Wednesday, 13 November 2019


Commissaire Magellan and Lieutenant Berrayah meet Christophe Barbier.

The bottom line: The one without the red scarf.

Created by Laurent Mondy (Les Cordier, juge et flic), Commissaire Magellan was launched on France 3 in 2009. Produced by Jean Luc Azoulay's JLA Productions with France Télévisions 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 is part of the very popular French crime drama line-up of France 3 and even crossed over twice with Mongeville, another hit of the channel (in 2016 and 2018). Written by Anton Voyl and directed by Stephan Kopecky, La nébuleuse d'Orion is the 33rd episode of the series. Grégoire Laroche, an eminent astrophysicist, is stabbed at the observatory of the Saignac University. Magellan and Selma investigate amongst his colleagues and students. Cordelia wants to invite a friend named Valentin for her 16th birthday.

The writers and the producers of Commissaire Magellan manage to keep fresh a proven formula. Jacques Spiesser is always brilliant as the debonair (and sarcastic) detective of France's answer to Midsomer Murders (1). The comic relief of this excellent episode is not provided as usual by Ludo's antics but by Cordelia's crush, who's ultra-conservative, and his completely different cousin. Press and television political columnist Christophe Barbier, known for his red scarf and his economically liberal/macronist views, appears as recteur Antoine Dutilleux.

Acting (particularly theatre) happens to be Christophe Barbier's passion. He's currently on stage in L'un de nous deux - Mandel/Blum and his portrayal of an unflattering character in La nébuleuse d'Orion is actually rather good. He previously played in two episodes of Munch for TF1. Also with Nicolas Grandhomme (Jérôme Morel), actor and scriptwriter Stephan Guérin-Tillié as Grégoire Laroche, Isabelle Renauld (Hélène Laugier), Geoffroy Thiebaut (Mathieu Laugier), Linda Hardy (Juliette Morel), Delphine Lacheteau (Diane Laugier), etc. 

Produced by Richard Berkowitz. Exec produced by Bernard Paccalet. 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. Filmed in the Département du Nord. Commissaire Magellan is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Magellan.

(1) With touches of Les cinq dernières minutes, Navarro (another production of Jean-Luc Azoulay) or even Derrick.

See also:

No comments: