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Spiral (Engrenages) Series Four


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Old 10-02-2013, 15:21
Belligerence
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Interestingly I understand the C+ showing in France is on a scrambled service so, in theory, one has to pay to watch it over there....
Yeah, something like 24 p/m for five channels. I would say it's worth it however.

Caught a bit of Engrenages when I was in Paris two years ago, but I haven't had the time to persist with it unfortunately. Madame loves it however.
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:25
Verence
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I also noticed the programme seems to have an underlying rascist agenda. All the cops and lawyers are white indigenous French while all the baddies are North Africans or Romanians (I had 5 goes trying to spell that) or similar. I expect crimes are more prevalent among new immigrant groups but that seems to be taking it a bit far.
There have been plenty of white indigenous French criminals as well
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Old 10-02-2013, 15:26
the_lostprophet
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Or maybe they're trying to make a point about the inherent institutionalised racism in French society?
Maybe they are. However even the Grauniad readers aren't complaining about this under the blogs though and they're usually the first to sound off if anything's politically incorrect.

I think that there's a general difference in how the BBC deal with potentially sensitive social issues in dramas and how Europeans do. You either just have to accept it or don't but that's how it is and it's something I've noticed with the Nordic stuff too e.g. the African ep in the recent series of Borgen. I think some Brits have become so used to the BBC being very sensitive and PC that it comes as a real shock to see the European approach.
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:10
NaturalDancer
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Maybe they are. However even the Grauniad readers aren't complaining about this under the blogs though and they're usually the first to sound off if anything's politically incorrect.

I think that there's a general difference in how the BBC deal with potentially sensitive social issues in dramas and how Europeans do. You either just have to accept it or don't but that's how it is and it's something I've noticed with the Nordic stuff too e.g. the African ep in the recent series of Borgen. I think some Brits have become so used to the BBC being very sensitive and PC that it comes as a real shock to see the European approach.
I like the European approach to criminals Don't know if how it's portrayed on TV is how it really is. Much too soft with criminals in this country!
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:26
duncann
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I also noticed the programme seems to have an underlying rascist agenda. All the cops and lawyers are white indigenous French while all the baddies are North Africans or Romanians (I had 5 goes trying to spell that) or similar. I expect crimes are more prevalent among new immigrant groups but that seems to be taking it a bit far.
I think to say the programme 'seems to have an underlying racist agenda' is a little bit extreme. Do you think the BBC would invest in a foreign series that is racist?

Spiral is drama but it's fairly reflective of how things really are. There are and have been non-white police officers in every season of Spiral - there was an excellent Muslim undercover officer before - and there have been white blue collar criminals, prostitutes, drug addicts and at least one serial killer.

Half of the baddies in every series have been the French authorities - which is the point of the series, that the classic French establishment is duplicitous and rancid. Almost every white politician, administrator and half the lawyers over the years have been corrupt or involved in some kind of underhand technique. There was that awful one with the bulging frog eyes, he was dreadful. Josephine is basically a (delicious!) crook, while Pierre is the only one to have remained mostly untarnished but even he has erred.

Laure is now on yet another charge where she and, at least, Gilou are both lying about what she did, TinTin supporting her this time. In a previous series she whacked a (I think Turkish) guy with a fold-down baton that she was not authorised to use and she had Gilou lied about that, TinTin was not so keen. They also lied about Gilou shooting a drug dealer through the floor of a building there were in. Gilou was originally a big drug taker with a prostitute girlfriend. He is close to being criminal class himself.

Paris has just as much non-white immigration as parts of the UK, in their case from North Africa, but French culture is not so politcally correct. In the UK, especially on the BBC, all programmes of all genres are now 'balanced' to the BBC's racial quota guidelines and it's noticeable on the BBC that even in Dickens we get black and Asian actors playing what were clearly written as white characters. In Father Brown recently, set in rurul 1953 there was a black plumber and a Polish housekeeper in an English village, casting the BBC would never have shown in 1953 but they do today because it reflects contemporary immigration. In BBC cop dramas they have black senior officers and barristers and many white British criminals but this more reflects how the BBC would like London or Britain to be than it really is. French TV doesn't take that attitude.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:05
Bosox
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Half of the baddies in every series have been the French authorities - which is the point of the series, that the classic French establishment is duplicitous and rancid. Almost every white politician, administrator and half the lawyers over the years have been corrupt or involved in some kind of underhand technique.
Yes, I have to say if the poster is only seeing non white people doing the bad stuff in Spiral then they must be asleep for at least half of every show. The establishment shown is all white and every single one of them is shown breaking or bending laws.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:29
dodrade
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Given that this series is a co-production does that mean it does not count as an import in BBC accounts?
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:38
horsesvscats
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One thing I'm not clear on . The chap from Mali , who we must assume is an illegal immigrat , however long he has lived there, took false ID to a bank. There didn't seem any need for him to have another bank account , so why risk it
IIRC income tax in France is calculated for the household if people are married or in a partnership. Now the couple are expecting a baby they may have been opening the joint account to make this easier.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:46
Normandie
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I also noticed the programme seems to have an underlying rascist agenda. All the cops and lawyers are white indigenous French while all the baddies are North Africans or Romanians (I had 5 goes trying to spell that) or similar. I expect crimes are more prevalent among new immigrant groups but that seems to be taking it a bit far.
France is a more openly racist country than the UK. Local French people here openly complain about immigrants and when I point out I'm one they laugh, pat me on the arm, and say that they don't mean people like us... white, British...

