Monday, 22 May 2017


Commissaire Laurence becomes a secret agent again after the death of a good friend from the intelligence community during an assignment at the Lille Opera.

« Non, pas Brigitte! Je déteste Brigitte! »
Written by Thierry Debroux, L'homme au complet marron is based on Agatha Christie's novel The Man in the Brown Suit. It's the second of the two episodes of Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie (Agatha Christie's Criminal Games) filmed between October and December 2016. Like Le miroir se brisa, the previous episode, it is directed by Rodolphe Tissot (The Churchmen/Ainsi soient-ils). Swiss television RTS aired both ahead of French pubcaster France 2.

« Les Russes? Comment ils sont les Russes?
- Slaves. »

French secret agent Nadine Mercuret works undercover as the secretary of Alexandre Latour, the director of the Opera Moderne de Lille. Her service thinks that ballerina Tatiana Pochenko is a member of a Soviet spy ring run by the mysterious "Colonel". When Nadine finds out his true identity, she's mortally wounded but tries to warn ex-colleague and friend Swan Laurence (Samuel Labarthe) at his appartment. To avenge her death, the commissaire collaborates with Gaullic spymaster Gilbert Loyson, a pal from his Resistance days, and disguises himself as a woman to be the new secretary of Mr Latour. After all, no less than the security of the free world is at stake.

« Bienvenue dans le monde des femmes, commissaire. »

Jules Touchard, an employee of the Opera, is knocked over by a black car right in front Alice Avril (Blandine Bellavoir). Soon Gilbert arranges the necessary disappearance of Swan. Marlène (Élodie Frenck), sworn to secrecy on the life of her goldfish, teaches her boss how to be "Brigitte", the perfect secretary. Brigitte's face seems familiar to Avril, who instantly dislikes her. Contrary to Tricard (Dominique Thomas), who likes this Brigitte a bit too much. Between a 60s spy caper and Some Like It Hot, L'homme au complet marron is a pure wonder dominated by the performance of Samuel Labarthe. It's also a great occasion to put the talented Dominique Thomas under the spotlight with much more screen time than usual.

The excellent guest cast includes Thierry Gimenez (Gilbert Loyson) (1), Grégoire Oestermann (Latour), Marie Céline (Tatiana Pochenko), Alice Dufour (Lisa Bonfanti), Mikaël Chirinian (Patrick Mallet), Benjamin Gauthier (Eustache Miller), Céline Cuignet (Martine Touchard), Anton Yakovlev (Sergueï), etc. Some of them worked with Rodolphe Tissot before. Also with Cyril Gueï as Timothée Glissant, Éric Beauchamp (Martin) and François Godart (Robert Jourdeuil). Produced by Escazal Films and France Télévisions, with the support of Pictanovo and Région Hauts-de-France. Sophie Révil is the producer. 

« Je vous déteste.  
- Oui, oui. Moi non plus. »

Main characters created by Sylvie Simon and Thierry Debroux. Music composed by Stéphane Moucha. The next episode will be Drame en trois actes, written by Sylvie Simon. Followed by Crimes haute couture (2), penned by Jennifer Have and Zina Modiano (writers of the interesting Le miroir se brisa) and a Christmas special called Le crime de Noël, written by Thierry Debroux. Agatha Christie's Criminal Games is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice.

(1) In Le crime ne paie pas, a 2014 episode written by Thierry Debroux, Laurence's spymaster pal was called Gilbert Bourdet and he was portrayed by Renaud Rutten.
(2) [Update - August 31, 2017] In June it was announced that the next couple of episodes to be filmed would be Crimes haute couture and Drame en trois actes, in that order.

See also: (Le miroir se brisa)

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