Can there be a better programme on TV than Spiral? Or, to give it its original French title, Engrenages.
Of course, this question is inviting a barrage of dissent. Everyone will have their own opinion as to what is the best programme on TV and, I am prepared to bet, only a minority will say Spiral, but I number one amongst that minority.
I came to Spiral typically late. Five series of Spiral had aired without me being aware of the fact; my entrée to Spiral occurred at the start of series 6.
Instantly, I was hooked, drawn into the complicated professional and personal lives of Laure and Gilou; Roban, Tintin and Maître Karlsson. I loved the Paris backdrops; the police procedural storylines; the gritty realism and exposure of human foibles.
Faithfully, each week for six weeks, I tuned into BBC4 for my Saturday night double-bill of hour-long episodes. And, when series 6 ended, I was left wanting more.
Nothing easier. There were five full series to catch up on. I bought the DVD boxset and began watching them chronologically, from series 1 to series 5.
All my favourite characters were still there, plus I was introduced to Pierre, right up to the point when I discovered why he doesn’t appear in series 6 (okay, I know he appears as a walk-on part, but I didn’t know that then.)
Watching series 1 to 5 of Spiral only reinforced my love of the show. But having watched series 1 to 5, what then?
Rumours abound that series 7 of Spiral is soon to be aired on BBC4. But was I series 7 ready? I found that some aspects of series 6 were becoming hazy for me. I couldn’t remember how all the plot lines had finished and which loose ends had been unresolved. Watching the series out of order had confused me. There was only one thing to do. I would have to watch series 6 all over again.
Nothing easier. I bought the DVD. Began re-watching the twelve hour-long episodes. This time, I realised the significance of the walk-on part for Pierre in episode 1; refreshed myself to the storylines of Laure and Gilou; Roban, Tintin and Maître Karlsson.
Now I am series 7 prêt. But series 7 has not yet started.
What should I do to fill the void? Go back and watch series 1 again?
I am in a vortex. Trapped in a spiral of Spiral from which there is no easy escape.
© Stephanie Snifter
Despite appearances to the contrary, Steph Snifter is not addicted to boxsets.