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Engrenages (original title)
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Follows criminal investigations in Paris from all the different points of view of those involved.
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Series cast summary:
Caroline Proust ...  Laure Berthaud 64 episodes, 2005-2017
Audrey Fleurot ...  Joséphine Karlsson / ... 64 episodes, 2005-2017
Thierry Godard ...  Gilou 63 episodes, 2005-2017
Fred Bianconi ...  Fromentin 62 episodes, 2005-2017
Philippe Duclos ...  Juge Roban / ... 62 episodes, 2005-2017
Grégory Fitoussi ...  Pierre Clément 48 episodes, 2005-2016
Nicolas Briançon ...  Commissioner Herville 32 episodes, 2012-2017
Bruno Debrandt Bruno Debrandt ...  Commissioner Brémont / ... 29 episodes, 2010-2017
Dominique Daguier Dominique Daguier ...  Procureur Machard / ... 28 episodes, 2008-2017
Elisabeth Macocco ...  Marianne Ledoux / ... 28 episodes, 2010-2017


Follows criminal investigations in Paris from all the different points of view of those involved.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


French police drama with a twist.


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

CANAL+ [France]





Release Date:

13 December 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Spiral See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

Production Co:

Canal+,Son et Lumière See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(8 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Philippe Magnan & Grégory Fitoussi also worked together on Les hommes de l'ombre (2012) as Philippe Deleuvre & Ludovic Desmeuze respectively. See more »


Remade as Engrenages (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Top flight noir police procedural
17 August 2006 | by LouE15See all my reviews

Series 1:

Magnifique! - gritty French police procedural buried on BBC4, each episode enmeshing you in a darker and darker world of crime, pain, and - as everywhere - a convoluted legal system that is best summed up by a brief exchange mid-series: "It's cruel." "It's only justice." With great performances and a coldly verité mise en scene, this holds its own among the best US & UK police/legal dramas. Oh, and need I say how refreshing it is to see a non-US drama on British screens? A large cast perform excellent dialogue, an engrossing single theme backed up by numerous sub plots, each one driving the characters forward as all the best drama should. The lead characters are attractive/repellent as required, but always interesting, without looking like an advert for a shampoo. In fact there's none of that slippery high-gloss (where every 'goodie' is always right, and never makes a mistake) that has marred some US series. Spiral attracted a good deal of support on BBC comment pages and is already being replayed on BBC4, with series two on the way. If it doesn't get a showing here there may be a riot.

Series 2:

Now season two is over - all too quickly - I'm left actually gasping for more. It's the kind of show that makes the rash of 'CSI' type programmes looking plastic and rather basic. Is it because I'm so cynical that this show suits my way of thinking about the world so well? That dark, messy, morally ambivalent universe they live in is recognisable even past the cultural differences, such as the astonishing blurring of the boundary between investigative police work and judgement – it's not so much uniquely French as uniquely modern. I recognise this world: you could find desperate council estates and desperate police departments just like it all over the less photogenic parts of London and the UK. And as for the relationships – they're as fleeting, unresolved and problematic as everybody's are.

I wasn't sure if they could top the tour-de-force complexity and classy storytelling of season one; and I'm not sure they did; but it doesn't matter - the quality is still so high, and the series-long story arc so engrossing, that you don't waste too much time comparing them. Some familiar faces, and some new characters, keep things ticking along nicely. My only criticism really is that the 'villains' (as if it were really possible to separate them from anybody else!) of season one were so nasty, so venal, so atrociously amoral, that it was always going to be difficult to find new villains that didn't make you wonder where the bad stuff was happening. This lot were kind of old school. The final episode did leave me slightly confused and was I think underwritten in the haste to get to the end. Isn't the crucial difficulty of policing - everywhere - precisely that no one ever does really have that last minute change of heart, so that les flics must tread their dirty path alone?

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