Scandinavian-style dramas are all the rage in Europe, in seems. The latest one to hit British TV screens is France’s The Disappearance. I’m hooked.
Called Disparue in French and broadcast by France 2, the series proved very popular in its homeland.
For anyone who doesn’t know Lyon – where it is set – the series also acts as an extended advert for the city. The river Rhône, the Parc de la Tête d’Or and bustling squares are all more than mere bit players in the action. (Let’s hope the storyline doesn’t dash the hopes of local tourist office chiefs!)
In episode 1, broadcast a couple of weeks back, 17-year-old Léa (pictured) disappears after a music festival. We see her parents anxiously waiting for her to return. But she doesn’t.
Then the recriminations begin. The father wasn’t around that night because he was off with some young woman, the brother has patently concocted some story with his girlfriend about his whereabouts…
The truth about Lea’s life also starts to reveal itself. She has had a boyfriend for the past six months that she hasn’t told her parents about. Plus, she has wraps of cocaine stashed in her wardrobe and, most bizarrely of all, she is a secret racing car driver.
I love all these dark, Scandinavian-style series. The Danish-Swedish co-production The Bridge (and its Anglo-French remake, The Tunnel), Britain’s Broadchurch, France’s Witnesses, Iceland’s Trapped… and now The Disappearance.
“For anyone who doesn’t know Lyon – where it is set – the series also acts as an extended advert for the city”
Last week, episode 2 ended with a call from Léa in the middle of the night to her father. He couldn’t get to the phone in time but she left a voicemail. So we know she’s alive.
Don’t tell me what happened in episode 3 last night. I missed it. I’m at a wedding at Lake Garda in Italy this weekend, but I’ll be sure to catch up on iPlayer when I’m back on Tuesday…