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Spiral (TV series)

spiral tv series season 5, spiral tv series wikipedia
Spiral French: Engrenages, pronounced  is a French television police procedural and legal drama series set in Paris The show follows the lives and work of Paris police officers and the lawyers and judges who work at the Palais de Justice It was created by Alexandra Clert for the TV production company Son et Lumière

The first series of eight episodes started on Canal+ in France in December 2005 The series was shown in the UK on BBC Four during the summer of 2006 It was the channel's first French-language drama series, attracting a modest but loyal audience around 200,000 and firm critical approval In September 2009 BBC Four started showing the second series: another eight-part series, partly funded by the BBC, was broadcast from May 2008 onwards The third series was shown from April 2011, and the fourth series from February 2013 Series five was filmed in 2013 and broadcast in France in late 2014, and in the UK on BBC Four from January 2015 The sixth series was filmed in 2016 All three are of 12 episodes Filming the seventh series started in January 2018

Spiral has been an export success, with sales to broadcasters in more than 70 countries including Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom In Australia, the first series was broadcast in 2008 on SBS One, the second series on SBS Two from September 2009 and the third series on SBS Two from mid-2012 Spiral debuted in North America via Netflix in September 2012 All five seasons are currently available on Hulu

Spiral has received wide-ranging critical acclaim throughout its run, and has been nominated and won several awards It has been nominated at the Globes de Cristal Awards four times, winning once It was also nominated for Best Drama at the BAFTA Awards, and it won the 2015 International Emmy Award for Best Series


  • 1 Title
  • 2 Production staff
  • 3 Episodes
    • 31 Series 1 2005–06
    • 32 Series 2 2008
    • 33 Series 3 2010
    • 34 Series 4 2012
    • 35 Series 5 2014
    • 36 Series 6 2017
  • 4 Cast
    • 41 Series 1
    • 42 Series 2
    • 43 Series 3
    • 44 Series 4
    • 45 Series 5
  • 5 Accolades
  • 6 International broadcasts
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


The original French title is Engrenages This word carries various meanings in French Although it literally translates as either "gears" or "gearing", it is also used in various idioms and the official translation of the title picks up the phrase "a spiral of violence" engrenage de violence, though it also carries overtones of "getting caught up in the works" mettre un doigt dans l'engrenage, "getting some grit in the works" un grain de sable dans l'engrenage and even "the cycle of drug abuse" l'engrenage de la drogue, or "gearing" in the sense of "intensification"

Production staff

  • Series created by Alexandra Clert and Guy-Patrick Sainderichin
  • Written by Guy-Patrick Sainderichin series 1, Virginie Brac series 2, Anne Landois series 3 and 4, Eric de Barahir series 2 to 4
  • Directed by Philippe Triboit 1x01 to 1x04, 2x07 and 2x08, Pascal Chaumeil 1x05 to 1x08, Gilles Bannier 2x01 to 2x04, Philippe Venault 2x05 and 2x06, Manuel Boursinhac 3x01 to 3x06 and Jean-Marc Brondolo 3x07 to 3x12
  • Produced by Alain Clert and Charline de Lépine
  • A Son et Lumière production in association with Canal+, Jimmy and CinéCinéma
  • Distributor: 2001 Audiovisuel France


Main article: List of Spiral episodes

The series describes the day-to-day work and life of six employees of the judicial system: a police captain and her two lieutenants, a judge, a prosecutor and a lawyer

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 8 December 13, 2005 2005-12-13 January 3, 2006 2006-01-03
2 8 May 12, 2008 2008-05-12 June 2, 2008 2008-06-02
3 12 May 3, 2010 2010-05-03 June 7, 2010 2010-06-07
4 12 September 3, 2012 2012-09-03 October 8, 2012 2012-10-08
5 12 November 10, 2014 2014-11-10 December 15, 2014 2014-12-15

Series 1 2005–06

The body of a young Romanian woman is discovered on a Parisian rubbish dump; her face eradicated As her identity and past life are gradually revealed by the investigating French justice system, it becomes apparent that her story ties to a network of corruption which may touch the people uncovering the truth about her In the United Kingdom, series 1 was broadcast on BBC Four during May and June 2006, and repeated on BBC Four in 2009 in the lead-up to the broadcast of series 2

