I AM quickly growing tired of the obligatory Saturday night foreign language dramas on BBC4. We all know the best one is The Bridge, but that will be jumping ship for its final series which will be on BBC2 next year.

But let’s try to approach this latest series with fresh eyes. It’s a French crime drama and, to be fair, it upset my expectations in the first few minutes.

Instead of the usual story of a missing girl or woman, this story presents us with 15 dead men.

Their frozen bodies are found in an abandoned bus on a dismal country road. The bus’s engine is still running, and its hazard lights have been thoughtfully applied, but 15 dead men, all grey, stiff and frosty, sit upright on its seats. It is a very chilling scene …

When the police get involved they find there was a link between the men: they were each once involved with a woman called Catherine Keemer. But she’s no help to the cops as she disappeared three years ago.


THE playwright Joe Orton is arguably as famous for his death as for his writings. He scandalised London’s arts scene in the 60s with his dark plays, and then, on the night of August 9, 1967, he was murdered at home by his boyfriend, Kenneth Halliwell. The killer inflicted deadly blows to Orton’s head with a hammer and then committed suicide. This film puts the attention back on Joe Orton’s work, instead of his grisly death, and discusses his “wit, work and world” through his own words and “outrageous diaries”, and the memories of those who knew him. Of course, his death cannot be ignored and we learn how Halliwell became jealous and insecure as Orton became more famous and celebrated.

Joe Orton’s sister, Leonie, tells us warm stories about her brother, reminding us he was an ordinary bloke from Leicester before he became the toast of London’s literary scene.