I don't know what the regulations are in the UK but I suspect that most state employees - even post(wo)men don't have to be British citizens. Certainly in rural France, an under-qualified French person will always get a job over a better-qualified British person even if the British person has fluent French. It probably applies to citizens of other near-European countries too but I can't comment with confidence on that.

Half of the baddies in every series have been the French authorities - which is the point of the series, that the classic French establishment is duplicitous and rancid. Almost every white politician, administrator and half the lawyers over the years have been corrupt or involved in some kind of underhand technique.
Yes. One only has to look at the number of French presidents who have been / are being investigated for "improper dealings" to accept that.

I like the European approach to criminals Don't know if how it's portrayed on TV is how it really is. Much too soft with criminals in this country!
Unless you're the innocent person trying to prove innocence. And no, I don't have personal experience...
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:25
ItJustMyOpinion
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I was a little bit surprised when they took the bomb suspect back to her flat, albeit handcuffed, and merrily proceeded to ransack the flat in front of her eyes.

I "prefer" to think that the British police don't do that sort of thing or am I being a bit naive here?
The French don't seem to have a Human Rights act either and deportation is just done by the local magistrate, no endless appeals. Have to say I prefer the French system. Ten years residency, permanent job, marriage to a French citizen, baby on the way and they can still kick him out on the decision of the local magistrate. Not sure how an illegal immigrant managed to pay tax's though.

Love the way the women in the bank let her colleague take the punishment from the open borders terrorists.
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:28
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Good to see I'm not the only person who thinks that Judge Roban looks like Arsene Wenger!!

As for Thomas aka Robert Downey Jr I wouldn't be surprised if he's an agent provocateur working for the DCRI
Considering he's quite happy to sacrifice a few migrant cleaners, to achieve his overall goal, I think that is unlikely.
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:34
Normandie
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Not sure how an illegal immigrant managed to pay tax's though.
Very easily. You register at the local tax office. France doesn't care much where its taxes come from - it's novel enough that someone volunteers to pay them! - and although you do need some sort of identity (an electricity bill will do - seriously!) Moussa did have papers, albeit fakes.
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:34
ItJustMyOpinion
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I'm struggling with Spiral a bit more now - partly because I miss Borgen!
It's gritty realism and immigrant/gangster issues are kind of wearing a little thin now. But I wouldn\t dream of not watching!!
A part of what makes foreign (French, Scandi etc) dramas work for me is that the characters are so interesting and their development and stories are so gripping.
I'm keeping an open mind as to how hooked or not I'm going to get!
I didn't think I would like Borgen, but to be honest I really got in to it and may buy the first series on DVD or a box set of all three as the third is supposed to be the last.

It is odd switching from one foreign drama to the next and at first I did wish I was still watching Borgen, but soon got back in to Spiral. I have started to study Danish politics and all the different parties, just out of interest, so watching these shows is educational as well.
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:45
ItJustMyOpinion
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Yes, I have to say if the poster is only seeing non white people doing the bad stuff in Spiral then they must be asleep for at least half of every show. The establishment shown is all white and every single one of them is shown breaking or bending laws.
What about the Russian, he was white!
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Old 10-02-2013, 19:49
ItJustMyOpinion
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Unless you're the innocent person trying to prove innocence. And no, I don't have personal experience...
Have they abolished investigating magistrates in France yet? Spiral is very realistic, so if it happened in real life we will not have Judge Roban anymore and I am missing him already after two episodes.

