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DVD Review

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Starring: Tchéky Karyo, Tom Hollander, Jessica Raine, Clare Calbraith and Trystan Gravelle
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 08 April 2019

Called out of retirement, following a brain tumour, Julien Baptiste is asked by his boss to investigate the disappearance of an Amsterdam sex worker. Meeting with the girl’s uncle he discovers that she had connections with the Romanian mafia. As Baptiste delves into the dark underbelly of Amsterdam, he discovers that not everything is as it seems…

Baptiste: The Complete Series (2019. 6 x 60 min approx.) is a psychological police thriller, created and written by Harry and Jack Williams. The show is an offshoot of The Missing (2014 - 2016) and is written by the same team. Some of the same characters return, mostly Baptiste himself, Tchéky Karyo and his family. This is a stand-alone story and there is no requirement to have watched The Missing to make sense of the plot.

With the rise of Nordic noir and its critical and audience approval, it was little wonder that the format would be copied. There have been some shows which have failed to match the original, but The Missing and Baptiste can certainly hold their head high it such august company.

The show consists of so many twists and turns that it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, its pretty much impossible to watch a single episode without wanting to watch the next. Nor does the series shy away from ratcheting up the body count. The show even opens with, what seems to be an innocent middle-aged man being killed and dismembered by the Romanian mafia.

Police procedurals are difficult to review without spoiling the joy of discovering all the twists and turns of the plot. Tchéky Karyo remains good in the titular role, this time joined by Tom Hollander as the Uncle. As Baptiste gets deeper into the case it inevitably turns out to be more complex and dangerous than just a missing girl. The central thread revolves around finding the illusive Dragomir Zelincu who has not been seen in years but appears to be central to the girl’s disappearance... possibly.

It’s a dark and compelling watch, every bit as good as The Missing. So, if your looking for a brutal look at life, Baptiste is probably for you.


Charles Packer

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