Braquo series 1 on FX PREVIEW

Not to be messed with – Eddy Caplan, Roxane Delgado, Walter Morlighem and Théo Vachewski. Pics: FXUK

Rating ★★★★

FX from Sunday, 30 October, 10pm

Story: To clean up the reputation of their leader, who’s been accused of sexually abusing a prisoner, four rogue cops launch a violent campaign against those who smeared him.

The French are a stroppy lot. If it’s not their football players rebelling against their own manager, it’s their rugby stars being branded as disobedient brats by their coach. To say nothing of the mobs outside the Bastille.

There’s a nice moment of Gallic stroppiness in this bruising new drama when the police brass have called a meeting to soft soap the rank and file, and a female lieutenant flounces out. When her mate, Eddy Caplan, follows, his boss says they are not finished. ‘We are,’ Eddy says, and that’s it, meeting over as the whole unit departs.

Eddy and the lieutenant, Roxane, along with two captains, Walter and Théo, are furious that their leader, Max, has been buried in disgrace after committing suicide. He was in custody for stabbing a rape suspect in the eye, and someone has leaked an accusation from the suspect, Benaissa, that Max sexually abused him.

Braquo is far more punchy than any UK cop show

Théo Vachewski

Not the types to be messed around, particularly when a comrade and his family have been dissed, the quartet take matters into their own hands and launch a reckless and violent campaign to put matters straight.

If Braquo were a colour it could only be noir, from the black leather jackets to the dark ambivalent morals of this desperate bunch of cops. It’s directed by the actor and former policeman Olivier Marchal, who also made 36 Quai des Orfevres, and is far more hard-hitting than any cop series produced in the UK. Like Spiral, this doesn’t portray les flics by half measures.

These guys steal from the crooks, snort coke and seem to have a bar in their office. They’re also pretty handy at dishing out a beating. If this is based on Marchal’s actual experience in the French force, it would be advisable to give them a very wide berth next time you’re in Paris.

Max Rossi

Imprisonment or death
Max’s widow tells Eddy they’ve been hiding behind their badges, and you can see where she’s coming from. ‘You’ve not been cops for a long time now.’

As Eddy and his rogue team start their own desperate investigation, they risk imprisonment or death, and the story is going to get a lot darker still.

If you like your cop dramas with the strength of an unfiltered Gauloises, then this is the series for you.

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