Series 2 2008

The story begins with a man burnt to death in the boot of a car on a housing estate BBC Four showed the series in November and December 2009

Series 3 2010

When the mutilated body of a young woman is found on a disused railway track in the North of Paris, near La Villette, Captain Laure Berthaud takes the opportunity to restore her image after her involvement in the death of Mustapha Larbi She quickly thinks the murderer could be a serial killer, and her intuition is confirmed a few days later by the disappearance of a second young woman with the same physical appearance in the same neighbourhood Time is running out to avoid new victims but the investigation goes badly: Berthaud and her men make mistakes, losing the confidence of their hierarchy, whilst newspaper articles on the so-called "Butcher of la Villette" increase Moreover, the prestigious Criminal Brigade, led by Commissionner Vincent Brémont, Berthaud's former supervisor when she was a young police intern, now wants to get back the case

In the meantime at the Palais de Justice, while investigating an ordinary case of a child attacked by a dog in the wealthy suburb of Villedieu, Judge Roban discovers that the mayor might be involved in a bribery scandal Prosecutor Machard immediately asks Pierre Clément to use his friendship with the judge to spy on him discreetly, in order to prevent a political scandal: the mayor of Villedieu is a personal friend of the President of France Upon Clément's refusal, Machard is determined to get rid of this uncooperative subordinate Meanwhile, Joséphine Karlsson and Szabo continue with their shady transactions Subtitled "The Butcher of La Villette", the series was aired on BBC Four in April and May 2011

Series 4 2012

Police Captain Laure Berthaud and her lieutenants, Gilou and Tintin, investigate when a student is abandoned by his accomplices in a forest near Paris after being blown asunder by their homemade bomb Lawyer Joséphine Karlsson is getting herself into dangerous waters defending undocumented immigrants; her colleague, Pierre Clément, surprisingly finds himself representing crime boss, Johnny Jorkal; while Judge Roban returns to the Palais de Justice, sidelined and on the warpath

As the story unfolds to reveal a group of extremists intent on waging a war against the Parisian Gendarmerie and a dangerous arms trafficking operation, the police and the lawyers begin to turn on each other Tintin is slightly grazed in the head by a bullet during a raid, is in a coma for a short period and later suffers from PTSD Roban releases a man accused of rape because Roban believes the man was the victim of a plot to falsely accuse him; one alleged victim of the rapist commits suicide as a result of the release

Series 4, consisting of 12 episodes, was shot between 22 August and 9 December 2011 and between January and April 2012 It was broadcast in France on Canal+ from 3 September to 8 October 2012 BBC Four screened the series, subtitled "State of Terror," in its Saturday primetime foreign language drama slot from 9 February 2013 with two hour-long episodes a week, broadcast one after the other on Saturday nights

Series 5 2014

The filming of Season 5 of "Spiral" began on 2 December 2013, and lasted about eight months, producing twelve 52-minute episodes The series was premièred on Canal+ in France on 10 November 2014, with two episodes shown each evening, though those with a subscription to the on-demand service had access to all twelve episodes at once Series 5 began airing on BBC Four in the UK on 10 January 2015 The final two episodes were broadcast on 14 February 2015

Series 6 2017

Filming was from May to December 2016 and broadcasting in France on Canal+ from 18 September 2017 and in the UK on BBC Four from 30 December 2017 to 3 February 2018


