Sunday, 4 March 2018


France 3's crime dramas have become a fully-fledged genre amongst this huge police station which is French television fiction. The pubcaster's long string of hits includes collections like Meurtres à..., Crime à or Crimes parfaits. And series such as Mongeville or Commissaire Magellan.

France 3 is also the happy home of the ratings juggernaut and pop culture phenomenon Capitaine Marleau. The channel's latest addition to their crime/mystery line-up is Peur sur la base, a TV movie starring Audrey Fleurot (Spiral, A French Village, Witnesses 2).

The bottom line: The one with Audrey Fleurot.

Audrey Fleurot plays Adjudant-chef Odessa Berken, a Gendarme maritime with a painful past, who's called on the Brest naval because of the mysterious disappearance of a Fusilier marin. The body of the soldier is found in the sea but pathologist Samuel Delaunay (Philippe Lefebvre), Odessa's ex-lover, discovers that the man was murdered. Berken investigates inside the base against the hostility of Frédéric Le Gall (Charles Clément, seen in Le prix de la vérité), the head of the Fusiliers.  

Nathan Berken (Cyril Descours), her estranged brother and the victim's best friend, becomes the main suspect. Odessa Berken's deputy Xavier Zuma (Diouc Koma) is determined to prove his guilt, an anonymous informer contacts her via the internet and the murderer targets Odessa. Peur sur la base is an umpteenth variation on the independent and strong-minded detective (a favourite of France 3 epitomized by Capitaine Marleau) vs the military. Its only distinction is that the gendarme is played by Ms Fleurot, whose sole name is enough to get attention in almost every part of the world.

The presence of Audrey Fleurot actually cannot harm when there are a few bad dialogue lines, some clichés, not to mention the mandatory "office du tourisme" shots (the Brest cable car). On the plus side, there's a very good scene involving a military song played by a digital recorder and a laser point gun, and the always excellent Laurent Spielvogel as Admiral Bodrillan. Also starring Maryne Bertieaux (Axelle Deschamp), Dimitri Storoge (Simon Rodic), Zacharie Chasseriaud (Guillaume Pontoise) and Samia Sassi (Claire Molina).

Written by Alexandra Deman and Laurence Katrian, who directs. Peur sur la base is produced by Troisième Oeil Story/Troisième Oeil Productions with France Télévisions. Co-produced by Be-Films and RTBF (Télévision belge) with the participation of Région Bretagne, 13ème Rue (NBC Universal) and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse. Pierre-Antoine Capton exec produces. Produced by Marie-Hélène Pages. Sidonie Cohen de Lara is the associate producer.

Music composed by François Staal. Cinematography by Eric Guichard. Distributed by AB International Distribution (The Berken case is the international title). Aired by France 3 on March 3, Peur sur la base caught 4.272.000 viewers (19%) and ranked #2 behind The Voice on TF1. (Rating details)

See also: (Le prix de la vérité)

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