Stuff To Watch/Choses de Regarder: Paris Enquêtes Criminelles (Paris Criminal Investigations)

Whoo-hoo! / Zut alors!

Even if LO:CI doesn’t get renewed, CI fans can get their fix (that is if they don’t mind learning a little français)

May I present the website for Paris Enquêtes Criminelles courtesy of the French TV channel TF1? From now on here is a new abbreviation to get used to so that I don’t have to flail around on my keyboard searching for non-existant French characters like the circonflex “^” e that belongs in ‘Paris Enquêtes Criminelles’ : PEC. Learn it well, because I have a feeling I’ll be using it a lot.

Regardez bien/ Take a look at Commander Vincent Revel (played by Vincent Perez) and Lieutenant Claire Savigny (played by Sandrine Rigaux)

TF1’s PEC site is a bit less developed than NBC’s CI site is now, but it reminds me of how the NBC CI site was back in 2001…it’s a little more polished though than NBCs (which back in the day had very little video to it)

I particularly love this tiny snippet of an interview from Vincent Perez on what Perez thought the differences between Goren and Ravel are (I translated this partly with help from an online translator and then used my own modest knowledge of French to Americanize it):

“I watched very little of the original version so as not to be influenced by it, but I have the impression that Goren is very cerebral. Revel is more instinctive and perhaps more vulnerable. At times, it is necessary that Revel has doubts, that he is a little lost. These two characters however have much in common. We had already begun filming [PEC] when we left for New York to meet the American team. When Vincent D’ Onofrio spoke to me about his own experience, I really had the impression that we had passed by the same stages. What he said evoked my memories, of my personal interrogations of the character of Revel. It was amusing.”

Here’s how Sandrine Rigaux answered the question: “Did you seek your American counterpart Kathryn Erbe’s advice?”

“Not really, but naturally we spoke about the difficulty of coexisting with our partners. The Americans also advised us to develop the female character more quickly than they had done it. Building a character alongside Revel’s is inevitably delicate. This partnership of cops functions like that formed by Sherlock Holmes and Watson. I was to find my moments, without falling into the trap of imitating my partner at the risk of destroying the balance of our team. Vincent Perez really helped me.”

Unlike the American CI which began with ‘One’, the pilot of PEC is an adaptation of the CI Season 1 episode ‘Phantom’ or ‘Fantôme’ as the French call it. The clip on TF1’s site (click on the ‘Extraits’ tab to watch it) shows Revel and Savigny questioning Nadine Delcourt (played by Hélène Degy) about the death of Malek Kelkal (played by Mustapha Ben Stiti). The quick thinking American CI fan will recognize that Nadine Delcourt is an adaptation of the character Charlotte Fielding aka Cookie Caspari! You will also note that the writers preserved one of my favorite detective exchanges ever:

Goren: One thing this job teaches us is that guys will do anything for love.
Eames: Or money.

Paraphrasing and translating
Revel …les hommes feront n’importe quoi pour l’amour.
Savigny Oui. Mais aussi pour l’argent.

The second episode of PEC will be an adaptation of the first season CI episode ‘The Faithful’ called ‘Requiem pour un assassin’ or ‘Requiem For An Assassin’ If you watch the promotional spot for PEC (click on the Bande Annonce tab to watch it) you will see Ravel doing his version of the infamous ‘Goren show’ investigation of a mentally ill homeless man from ‘The Faithful’.

From what else I can glean of the show by watching its promo spot, PEC’s Captain Deakins/Ross equivalent, Police Chief Bonnefoy, is male (and played by Jacques Pater) and the ADA/prosecutor role we would have associated with ADA Ron Carver (played by Courtney Vance) is a female called Judge Lherbier (played by Hélène Godec)!

PEC’s first two episodes will initially air back to back on Thursday May 3, 2007 beginning at 8:50pm (that’s Paris time). I am hoping that these episodes will be available online somehow, or that someone in France can hook me up with DVDs once the show gets going. The French are skeptical of this remake of an ‘American’ show…many of them think why redo CI, when what the Americans have done is so good. I say give PEC a shot…it might translate well to French culture and get better ratings there than CI ever did here in the USA.

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