Salamander (2012–2018)

TV Series   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller

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Salamander (2012) Poster

A police inspector investigates the robbery of 66 safe deposit boxes at a private bank in Brussels.


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16 February 2014 | Lejink
| Belgian gun-fight
Selected by BBC4 to replace the Saturday night spot traditionally taken by moody, brooding Nordic Noir series like "The Killing" and most recently "The Bridge", this Flemish cop-drama is very different in tone, but entertaining for all that.

I'm about three episodes in and while the plot lacks the darker undertones of its Scandinavian predecessors and there's far less character development too, both these aspects are commendable in my eyes in avoiding over-complexity in the plotting and the sometimes overdone quirkiness and personal problems of the main characters.

The central character interest is a transparently big, bluff everyday senior detective in the Belgian police, Paul Gerardi, who finds himself involved in sinister machinations when an underworld source tells him a major private bank has been broken into and yet has chosen not to report it to the police and indeed actively tries to cover up any sign of the break-in. Moreover, the robbery didn't involve money or bullion but rather the personal effects of some 66 highly connected individuals in Belgian society. Naturally, there's a malevolent, powerful network behind all this who will stop at nothing it appears to maintain the secret and who wish to silence Gerardi from bringing the matter to light.

Pacily filmed, more in daylight than the dark, I rather like the fact that it's more about the story than the characters' hang-ups although the latter may yet be invoked to pad out the next nine episodes but I'm hoping instead on a twisty-turny roller-coaster ride as Gerardi presumably avoids capture, finds out more about the mysterious "Salamander" group and their aims and the motives of the only scarcely glimpsed gang-leader behind the initial theft.

While I don't expect my insides turned outside-in, I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of this so far entertaining and involving production.

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