Noir fan reactions to ‘Witnesses’ on Channel4


Following its UK premiere last night, we discover how the French crime series fits in with the popular Euro Noir wave

Before the eagerly anticipated show aired to viewers on Channel4 last night, Witnesses already generated positive previews from critics:

“Will Witnesses be the next big continental thriller-gripper? C4’s French serial launches on Wednesday (10pm) with three unconnected corpses unearthed and seated in a show home, a finely sardonic, macabre start.” – 4/5 stars – Martin Hoyle, Financial Times

“If Spiral is France’s The Wire, Witnesses may be its Broadchurch. Both chilling and compelling.” – Jonathan Wright, Guardian Guide

Witnesses; a stylish six-part crime thriller from France.  Jane Tennison, Sarah Lund, Saga Norén, Laure Berthaud… now add to that list of famous female detectives, Sandra Winckler (played by actress Marie Dompnier).” – Mike Mulvihill, The Times

“Razor sharp, enigmatic, macabre, and nicely atmospheric.” – Toby Dantzic, Daily Telegraph

Witnesses has all the classic ingredients of a French cop show… brimming with dark secrets. So pour a Pastis, light a Gauloise and wallow in this Gallic thriller drenched in misery-chic.” – David Chater, The Times


Those who tuned in to watch Witnesses last night shared their initial impressions of programme:

#Witnesses, Channel 4, review: ‘creepier than a Nordic noir’

Tonight I’ll be glued to my sofa watching LES TEMOINS on @Channel4 WITNESSES in English. A French thriller of darkness and gloom! Great!

So impressed with #Witnesses on C4. Excellent opening episode and great cast presence. Viva la difference

#Witnesses#Temoins Intriguing French telly on #Channel4 After Les Revenants and Spiral have to say my liking of France grows

Les Témoins/Witnesses” on C4 was brilliant. So creepy. Can’t wait for next week!

witnesses‘ (‘les temoins‘) an excellent new cop serial on channel 4

#witnesses is fantastic and the aerial shots are outstanding. Well done @Channel4

That was some seriously good TV. I think Sarah Winckler’s beanie hat is the new Sarah Lund’s jumper! #witnesses#témoins

In the first episode, we saw detective Sandra Winckler (Marie Dompnier) launch the investigation into a bizarre murder scene staged in a show homes. When Winckler is presented with a photo of ex-Chief of Police Paul Maisonneuve (Thierry Lhermitte) left by the killer, Maisonneuve is thrust out of retirement and forced to uncover the macabre truth behind the murderous plot that has shattered the peaceful French fishing village of Tréport.

In June, Channel4 announced it would be launching the new VoD service, with the working title of ‘4World Drama’, to show a range of quality foreign drama. With The Saboteurs airing on More4, the British broadcaster is already fulfilling a diverse international remit. Now with Witnesses, audiences are clearly responding to the quality programming from the realm of Euro Noir.


Witnesses continues on Wednesdays at 10pm on Channel4