In France: Aired on Canal+ in April
In the UK: Available on Sundance Now
All good things end eventually. Sometimes they finish naturally, sometimes they’re forced to stop. And sometimes they just decide to do something odd. Like The Bureau.
Probably Britain’s finest ever spy show was The Sandbaggers, a marvellously daring combination of office politics, realpolitik and verisimilitude.
It tragically lasted a mere three seasons because its talented creator, Ian Mackintosh, mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the third season. The show’s quality dropped afterwards – if not markedly, at least noticeably – with other talents simply unable to do what Mackintosh uniquely could do.
France’s answer to The Sandbaggers is Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau), an equally thrilling but decidedly modern spy thriller about which I’ve written considerably over the years:
I’ve compared the two shows a considerable amount over the years, but I was somewhat hoping that The Bureau would finish on a slightly higher note than The Sandbaggers, as we entered what would appear to be the final season. The show has largely improved every season, from an already superb starting point, but its creator, Eric Rochant, has decided enough is enough and has decided to move on to make his (much deserved fortune) in the US.
Yet, here I am, forced to make the same comparison as always, because while season 5 of The Bureau is largely as brilliant, and possibly even better than previous seasons, Rochant decided to hand over the reins to the final two episodes to noted French director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust & Bone, Dheepan). And while these are actually pretty good by most standards, the show’s quality drops – if not markedly, at least noticeably.
By my God, those first eight episodes…
Spoilers aplenty after the reminder (in French) of what happened in seasons one to four, the (subtitled) trailer for season 5 and the jump. If you haven’t seen the previous seasons – or this season – you’re probably better off waiting until after you have. Remember: the only place you can now watch all five seasons in the UK is Sundance Now, since the first two aren’t on Amazon Prime any more (at least, not for free).Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (season 5) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance Now)”