Georges Dupin is a brilliant detective whose brash style tends to rub people – particularly those in authority – the wrong way. When he’s dispatched from his stomping ground in Paris to the smaller municipality of Concarneau in Brittany, he’s expecting, well, not much. Fewer capital crimes, inexperienced police, and perhaps less supervision. He’s proven wrong on all counts. Bodies turn up frequently requiring him to mount investigations. His staff, not only is diligent, but also turn out to be loyal to their new boss. And his direct superior has him on a short leash, demanding updates on a regular basis.
Inspector Dupin, based on Jean-Luc Bannalec’s novels about a French detective, may be set in France, but features a German cast, except for Swiss-born Pasquale Aleardi, who plays Dupin. The series was written for a German audience but, thankfully, is now available with English subtitles in the U.S. via MHz Choice.
There are many reasons to put Inspector Dupin on your list – clever plots, beautiful settings, terrific supporting cast, and maybe a chance to learn some German. But the best reason to watch is Aleardi, whose performance is sure to spark a desire to see more of his work. For the record, Aleardi speaks five languages and has a stellar resume that ranges from stage and film work in Europe as well as projects in the U.S., including in the action/horror film, Resident Evil. A musician and singer, he appeared as Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of Chicago. (His Facebook page features many clips of his singing.)
As a new arrival, Dupin does little to endear himself to the locals. A Parisian to the core, he’s not a fan of the sea. When he’s forced to travel by boat to investigate a murder on an island, he suffers a bout of seasickness. His dislike of fish offends residents who rely on the industry for their livelihood. In one episode, he invites a woman to lunch, only to sit in agony as she demolishes a tower of fresh shellfish. On another occasion, he winces while his boss consumes a bowl of snails, expertly dipping them first in a creamy sauce. With most of the restaurants in Brittany focusing on seafood, Dupin is relegated to one place that serves what he loves – steak frites – although he’s often called to an emergency before he can finish what’s placed before him.
Despite Dupin’s oftentimes prickly personality, he does manage to charm women who are attracted to his rugged good looks. And his staff recognizes his ability to solve cases, even if it means putting himself in danger and going up against powerful forces. His two associates – the young and very competent Riwal, played by Ludwig Blochberger, and the confidence-challenged Kadeg played by Jan Georg Schütte, begin to grow their skills under Dupin’s guidance. The office manager, Nolwenn (Annika Blendl), puts up with Riwal and Kadeg trying to get a handle on her social life. Dupin cares more about solving the case than he does about claiming the credit, so scores points, even with rivals within his own department or from neighboring jurisdictions.
There are six episodes available to watch now on MHz Choice with, hopefully, more to come.
All photos courtesy of MHz Choice.
Watch Inspector Dupin on MHz Choice.