What’s it called?

Black Spot

What’s it about?

The black spot of the title is the telephonic “dead area” in and around the fictional French mountain town of Villefranche. Laurene Weiss, Villefranche born and bred, is now the town’s police chief and into her patch comes a new prosecutor, Frank Siriani. Like Weiss, he has secrets in his past, but he’s there ostensibly because the town has a murder rate six times the national average – unsurprising, perhaps, when it’s surrounded by miles and miles of those spooky forests that film-makers love. The show airs on Netflix in the UK.

Who’s in it?

French-Moroccan actress Suliane Brahim plays Laurene Weiss as a mix of The Killing’s Sarah Lund and Spiral’s Laure Berthauld, though with its rural setting and its whiffs of the unexplainable and the supernatural Black Spot is very far from being a gritty, urban detective series. Siriani is played by Belgian actor Laurent Capelluto, who also starred in French zombie curio The Returned (for which Glasgow band Mogwai did the soundtrack).

Best bits so far?

The opening of episode one sets the quirky tone, with prosecutor Siriani nearly dying from an allergic reaction to an insect bite on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere. And while badass cop Weiss doesn’t need any help when it comes to handling herself, having a bar-owning pal who likes to use a cattle prod on men who are hassling her adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the story. Needless to say Villefranche is not the sort of place you find tourists.

Fun fact …

Confusingly, the French title for the series is Zone Blanche which translates as White Zone.

For fans of ...

Top Of The Lake, Fargo, The Missing