  • Caroline Proust: Police Captain Laure Berthaud Commandant - series 6 A skilled Paris criminal police officer who leads an investigative team from a territorial division 2nd DPJ, she is known for her energy and tenacity but also for her tough and sometimes borderline methods Devoted to her work, she is very attached to her men and would do anything to protect them when they make a mistake Her private life is a mess and she seems unable to build a lasting relationship
  • Grégory Fitoussi: Assistant Prosecutor Pierre Clément A young magistrate with a promising career, he believes in his profession and in the integrity of justice But his success and his righteousness provoke the hostility of his superior, Republic Prosecutor Machard
  • Philippe Duclos: Judge François Roban An experienced investigating magistrate juge d'instruction, solitary and hardworking, he knows all the tricks of his trade Often reproached for his coldness and even cruelty with suspects and witnesses, he attaches a lot of importance to his independence from the executive powers
  • Thierry Godard: Police Lieutenant Gilles "Gilou" Escoffier Called Lemaire in Series 1 Berthaud's long-time team member With methods as borderline as his captain's, they often cover each other to escape disciplinary inquiries Having difficulties enduring the toughness of his work, he has experienced drug abuse
  • Fred Bianconi: Police Lieutenant Frédéric "Tintin" Fromentin Captain - series 6 Sometimes referred to as Luc Fromentin Responsible and reasonable, good in proceedings, he is the stable element of Berthaud's group He generally disapproves of his colleagues' methods and therefore is often torn between straying into illegality and betraying his friends
  • Audrey Fleurot: as Joséphine Karlsson A clever and highly cynical young lawyer, she is extremely ambitious and always looking for cases that will earn her a maximum of fame and money She does not hesitate to cross or double-cross to get what she wants
  • Elisabeth Macocco: Marianne, Judge Roban's court clerk seasons 3, 4, 5
  • Dominique Daguier: Republic Prosecutor Machard seasons 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Alban Casterman: Judge Wagner seasons 2, 3, 4
  • Stéphan Wojtowicz: Police Commissioner Aubert, head of Captain Berthaud's division seasons 2, 3
  • Daniel Duval: Szabo, controversial lawyer and Karlsson's associate seasons 2, 3
  • Bruno Debrandt: Police Commissioner Vincent Brémont, director of the Criminal Brigade seasons 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Nicolas Briançon: Police Commissioner Herville, head of Captain Berthaud's division seasons 4, 5, Seine-Saint-Denis Divisional Commissioner season 6

Series 1

    • Anne Caillon: Marianne Clément, Pierre Clément's wife
    • Guillaume Cramoisan: Benoît Faye, businessman and Clément's childhood friend
    • Nicolas Silberg: Robert Villequier, entrepreneur involved in pharmaceutical business and Marianne Clément's father
    • Scali Delpeyrat: Arnaud Laborde, cabinet counsellor
    • Vincent Winterhalter: Vincent Leroy, former lawyer disbarred because of rape conviction
    • Mirza Halilovic: Michel "le Roumain", Romanian gangster
    • Mélodie Marcq: Alissa, prostitute and police informer
    • Stéphane Debac: Paul

Series 2

    • Mehdi Nebbou: Mustapha Larbi, drug dealer
    • Samir Guesmi: Farouk Larbi, drug dealer
    • Reda Kateb: Aziz, rapper
    • Swann Arlaud: Steph, young police officer intern in Captain Berthaud's group
    • Samir Boitard: Police Lieutenant Samy Aroune, specialized in undercover operations he returns in series 4
    • Michel Bompoil: Robert Bréan, Principle private secretary of the Minister of Justice

Series 3

    • Gilles Cohen: Martin Roban, brother of Judge Roban
    • Nicolas Moreau: Didier Courcelles, mayor of Villedieu and friend of the President of the Republic
    • Misha Arias de la Cantolla: Ronaldo Fuentes, Mexican illegal immigrant
    • Anne Alvaro: Isabelle Ledoré, ex-lover of Judge Roban
    • Xavier Robic: Arnaud Ledoré, magistrate in training and son of the previous
    • Genti Kame: Niko, Albanian procurer
    • Anca Radici: Mila, a prostitute from Niko's network
    • Corinne Masiero: Patricia
    • Shemss Audat: Nadia, a detective in Berthaud's unit

Series 4

    • Samir Boitard: Police Captain Samy Aroune also in series 2
    • Jérôme Huguet: Thomas Riffaut, ultra-left activist
    • Judith Chemla: Sophie Mazerat, student, activist, and Riffaut's girlfriend
    • Amr Waked: Yannis, activist
    • Marc Zinga: Moussa Koné, Malian illegal worker
    • Jean-Henri Compere: Christophe Vasseur
    • Jean-Quentin Chatelain: Jorkal, gangster
    • Florence Thomassin: Madame Jorkal, his wife
    • Abdelhafïd Metalsi: Bachir Sarahoui, Egyptian smuggler and nightclub owner
    • Mustapha Abourachid: Amhad Sarahoui, his brother
    • Rony Kramer: Umit Cetin, Kurdish arms dealer
    • Anissa Allali: Amina, police officer from Berthaud's group
    • Alban Guyon: Serge, police officer from Berthaud's group
    • Pascal Bongard: DCRI Commissionner Catry
    • Francis Leplay: Director Lenoir, Chief of the Paris criminal police
    • Olivier Pajot: Judge Garnier
    • Gilbert Thiel: 1st vice-president of the Paris Tribunal NB: Judge Thiel is an actual anti-terrorist judge who also serves as technical advisor for the show

