Friday, 2 June 2017


Forget the US copycat, El Ministerio del Tiempo, one of the best contemporary television series, returns in all its glory. And even more glorious.

Series 3 of El Ministerio del Tiempo, the acclaimed Spanish sci-fi/adventure drama, premiered this week on pubcaster TVE's main channel La 1. Though ratings suffered last year, the creation of Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel) got this third series thanks to its pop culture phenom status in Spain, a solid fanbase outside its country, format sales, and a decisive deal between RTVE and VOD giant Netflix. Hence an increase of the production budget.

Regrettably, Rodolfo Sancho and the producers couldn't reach an agreement so his character Julián Martínez is absent of these 13 new episodes (1). That's why El Ministerio del Tiempo welcomes back Pacino, played by Hugo Silva. Silva replaced Sancho during the previous series when the latter wasn't available (2). The title of this series premiere, Con el tiempo en los talones, is a nod to Con la muerte en los talones, the Spanish title of Alfred Hitchcock's movie North by Northwest (1959). Written by Carlos de Pando & Javier Pascual and directed by Marc Vigil, the episode is a brilliant tribute to the Master of Suspense.

A mission in the middle of the Battle of Teruel in 1937 ends dramatically in the epic opening scene. Later, in 1958, Pacino and his colleague/love interest Marta Sañudo are in San Sebastian, where Alfred Hitchcock attends the film festival with his wife Alma. After a confrontation with a Soviet agent, Pacino finds Marta dead at the bottom of the stairs and he calls Amelia and Alonso. The team tries to prevent the KGB to kidnap Hitchcock as Soviet Union wants to turn the director into the new Eisenstein! Meanwhile, in 2017, the courtyard of the Ministry is under renovation. Stuck in a wheelchair because of a leg in a cast, Salvador notices a curious construction worker with a walkman.

Vertigo, Rear Window, Rope, Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock who wants to make Amelia a star (which could have consequences for Antonio Banderas...) Add Kirk Douglas, a X-Men joke, a traitor a la Mendieta, etc. The wait is over and it was worth it:  El Ministerio del Tiempo is back. Also starring Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí). Guest starring José Ángel Egido as Alfred Hitchcock, Belén Fabra (Marta), French-German actor Pierre Kiwitt as Petrov, Óscar de la Fuente (Francisco Morales), Julia Fossi (Alma Hitchcock) and Álex Piñeiro.

Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE. María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), Juan Mayne & Augusto Rovegno (Netflix), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares & Abigail Schaaff (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce. Luis Gutiérrez is the production manager.  Anaïs Schaaff and Javier Carillo are the associates producers for Cliffhanger TV. Isaac Vila is the cinematographer. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama, in full Bernard Hermann mode for the occasion. 

(1) Though Javier Olivares doesn't rule out the possibility of a return.
(2) Rodolfo Sancho was filming crime drama Mar de Plastico.

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