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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great cinematography ...but the narration?, 16 April 2016

I ended up watching this with the sound turned down. I found the narration by David Suzuki to be tedious in the extreme. This man may be a well respected academic, but he can't read a script to save his life. They should have used an actor or someone of the ilk of an Attenborough who understands what intonation is. Such a shame because, for me, it spoiled the eye candy of the wilds of Canada. And, while I think of it,the script itself wasn't that great either. 10 out of 10 for the filming, 5 out of ten for the script, 1 out of 10 for the narration. I think I've been generous giving it an overall 9, but the cinematography really was superb.

"Spiral" (2005)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Incompetent and corrupt, 25 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I came to Spiral via various Swedish and Danish cop shows. I am currently halfway through series 3 having watched series 1, 2 & 5 already. My impressions? Well, the police are corrupt and incompetent. The judiciary are corrupt and incompetent. Commerce is corrupt. Local politicians are corrupt. It seems that French society is rotten to the core. Honestly, anyone would think France was a third world country & barely existing.

Let's start with the cops. (Slight spoiler) In the first series, they go chasing after some kids selling key rings. This is CID mind you. Do they have nothing else better to do? Apparently not. So once onto these major criminals, and having identified where the money from the racket goes, do they follow the money as any normal investigator would do? No. They let the Fagin- style mastermind go and arrest all the kids. I'm sitting there wondering what idiot wrote this. Did they even bother consulting the police as to how the police work? Clearly not.

The character of the main (female) detective is laughable. We have someone of the rank of captain (translated as Detective Chief Inspector for the BBC version) who spends all 5 series behaving like a neurotic school kid. I've no idea if this is down to the director or screenwriter or both, but do these people honestly think that a senior detective would behave like this? Do they believe that someone like that could have reached the dizzying heights of DCI by the age of 31 by acting like a spoilt teenager? Nah. No chance. She reminds me of the female detective in the Danish cop show, The Killing. But at least in the French version she does actually work with a team rather than as a lone wolf. Maybe all (male?) screenwriters think that female detectives have to be neurotic in order to be interesting? That a woman can't be serious and methodical and intelligent....she has to be an over-emotional, irrational rule breaker who communicates by shouting at people.

Oh, and don't forget that no-one (police or judiciary) has any respect for the law. Procedures are not bent, they are either broken or ignored. A whole team of French detectives travels illegally to Spain in pursuit of some criminals. At least the judge mentions in passing that they are supposed to have a Commission Rogatoire (permission to investigate in a foreign country) they just didn't get round to asking for one. Ho hum. What happens when the case gets to court and it is disclosed that a whole surveillance team was operating in a foreign country illegally?

And finally, how is it that everyone seems to know everyone else in Paris? Anyone would think that there were only 50 people in the city...all their stories so interlinked (relatives, friends, lovers, spouses, colleagues etc).

So I wouldn't recommend this show if you like your cop shows with just a modicum of realism. This show ain't it. It hides its lack of substance & reality behind gruesome murders and detectives throwing a wobbly every five minutes. It's daft, way over dramatic, and at times just plain silly.

I'll watch the rest just so that I can take the Micky out of how bad it is.

Of the Danish and Swedish shows, I'd stick with the Swedish ones. The Killing and The Eagle (Danish) were equally dumb.

Anyone recommend a detective series where the screenwriter has some knowledge of how criminal investigations actually work? I think Lynda La Plante was part way there.....otherwise?

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A bit dated, 1 December 2015

I was surprised that this series ran from 2004-2006. It has the feel of a 1980s British cop show. Bergerac sprang to mind. The main character has about as much personality as Bergerac (i.e. none). It has wooden acting, amateurish directing, so-so cinematography and a seriously annoying soundtrack. It's badly dated. I've only watched the first series, so maybe it'll get better. Based on this and the other Danish TV series The Killing (which had ridiculous plots with holes in a mile wide - but at least the production was better quality), I can't say I'm now a fan of Danish cop shows. All the Swedish ones I've watched were way better - Beck, Wallander, Arne Dahl.

now out on DVD....., 4 September 2007

I searched Ebay and found that this is now available on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic. 5 quid in the UK & 25 bucks in the USA. Some bright spark bought the copyright and transferred it from cine to DVD. Can't speak about the quality, but will soon find out. Vendor admits to hiss on the quiet bits but claims that there is no rolling or sticking of the film. Looking forward to seeing this for the first time in over 40 years. I hope it's all I remember from so long ago. Anyone else bought this product? Any good? Has to be better than nothing at all. Anyone any idea when this was last shown on UK TV? I would have been 6 when this was first shown and can't believe that I remember it from way back then. Was Michael Bentine involved with the puppetry ? A forerunner to the other puppet shows he did in the 1970's?