Series 5

    • Anne Benoît: Judge for Children


Year Awards Category Recipient Result
2007 Globes de Cristal Award Best TV Movie / TV Series Alexandra Clert & Guy-Patrick Sainderichin Nominated

International broadcasts

Country TV Networks
 Australia SBS
 Canada Netflix
 France Canal+
 Belgium RTBF
 Germany Einsfestival
 Iran GEM TV
 Ireland Netflix
 Italy Fox Crime
 Japan AXN Mystery
 Mexico Once TV
 Norway NRK
  Switzerland SF1 and TSR1
 United Kingdom BBC Four
 United States Netflix; MHz Worldview
 Croatia HRT2
 Serbia RTV
 Slovenia Planet TV
 Portugal RTP 2


  1. ^ IMDB: "Spiral, season 1" retrieved 18 April 2011
  2. ^ Holmwood, Leigh 4 April 2007 "More European drama for BBC4" London: MediaGuardian Retrieved 14 April 2007 
  3. ^ IMDB: "Spiral, season 3" Accessed 10 December 2009
  4. ^ The Guardian 1 April 2011: "Will Spiral become your new favourite Saturday night Euro cop drama" Retrieved 18 April 2011
  5. ^ Eurocrime blog 27 March 2011: "BBC4 is spoiling us aka the return of Spiral" Retrieved 18 April 2011
  6. ^ Engrenages connaîtra 3 saisons supplémentaires sur Canal
  7. ^ "Spiral, Series 5: Double Murder" BBC Four 2014 Retrieved 27 December 2014 
  8. ^ Sur le tournage de la sixième saison d’"Engrenages" | Spoilers
  9. ^
  10. ^ Engrenages Spiral - Netflix acquired the show
  11. ^ "engrenages" Reverso French dictionary Retrieved 10 April 2013 
  12. ^ Series 1, BBC website - release date shown in page htmlRetrieved: 9 January 2018
  13. ^ Series 2, BBC website, undatedRetrieved: 9 February 2013
  14. ^ Series 3: The Butcher of La Villette, BBC website, undatedRetrieved: 9 February 2013
  15. ^ BBC Four Schedule, BBC website, 9 February 2013Retrieved: 9 February 2013
  16. ^ "Engrenages saison 5, en tournage dès le 2 décembre" Canal+ in French 29 November 2013 Retrieved 27 December 2014 
  17. ^ "Engrenages : la saison 5 disponible en intégralité dès son lancement" programme-tvnet in French 21 October 2014 Retrieved 27 December 2014 
  18. ^ "Spiral, Series 5: Double Murder" BBC Four 2014 Retrieved 27 December 2014 
  19. ^ "BBC4 Spiral episode guide" TheGuardiancom Retrieved 23 February 2015 
  20. ^ "Spiral: The filming of season 6 starts tomorrow!" 4 May 2016 Retrieved 10 August 2016 
  21. ^ "Fred Bianconi - "It's over!"" 12 Dec 2016 Retrieved 15 September 2017 
  22. ^ "Engrenages : Nouvelle Enquête le 18 septembre sur CANAL+ in French" 29 August 2017 Retrieved 29 October 2017 
  23. ^ http://wwwbbccouk/programmes/b0072wk9
  24. ^ http://wwwbbccouk/programmes/b0072wk9/broadcasts/2018/02

External links

  • Engrenages – Official website
  • Spiral on BBC Programmes
    • BBC Four – Have Your Say: Spiral third series
    • BBC Four – Have Your Say: Spiral first series at the Wayback Machine archived 1 April 2009
    • BBC Four Spiral series one website at the Wayback Machine archived 1 April 2009
  • Spiral on IMDb
  • Jim Shelley, "Call the Cops" , The Guardian 30 June 2006

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