Salamander, TV review: BBC4 Flemish-language crime thriller is dull and clichéd
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Sunday 09 February 2014
If you’re one of those who believes that the only thing separating a critically lauded TV crime thriller from a critically panned one is the subtitles, BBC4 has a surprise. Its new series, Flemish-language Salamander (Sat) was as dull and clichéd as anything ITV2 primetime has to offer.
In Brussels, a group of thieves break into a bank vault to steal the secrets of society’s most powerful. This plot is close to that of Sherlock’s series three finale, so we’ve been served with a ready-made point of damning comparison. Even without it, this scene would feel oddly slow-paced for a heist. Viewers are smart enough to work out what’s going on from a few well-chosen shots; we don’t need to see the whole thing unfold in real-time, especially not if it’s soundtracked by the music from an Eighties arcade game.
Things improved a little when Inspector Paul Geradi (Filip Peeters) got on the case. As well as the usual qualities of a maverick cop – is there any other kind? – Geradi combined a mop of snowy curls with a tie-less shirt and blue jeans.
He looked like the love-child of Jeremy Clarkson and Father Christmas – only, Clarkson would likely have disowned his putative son, on the basis of that 30mph car chase.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Downton Abbey series 5: George Clooney to try and kiss Dowager Countess in charity Christmas special
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk