If you feel that Christmas is a bit quiet and tame, treat yourself to the mayhem of series 4 of the French policier Braquo, out on DVD/Blu-ray on 12 December. It’s the continuing story of a squad of Paris police officers who crossed the ‘yellow line’ after their colleague Max was unfairly accused of criminal misconduct and committed suicide. Now Eddie Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade), Walter Morlighem (Joseph Malerba), Theo Wachevski (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and Roxane Delgado (Karole Rocher) exist on the edge of the law. Try the trailer above and, if you haven’t caught the series yet on BBC4’s excellent Saturday noir nights or on Fox, then you’ll realise Braquo packs more of a wallop than Midsomer Murders.
DVD release: Monday, 19 September
If you missed it on More4 as part of the network’s excellent range of foreign-language series, now there’s a chance to catch up with The Out-Laws on DVD.
They do dark chocolate quite well in Belgium and it seems dark crime comedies are also a skill. The Out-Laws is a delicious tale of five sisters who can’t stand the vile husband of one of their number, the slightly dippy Goedele, whose other half is obnoxious Jean-Claude.
Whether he’s making insulting jokes about one of the sister’s infertility, showing the price label on a present he’s bought or making racist slurs, Jean-Claude is toxic.
The trouble is, no matter how much Eva, Veerle, Birgit and Bekka try to get Goedele to dump him, she won’t have it. So, the remaining four in-laws decide to become out-laws and kill the bastard.
However, Jean-Claude seems to have more lives than a cat.
The Out-Laws is full of malicious humour and has been praised mightily everywhere from Mumsnet to The Guardian. It’s also told in a delightfully offbeat format with the action switching from the present to the past, and back again.
Inevitably, the Americans are now making a US version. But don’t miss the original.
IT’S BEEN CALLED infuriating and too dark, but dull it certainly is not. Marcella has been ITV’s attempt to refashion Nordic noir on these shores by getting the creator of the hugely popular The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, to conjure up this Nordic-cum-Brit thriller. Anna Friel has certainly been compelling as the detective prone to blackouts, and this week’s episode had critics spluttering over a child’s death in the story.
Following the former Murder Squad detective Marcella Backland as she is propelled back to work following a 10-year career break has been an intricate and pretty deep at times. On the face of it the investigation concerns a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bears a striking resemblance to an unsolved case Marcella was previously involved in, but there is plenty more to it, with Marcella’s husband being a bit dodgy (as well as unfaithful), sex worker muggers on the loose and various corporate shenanigans.
Personally, I can’t make up my mind about it (my original review is here). It is a bit daft and over the top at times, and certainly mystifying. I suspect we need to get to the end of it to see if it’s a load of pants or actually pretty decent.
Anyway, if the various storylines have had you baffled, you can scrutinise the drama again at your leisure or just see what all the fuss has been about as a first-time viewer when the DVD is released on 20 June. The boxset will be priced at £26.99 (cert 15, though this is to be confirmed).
ITV’s stylish and intelligent Morse prequel is released on bulk – that includes the latest third series just finished on UK TV, along with the preceding two series as a box set. Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse and Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday make a good team, the writing is strong and the period detail terrific in all of these sophisticated mysteries. The stakes were certainly high in the most recent outing, when Endeavour had to move on from being framed for a crime he didn’t commit. The setting is the 1967 Summer of Love…
Endeavour Series 3 – Discs: 2,
Cert: 12 – £12.99: Amazon
Endeavour Series 1-3 -Discs: 7
Cert: 12 – £29.99: Amazon
The continuing struggle of Daniel Holden (Aden Young) to rebuild his life after having his conviction overturned for the rape and murder of his girlfriend has been a quiet hit. While it hasn’t created a huge stir among viewers yet, the critics have the praised both series of this Southern Gothic legal drama. All agree the first series was riveting, but some claim this second outing is even better as Daniel tries to lay his past to rest.
Rectify Series 2. Discs 3 (10 episodes).
Cert: 15. £14.99: Amazon