Follow Genre: Thriller
Director: Jérôme Cornuau
Distributor: Just Entertainment
Duration: 6 x 52 minutes

The Passenger (Le Passager) (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Decent acting
Bad: Predictable, shaky plot, bad police work
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Amnesia or memory loss is one of the cheapest tricks in the book to drive a story forwards, so when a series uses it as its main story aspect, it triggers all sorts of warning bells. Of course, when it’s done well it can lead to an extraordinary tale, just think back of Nolan’s Memento. Unfortunately, Le Passager isn’t one of those rare exceptions.

le-passagerLe Passager (The Passenger) starts with a mysterious murder: a mutilated body is found in a train station in the French city Bordeaux. The corpse is placed inside a severed bull head, making the lifeless body resemble the mythical Minotaur. Detective Anaïs Chatelet (Raphaëlle Agogué) is reluctantly put on the case by her superior and is told to wrap up the case as soon as possible. Meanwhile, doctor Mathias Freire (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a psychiatrist in Bordeaux, meets a drifters who has no recollection of who he is or where he came from. The only thing they do know is that his clothes are covered in blood.

The plot thickens when the unidentified stranger tells Freire about a recurring dream he has: he finds himself walking on white sand, next to a white wall, chasing his own shadow. Freire is stunned to hear this, because he himself has had the same recurring dream. It’s the starting point of Freire’s descent into his past and will leave him on a crash course with detective Chatelet. Reluctant allies in the search for the truth, the two of them realize that the murder isn’t what it seems and soon find themselves the prey instead of the hunter. Add some personal trauma’s and shady government interference and you have all the ingredients for an interesting thriller.


It’s a shame that the series doesn’t live up to its interesting set-up. One of the problems is that the series takes itself very seriously, but is struggling to shake of an atmosphere of campy-ness. The many persons all have troubled pasts and shady motivations, the only problem is that it doesn’t manage to successfully combine all these persons and that the plot feels very contrived and forced. It all starts with detective Chatelet, while Agigué does an excellent job playing the emotionally vulnerable detective, the writers of the show only manage to show a completely inept police officer who is way out of her league. If they wanted to make Chatelet a strong independent woman with her own ideas, then they have failed miserably. During the series, the sheer ineptitude of the police department is very frustrating, nobody likes backing a bad horse. Another side effect of this poorly written character is that it’s very hard to join her in her quest for truth. It’s a classic “we against the world” set-up, but they have forgotten to make us like the “we” part. As a result, the entire quest feels empty and dull.

Anglade also puts in a decent performance, but is guilty of hamming it up at times. His portrayal of a psychiatrist discovering more and more about his past is somewhat interesting, but his story shares the same weaknesses as the story of Chatelet. While the acting is good, the story they are given isn’t terribly good, nor interesting.

le-passager-2While The Passenger has some gruesome murders, inspired by Greek mythology, the overall feeling of the show isn’t that of a horror movie scoring with some extra bloody kills. It stays focused on the thriller side and avoids cheap shots of mutilated corpses as much as it can. Especially as the show progresses, the emphasis lays more on discovering who the murderer is instead of the roughness of the murders themselves. However, if they would’ve expanded more on the murders and the “how did they do it” bit, the show might have been more interesting.


The Passenger (Le Passager) has an interesting set-up, but fails to deliver on various aspects. The story isn’t captivating and the plot twists feel forced and unrealistic. As a detective, it makes the police officers seem like bumbling idiots who accidentally find clues, instead of having them earn the truth. It’s shame, since the actors are doing all they can to salvage the lacking screenplay.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Passenger (Le Passager) (DVD) - Series Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.