Not seen Republic Prosecutor Machard yet either, can't remember what happened to him in the last series.
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Old 10-02-2013, 20:45
Normandie
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Have they abolished investigating magistrates in France yet? Spiral is very realistic, so if it happened in real life we will not have Judge Roban anymore and I am missing him already after two episodes.
No, it's been under discussion for years - most recently I think Sarko planned to reform the judiciary (I don't know what Hollande's plans are... I doubt Hollande does ). Anyway, investigating magistrates are still alive and well - as seen in the Annecy murders investigation last year, for eg.
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Old 10-02-2013, 21:25
milliejo
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It is true to the problems in France and a growing immigrant population. I think Spiral is gripping.
I like the point about how long it would take to deport everyone because the issues are not black and white. People do set themselves on fire too to avoid deportation. Another thing is those that get deported often end up in the UK.
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Old 10-02-2013, 21:33
milliejo
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I like the European approach to criminals Don't know if how it's portrayed on TV is how it really is. Much too soft with criminals in this country!
Thomas and Sophie are white and many of those that did over the bank and shaved the head of the bank clerk...
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Old 10-02-2013, 22:14
barnsleykeith
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The woman in the bank getting her head shaved!! That must resonate with the French audience. Things like that really happened after France was liberated from the Nazis at the end of WWII.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO7xn--G_Mo
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Old 10-02-2013, 22:17
ItJustMyOpinion
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It is true to the problems in France and a growing immigrant population. I think Spiral is gripping.
I like the point about how long it would take to deport everyone because the issues are not black and white. People do set themselves on fire too to avoid deportation. Another thing is those that get deported often end up in the UK.
The anarchists mentality is fascinating. The bank clerk must be punished for doing her civil duty. The ten year migrants should be allowed to stay, even though he has no right to be there and is blatantly unfair those that did follow the rules, went to a lot of trouble and paid a lot of money to live in France.

He should have gone to England as there is no way the authorities would deport him is such a straight forward way. Funny that both countries are in the EU and both are signatories to the Human Rights convention and the UN conventions. Every immigration case is a personal one, but if an exception is made the policy breaks down and the anarchists get their citizens of the world dream.

I like the way they have those that want a peaceful route and those that want the violent route. Its shaping up to be a great series, however I don't get how the new gangster family fits in to it all. I wonder if the old superintendent will return as he made an appearance. If the actor had left, it might have been a real replacement.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:41
KennyT
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overnights are a bit disappointing:

21:00 - ep 1/12: 594k (2.65%)
21:55 - ep 2/12: 433k (2.2%)

i don't think there was an HD simulcast, so these are the totals...

K
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:27
elfcurry
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Originally Posted by duncann
I think to say the programme 'seems to have an underlying racist agenda' is a little bit extreme. Do you think the BBC would invest in a foreign series that is racist?
No, probably not.
There have been plenty of white indigenous French criminals as well
Yes, true. To you and those who picked me up on my 'rascism' post, I'm sorry, I realise I was being too (I was going to say "too black and white"!) no, too absolutist (?), I posted in haste. I meant that while the authorities police etc. are predominantly white, indigenous French, the suspects and potential baddies are frequently from other countries or racial groups. Maybe that's how it really is in Paris or maybe it's done to mislead us about who's good and bad.

As an exception, the Malian chap seemed completely benign and just wanted to get on with life and he seemed to be treated with no particular disrespect by the immigration detention centre staff.

Also as someone said, there is significant corruption in the legal and government hierarchy, as well as rule-bending and lies to cover up in the police.
(Are they still Gendarmes or is that old hat now?)
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:58
david1955
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I can't quote all the posts , but there have been some very interesting ones about the attitude to racism in France as compared to the UK. I had never seen the programme before Saturday and the comments about that and the corrupt nature of the police/judiciary etc make this programme a lot more interesting, than it appeared at first viewing.

Thanks for all the background stuff, it'll make looking at it in future in a new light .
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:26
barnsleykeith
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overnights are a bit disappointing:

21:00 - ep 1/12: 594k (2.65%)
21:55 - ep 2/12: 433k (2.2%)

i don't think there was an HD simulcast, so these are the totals...

K
Thanks Kenny. No HD version at all, as you say. It's looking like the BBC haven't bought the HD rights.No mid week repeat either on BBC4.

Those figures are rather disappointing. Have you the numbers for S3 at hand. Spiral isn't as popular as the Scandi dramas but I think the last season did better than this.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:48
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Also as someone said, there is significant corruption in the legal and government hierarchy, as well as rule-bending and lies to cover up in the police.
(Are they still Gendarmes or is that old hat now?)
They're Police Nationale rather than Gendarmerie, which is a different thing with more of a militaristic nature ( a bit like the Guardia Civil in Spain)

No direct equivalent in the UK

As with any form of French law enforcement agency, however, watch out for them!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gendarmerie
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