The beloved French mystery series Commissaire Magellan comes to an end with its 38th episode.
Created by Laurent Mondy (Les Cordier, juge et flic), Commissaire Magellan was launched on pubcaster France 3 in 2009. Produced by Jean Luc Azoulay's JLA Productions with France Télévisions (and 13ème Rue) 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).
Commissaire Magellan crossed over twice (in 2016 and 2018) with Mongeville, another hit of the channel. Jacques Spiesser is brilliant as the debonair detective in those old school whodunnits, built according to a proven formula, which deliver 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. In February 2021, Mongeville and Commissaire Magellan were officially axed by France 3 in spite of their healthy ratings (even in repeats). Written by Anton Voyl (2) and directed by Stéphane Kopecky (Joséphine, ange gardien), Mortel refrain was filmed between October and November 2020 in the Département du Nord.
Mathieu Deschamps, a singer famous 15 years ago, prepares his return with a new album and a tour when he's killed in a recording studio. Commissaire Magellan and Lieutenant Berrayah investigate in the victim's entourage, starting with his wife, his stepdaughter and his producer. It's Simon's birthday soon and Paul Gavrillac, his longtime friend, arrives at his house without warning. He's quickly followed by Barbara, Magellan's ex-wife, who didn't warn either. Both are depressed for the same reason. The plot of Mortel refrain looks like it has been done a gazillion times but at least Jacques Spiesser and his character make a proper goodbye, subtle and elegant.
Series favourites Bernard Alane (Paul) and Agnès Soral (Barbara) provide the highlights of this episode with Franz Lang. The guest cast includes Anne Caillon (Demain nous appartient) as Elsa Deschamps and Jean-Pierre Michaël (Ici Tout Commence, R.I.S. Police Scientifique) as David Gordon. Also with Avy Marciano (Stéphane Larrieux), Éric Boucher (Mathieu Deschamps), Julien Crampon (Corentin), Bertille Chabert (Juliette), etc. Produced by Richard Berkowitz. Exec produced by Olivier Guedj. Jean-Marie Aumont is the production manager for JLA. Elizabeth Bonnay is the production manager for France Télévisions. Music by Frédéric Porte. Cinematography by Jonny Semeco. Commissaire Magellan is available in the U.S. and Canada on SVOD service MHz Choice under the title Magellan.