN MARLEAU (CAPITAINE MARLEAU): VEUVES MAIS PAS TROP (FRANCE 3)

France's favourite gendarme meets the mortician.

No matter that Capitaine Marleau was once a brilliant detective drama created by Série Noire author and crime fiction expert scriptwriter Elsa Marpeau for director/producer Josée Dayan. What the fans enjoy most is neither the plots nor the guest actors (even David Suchet or Isabelle Adjani). It's when Corinne Masiero, its star, delivers Marleau's one-liners and social commentaries.

With 7 to 8 million viewers, the series can afford everything. Like shoehorning the capitaine in an aborted film project of Dayan (Double Jeu) or in a novel of Marc Eisenchteter, the story editor of Capitaine Marleau since 2018 (Ne plus mourir, jamais). Corinne Masiero can afford a lot too. The actress is reputed to ad lib, to the point that she's also credited with the writers: "Avec la complicité de Corinne Masiero". Not sure that the scribes asked for it.

Capitaine Marleau has become a one-woman show full of easy jokes, meta-references, free antics and the political views of Corinne Masiero. They are well-known in France as she's very vocal about them. Pace è Salute, the irritating previous episode, caught almost 7 million viewers (31.4%!) so you'd think the forces behind France's most watched drama don't mind that it turned into stand-up comedy. Well, for Veuves mais pas trop it looks that they were a tad worried.

An anonymous tip brings Captain Marleau in the funeral parlor of Stanislas Turner after the disappearance of a dead body and an accusation of murder. The quite confused plot is less interesting than a curious case of countless cut clues. The editing seems to be used to restrict the effects of Corinne Masiero's freewheeling and in Veuves mais pas trop it shows right from the start. Anyway a couple of scenes cannot be saved.

Turner is played by Édouard Baer with a bit of Otis, his character in Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Bruno Lochet (Le crime lui va si bien) plays Adjudant Michel Pichon. He's the second member of the Deschiens theater company to be a deputy of Marleau after Philippe Duquesne in Pace è Salute. Belgian actor and French television legend Jean-Claude Drouot makes a welcome return as the Falstaffian pathologist Leopold Salaun

With Anne Brochet (Martine Lemaître), Isabelle Candelier (Juliette Massoni)Maïra Schmitt (Ariane Turner), Nicolas Robin (Melchior Turner)Valentine Cadic (Virginie Lemaître)Olivier Broche (Dr. Morel), Noémie Lenoir (Marguerite Vitali), etc. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. Co-produced by Passionfilms and Bel Ombre Films with France Télévisions, Pictanovo and the support of Région Hauts-de-France.

With the participation of RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse and R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge). Olivier Schmitt is the production manager. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Music composed by Catherine Lara and Cyrille Lehn. Capitaine Marleau is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Captain Marleau. Written by Sylvain Saada with Corinne Masiero. Directed by Josée Dayan.


Veuves mais pas trop will premiere on France 3 on February 25th.

See also:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau-pace.html (Pace è Salute)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau.html (Quelques maux d'amour)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/capitaine-marleau-grand-huit-france-3.html (Grand Huit)

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

CAPTAIN MARLEAU (CAPITAINE MARLEAU): PACE È SALUTE (FRANCE 3)

Capitaine Marleau is France's favourite gendarme and she knows it.

The bottom line: L'Enquête corse.

Captain Marleau is in a Corsican forest when she's accidentally wounded by a hunter. She's brought to the home of a retired GP, Dr. Paul Crivelli. There's a smell of gas in the house and Crivelli is found dead near his wife Marie, who's unconscious. Marleau interrogates Lesia Crivelli, their daughter, who left Paris where she was a surgeon to become the successor to her father. Lesia's ex-fiancé, who was meant to succeed to Paul, didn't take her return well. A man who beat his wife wants to take revenge on Lesia Crivelli because of her intervention. 

What the fans of Capitaine Marleau like most is neither the plots nor the guest actors (even David Suchet or Isabelle Adjani). It's when Corinne Masiero, its star, delivers Marleau's one-liners and social commentaries. With almost 8 million viewers, the series can afford everything. The actress is reputed to ad lib, to the point that she's also credited with the writers. Pace è Salute is heavy on easy jokes, meta-references and Corinne Masiero's views (well-known in France). Even the postcard shots of the beautiful Corsica cannot prevent the feeling that those 90 minutes last three hours (including 30 minutes of clichés).

With Mélanie Doutey (Lesia Crivelli), Philippe Duquesne (Major Fortin), Catherine Rouvel (Marie Crivelli), Brigitte Sy (Victoire Bracconi), Maria Ducceschi (Restitude Corsa), Laurent Capelluto (Pierre Russo), Cédric Appietto (Ange Castola), Daniel Martin (Dr. Luc Martinez), Jean-Pierre Bouvier (Jacques Ardouin), Didier Landucci (Hubert Ricciardi), Jean-Marc Michelangeli (Henri Ricciardi), etc. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. Co-produced by Passionfilms and Gaspard & Co with France Télévisions and the support of Collectivité de Corse.

With the participation of RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse and R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge). Jean-Christophe Cardineau is the production manager. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Music composed by Catherine Lara and Cyrille Lehn. Marc Eisenchteter is the story editor. Capitaine Marleau is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Captain Marleau. Series created by Elsa Marpeau. Written by Marc-Antoine Laurent and Jean-Marc Taba with Corinne Masiero. Directed by Josée Dayan.

Pace è Salute will premiere on France 3 on February 18th.

See also:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau.html (Quelques maux d'amour)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/capitaine-marleau-grand-huit-france-3.html (Grand Huit)