Adapted from the novel by Franck Thilliez, the “Syndrome E” series features Vincent Elbaz and Jennifer Decker in the roles of cops Sharko and Henebelle. We tell you why you shouldn’t miss this ultra-effective thriller available on Salto.
The back-to-school series… is already available on Salto. Expected this fall on TF1, Syndrome E, adapted from the eponymous novel by Franck Thilliez, is indeed offered in full on the French streaming platform since this Friday, July 22 in preview. Several weeks, even several months, before it is broadcast on television.
Presented last March at Series Mania, where the first two parts caused a sensation, this series in six episodes depicts the meeting between Sharko (Vincent Elbaz) and Lucie Henebelle (Jennifer Decker), the two flagship cops of the successful novelist Franck Thilliez.
All in a dark and disturbing universe which, with great blows of chilling revelations, shocking sequences, and characters damaged by life, is more reminiscent of Les Rivières pourpres cinema version and Scandinavian thrillers than the purring detective films of France 3. And proves, if we still doubted it, that a channel like TF1 can today make the general public rhyme with risk and audacity.
A breathless thriller that happily ogles the genre
Undisputed master of the French thriller in the same way as Jean-Christophe Grangé and Maxime Chattam, Franck Thilliez had never had the honors of a serial adaptation of one of his novels. The Chamber of the Dead had just been transposed on the big screen in 2007 with Mélanie Laurent in Lucie Henbelle not very memorable.
To bring Syndrome E to life – the first novel in a long series centered on the Sharko-Henebelle duo – TF1 and producer Sophie Révil (Les Petits Murders d’Agatha Christie, They were 10) called on screenwriter Mathieu Missoffe, who had demonstrated its ability to create unexpected atmospheres and universes that go off the beaten track with the Zone blanche nugget.
The plot of the series, which takes us from Paris to Canada, passing through Morocco, sees Sharko, a gruff and lonely cop who cannot manage to mourn his daughter, embark on a difficult investigation to find children. having mysteriously disappeared. Meanwhile, an old film from the 1960s provokes strange and dangerous behavior in those who watch it.
When Lucie Henebelle, 35-year-old cop and single mother, realizes that her past may be linked to Sharko’s investigation, she joins his team. Ready to set off, with him, on a journey to the edge of the strange from which they will certainly not return unscathed.
After Rebecca, Luther, or Une si longue nuit, TF1 continues to push the cursor a little further from what we are used to seeing on French television (excluding platforms) in terms of thrillers. And we ask for more.
Corpses with their brains ripped out, heroine whose eyes start to bleed, subliminal images hidden in an old amateur film à la Ring which arouse outbursts of violence, disturbing clinic, or even experiments on kidnapped children… nothing is spared us and lovers of gloomy, sticky, and bloody thrillers were to be won over.
Obviously, the set does not escape certain more formatted sequences, but Syndrome E ventures close enough to horror, fantasy, and the strange to thrill us and stand out from the lot of French television dramas.
A fascinating investigative duo you’ll love
Mathieu Missoffe’s mastery of rhythm and suspense is complemented by Laure de Butler’s slick and stunning direction. A young director who cut her teeth on Profiling in particular and who, after The Promise, confirms all the good that we think of her. And proves once again that she has a real touch and a real sense of human drama, capable of transcribing on the screen both the darkness of the investigation and the wounds and torments of the souls of her characters.
Screenplay and formal qualities that would be nothing without talented performers to bring Sharko and Henebelle to life. For his big comeback as a series hero, seven years after the shutdown of No Limit, Vincent Elbaz is perfect in this tortured cop score, haunted by the ghost of his daughter and ready to explode at any minute.
Faced with the ticking time bomb Sharko, Jennifer Decker, resident of the Comédie-Française, is the real revelation of the series in the role of Henebelle who, faced with a case that is not normal, will begin to arise questions about the brain surgery she underwent as a teenager. Determined to save those who can still be saved – including herself? – before it’s too late and madness overtakes her.
A shock duo, which we hope to find in other seasons adapted from the following volumes by Thilliez, and which brilliantly complement the performances of Kool Shen, Bérengère Krief, Samy Seghir, Emmanuelle Béart, too rare on television, or again from Dominique Blanc in a particularly chilling role.
Find now Syndrome E (6×52 ‘) in full on Salto before its broadcast on TF1 later this year.