BBC One's Baptiste Is Here To Fill The Gap Left By The Missing

Photo by BBC/Two Brothers Pictures
A man is murdered and a young woman has gone missing. That's right, we're back in the bleakly familiar territory trodden by many a crime thriller of late, but BBC One's new series has something that sets it apart from the rest. It has everyone's favourite retired French detective, Julien Baptiste.
The Missing was one of the BBC's most popular and widely watched dramas (until last year's Bodyguard came along, of course), and though it's been out of our minds since the end of the suffocatingly tense and twisty second series (starring Bodyguard's Keeley Hawes, funnily enough), actor Tchéky Karyo's Baptiste continues to hold a special place in our hearts. Needless to say, the arrival of his very own spinoff series, Baptiste, already has many of us a little nervy at the thought of what's about to unfold.
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Last time we saw him, Baptiste was in hospital. Typically stubborn and clearly uncertain, we watched those final few moments before he went under for an operation to remove a brain tumour. Though The Missing finale ended on such an emotive cliffhanger, we had our suspicions that he'd be back.
And he is. Healthy, although to use his words, "not the man [he] was", Baptiste's area of expertise is required once more while enjoying retired life in Amsterdam with his wife. It's not long before he's contacted by the local chief of police (who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend) for help with a missing person case. She says she wouldn't ask unless it was important and there's not a chance in hell that our main man would turn down such a request, is there?
The young woman who has disappeared is Natalie, a sex worker and niece to Edward Stratton (The Night Manager's Tom Hollander). It's worth pointing out here that yes, Stratton is British so we're probably going to be doing some country hopping in this investigation. Stratton is distraught and desperate to locate her, but there's promise of a complicated backstory when he says: "People take one look at me and they think they know me, but they don't." Elsewhere, perhaps at another time, another man has been murdered and though it's not immediately clear how the incidents are connected, fans familiar with The Missing writers Harry and Jack Williams' work will be confident of a link between the two.
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True to form, there are lots of gaps in Baptiste's storyline and tempting misconceptions about some of the key players are dangled in our faces. Just when we think we've sussed who one person is, Baptiste discovers that someone else really isn't who we thought they were. Yep, it's the delightfully well-oiled crime thriller format that we're anticipating will have us hooked through its six-episode run. Watch the full trailer below for a first look at the return of the great, far from retired, investigator.
Baptiste will air on BBC One on 17th February
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