Sunday 10 July 2022


Crime drama, followed by crime drama, with a crime/thriller film, some comedy crime and some more drama with a crime tinge....

Baptiste Series 1 (2019) - BBC Drama

I can't remember what brought this one to our attention, but we really enjoyed racing through this six episode series. I enjoyed the fact it was set in Amsterdam, especially as we had just returned from visiting our son in the city.

Tough storyline concerning gangs, prostitution and trafficking.

From Wikipedia.....

Baptiste is a British TV drama starring Tchéky Karyo as Julien Baptiste, a character that originated in the series The Missing. The spinoff is produced by Two Brothers Pictures and distributed worldwide by their parent company All3Media. The first series, set in Amsterdam, was broadcast on BBC One starting in February 2019 and is written by Jack and Harry Williams, who also wrote The Missing. In the United States, it was broadcast by PBS on its series Masterpiece beginning on 12 April 2020. A second series, set in Budapest, began on BBC One on 18 July 2021.

Synopsis of first series
The show uses one of the central characters from the TV series, The Missing, the detective Julien Baptiste, played by Tchéky Karyo. Baptiste's wife and daughter are played by the same actors from The Missing, otherwise, all other characters and actors starring in the programme are new.

After having an operation on his brain tumour, Julien Baptiste claims he is not the man he once was. His former boss persuades him to help the Dutch Police look for a missing 15-year-old enslaved sex worker in Amsterdam. While looking, he meets Edward Stratton, the uncle of the missing girl. All is not as it seems with Edward and the show also introduces Kim Vogel, who has a criminal history and Constantin, a Romanian national who is seen murdering and dismembering a victim at the start of the programme.

Baptiste Series 2 (2021) - BBC Drama

The second series of Baptiste was similarly binge watched and enjoyed. This one is set in Budapest for the main part. By a spooky coincidence it's somewhere else my son lived for a period of time. He does get about a bit.

Another tough watch in places..... family, a bewildering loss, grief, immigration, politics, extremism, right wing nationalism, radicalisation and a search for answers.

From Radio Times...

Here's the BBC's synopsis: "When British Ambassador Emma Chambers’ (Fiona Shaw) whole family disappears whilst on a skiing holiday in the Hungarian mountains, Baptiste immerses himself into Emma’s world, committed to finding her husband and two sons. However, when the case turns into something far more brutal and desperate, Julien must navigate a Hungarian police force he doesn’t trust and unrelenting media interest who are hungry for information on such a high-profile international case.

"Julien must remain rational in the face of chaos in order to find Emma’s family. Will he be able to solve his most complex case yet?"

When a Stranger Calls (1979) - DVD Film

Can't beat a Sunday afternoon, Father's Day horror film with family. The opening scenes are quite chilling and there were a few scares afterwards, but it does kind of dip after the start. The disc was scratched and after a few fails, we ended up watching the climax of the film on my daughter's phone from a You Tube link. Which kind of killed the tension.

Decent film, better company.

From Wikipedia...

When a Stranger Calls is a 1979 American psychological horror film written and directed by Fred Walton and co-written by Steve Feke. It stars Carol Kane, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley and Charles Durning. The film derives its story from the classic folk legend of "the babysitter and the man upstairs".

The film has developed a large cult following over time because of the first 20 minutes, now consistently regarded as one of the scariest openings in movie history. The first 12 minutes of Wes Craven's Scream (1996) is an homage to the opening of When a Stranger Calls.

The film was released in the United States on September 28, 1979, by Columbia Pictures. It was commercially successful, grossing $20 million at the box office. It received a mixed critical reception, with many praising the opening scene and performances, but criticism for its writing and lack of scares. It was followed by the 1993 made-for-cable sequel When a Stranger Calls Back and a remake in 2006.

The Last Detective (2003-2007) - ITV Comedy-Drama Series

Two episodes to go I think. Definitely finishing in July!

From Google...

`Dangerous' Davies is one offbeat flatfoot who takes the stuff at the bottom of the pile - the cases nobody wants. In his usual comical way, Davies and good friend Mod help unfold events that usually end up in disaster, but somehow they still manage to nab their man. Maybe if Davies wasn't such a nice guy, his coworkers would take him a tad more seriously. The comedy-drama is adapted from the novel by Leslie Thomas.

The Missing Series 1 (2014) - BBC Drama

I've come at this one arse about face as the two series of The Missing pre-date Baptiste, which I've just been watching with my wife. Julien Baptiste features here as a detective called in to assist in the case of a missing British boy.

I think we are five and a half episodes in with two and a bit to go. It's tense and gripping and superbly acted with a dual timeline narrative from when the boy goes missing to eight years later when some new evidence has Baptiste and James Nesbitt (the father) still searching. Ken Stott is very good, if not more than a little bit disgusting and creepy.

There's a kind of Madeleine McCann vibe which I'm getting from it, which makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable. A missing child and the heartbreak that is involved = entertainment for the masses.

From Wikipedia...

The Missing is a British anthology drama television series written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams. It was first broadcast in the UK on BBC One on 28 October 2014, and in the United States on Starz on 15 November 2014. The Missing is an international co-production between the BBC and Starz. The first eight-part series, about the search for a missing boy in France, was directed by Tom Shankland.

It stars Tchéky Karyo as Julien Baptiste, the French detective who leads the case, with James Nesbitt and Frances O'Connor as the boy's parents.


  1. You did have some good viewing, Col. I haven't thought of When a Stranger Calls in a very long time; it was good to be reminded of it. And I like The Last Detective, too, although I admit I'm not all the way caught up with it. Good to know you enjoyed what you watched.

    1. Cheers Margot. When a Stranger Calls was a great film, just a shame we had a dodgy copy. More to like here than not and never enough time to watch everything I want to. It's a constant juggle between the books and the vuiewing!