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Baptiste – Series 1: Everything you need to know

Sat, April 20th, 2019

In recent years, the BBC has created some incredible dramas which have had audiences at the edge of their seats and falling in love with the new characters that are presented to us. Baptiste, their latest spin-off drama starring Tchéky Karyo, will be no different for those who have not seen it yet. But what is it about and who stars in it? Don’t worry, we have everything that you need to know about this show!

Warning – there are spoilers ahead from the show’s creators themselves, Harry and Jack Williams.

Across the span of two intense series of The Missing, Julien Baptiste (played by Tchéky Karyo) enamoured the audience so much that the French sleuth earned his own spin-off show which started airing on BBC 1 in 2019.

If you are UK-based and you’ve missed this, don’t worry! You can catch up on BBC iPlayer and binge the six episodes of the series in one go.

If you’re in Australia, then the show began on the 5th of April at 8.30pm on BBC First. You can also catch up on iPlayer so that you can be up to date for the next few Fridays.

What is the plot of Baptiste?

As we mentioned earlier, the drama centers around the French detective Julien Baptiste from the Missing. The last series followed the story of a missing schoolgirl, Alice Webster with Baptiste attempting to find where she was, leading him to Iraq in search of her captor. However, he was also battling with ill-health due to a tumour within his brain.

After a number of twists, turns and cliffhangers, Baptiste finally managed to apprehend the captor, Gettrick, where he was charged with kidnap, rape and murder.

Following the final episode of series two where Alice was reunited with her family, Julien was due to have a brain tumour removed during surgery. However, in this spin-off, he is in complete full-health and is searching for a missing sex worker. The sex worker was reported missing in Amsterdam by her Uncle Edward who is portrayed by Tom Hollander. If you’re a fan of Amsterdam, you’ll be able to see the picturesque canals that the country is known for as well as some of the grey streets underneath the city. There are also scenes shot in Kent and Belgium.

Baptiste took on the case following the request of the Chief of Police of Amsterdam. Who just to happens to be Baptiste’s ex – not that that’s awkward or anything!

BBC drama controller Piers Wenger believes that the first series of Baptiste will reveal more about Julien than ever. His character will be shown in a new light as he is cast into the middle of a dramatic crime story.

Who will be starring in Baptiste?

The beloved French actor Tchéky Karyo is once again stepping into the shoes of Julien Baptiste alongside co-star Tom Hollander who you may recognise from The Night Manager. Also starring within the drama is Jessica Raine from Call the Midwife who will be appearing in the latter episodes of the series as Genevieve and Anastasia Hille will be reprising her role of Celia, Baptiste’s wife. Adding to this brilliant cast will be Clare Calbraith, Talisa Garcia as a member of the sex industry, Alex Secareanu as a mobster and finally, Nicholas Woodeson.

Harry and Jack Williams, writers of Baptiste state that the show is a “direct sequel” to The Missing and will be running in real-time. The show will begin two years after the end of The Missing series two which finished at the end of 2016. In an interview with RadioTimes.com, the writers also explained that the poor health of Baptiste that they explored in the previous series will not have a direct effect on his work in this series but that the trauma following the operation will affect his confidence. More than anything, it will have an impact on his psyche and how he approaches the case. They didn’t want to rehash something that they had done in the previous series but Baptiste is going to appear more vulnerable and lacking in confidence regarding his skill. It will come into play in a manner that the audience may not expect. Whereas last year, he was questioning his mortality, this year he will be questioning something else.

They have also revealed that there could be a third series of The Missing but that it wouldn’t feature Baptiste and would be a fresh start for the show with completely new characters and plots.

The writers are also known for other nail-biting dramas such as ITV’s Liar, BBC1’s Rellik and The Widow starring Kate Beckinsale. They manage the production company, Two Brothers Pictures, which as worked on shows such as Cheat, Fleabag and Strangers.

Where did the inspiration come from for Julien Baptiste?

Tchéky Karyo revealed that Baptiste is a homage to someone that the writers, their family and their father knows. Being raised in the field of writing, there are plenty of interesting characters that you are bound to come across – and it was no different for these brothers. One of their friends they’ve found along the way and been inspired by is an active detective in France who deals with a number of cases in their every day life. So, when the inspiration struck for the plot of The Missing to revolve around missing person cases, they knew immediately that they wanted the detective to be French.

Excited for the series yet? You can see a trailer for the show, released by the BBC. The trailer is entirely from the eyes of Tom Hollander’s character, the missing girl’s uncle. We as an audience follow him trying to find his niece alongside Julien Baptiste. However, there are some beats within the trailer that show that there may be more to this than meets the eye. Edward (Hollander) says in the trailer, “People take one look at me and think they know me, but they don’t.” If that one sentence alone doesn’t make you want to binge this, we don’t know what will!

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