BBC’s Baptise Review

Julian Baptise (Tchéky Karyo) first came to our screens in 2014, with the release of the BBC television drama series The Missing, directed by brothers Harry and Jack Williams.

The first eight part series captivated the nation, and followed the search for missing boy Oliver in France. The second series proved to be just as exciting, and followed Alice Webster, a girl who returns to her hometown in Germany after being missing for 11 years. Both of the psychological thriller series’ received critical acclaim, with critics praising the cast and storytelling.

Now the William brother’s masterful writings come to our screens again. This time the curious French detective returns, in his own self-titled series Baptise.

Already it is clear that he will be facing yet another gripping mystery, with the first 5 minutes comprising of a dead body, chainsaws and a Romanian gang lead by the ruthless Constantin (Alec Secareanu). Set in the seedy streets of Amsterdam and the red light district, Edward Stratton (Tom Hallander), is in desperate search for his niece Natalie Rose (Anna Prochniak), a frequent drug user.

Baptise is hired by his new boss–and old flame–to look into the case, having now conveniently moved to Amsterdam with his wife Celia (Anastasia Hille). Throughout the episode we are introduced to a number of storylines and characters, arguably too many. A crowded cellar full of quivering kidnapped girls, a transgender criminal mastermind formerly known as Dragomire and a severed head in a basement, leaving us with many questions.

Ultimately, The Missing was a great piece of work and Baptise was a big part of that, but on his own he seems a little lost and just like any other run of the mill detective at the heart of a crime thriller. Although it hasn’t quite had the same riveting impact from the offset as The Missing, I have no doubt that there will be enough twists and turns to keep us entertained until the end.