French drama ‘The Disappearance’ coming to BBC Four

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Keep your eyes peeled for the gripping Gallic new mystery thriller…

We have been entranced by the slow-burning drama of Witnesses (2015- ) set in the picturesque landscape of Normandy, the supernatural elements of The Returned (2012- ), and the inner city corruptions of Spiral (2005- ). Now, hailed as “France’s answer to UK dramas like Broadchurch and The Missing” by Deadline Hollywood, The Disappearance (‘Disparue’) is destined for BBC Four!

The Disappearance is written by Marie Deshaires and Catherine Touzet (Détectives, 2013- ) and based on Spanish award-winning series Desaparecida (2007-2008). Set in Lyon, seventeen-year-old Léa Morel suddenly goes missing, leaving her family to suffer and anguish over her fate. As the police investigate the disappearance and the Morels fall deeper into despair, the people around them – friends and family members – are unveiled as a suspicious ensemble of characters, each with secrets of their own to hide.

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After the first episode drew in over 5.2 million viewers for its premiere on France 2, the French audience increased to 5.4 million for the second. Earlier this year, a programme of burgeoning projects that united UK and French production companies were celebrated at the fifth Totally Serialized festival. Highlights included the political thriller Baron Noir, and the undercover cases investigated by The Bureau, starring French actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz (Amélie, 2001 and La Haine, 1995).

Take a look at the French series showcased at the 2015 Totally Serialized festival here.

The Disappearance is an eight-episode series which stars Alix Poisson (The Returned), Pierre-François Martin-Laval, François-Xavier Demaison, Laurent Bateau and Camille Razat. The series is directed by French-Swedish filmmaker Charlotte Brändström, who has worked in the Scandi crime arena, with feature-length episodes of Wallander (2005-2013) and Johan Falk: Kodnamn: Lisa (2012), starring Joel Kinnaman.

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Nordic Noir fans will no doubt find a resemblance to the trauma experienced by the Larsen family in The Killing I (2007) with the vanishing of Nanna Birk Larsen as they wait patiently for the drama to unfold in a fresh French way on UK screens.

The Disappearance will soon air on BBC Four. The date is yet to be announced.