Rapheal Balthazar is a gifted but eccentric forensic pathologist who is constantly smiling and joking and eating, but underneath that is a deep pain stemming from his wife’s murder fifteen years prior. Helene Bach is the exasperated and overworked but occasionally amused detective who has to put up with him.
Together they solve bizarre and sometimes gruesome crimes.
As you may’ve gathered from the premise above, Balthazar is not particularly original. The cases have twists and turns, though it doesn’t always feel like the mysteries are playing fair with you (except in the TV sense that it’s always a character that has appeared previously). However, Balthazar has its own particular flavor, powered by the interplay between some very charismatic and likeable actors. The characters are absolutely a strength of the show.
Also, there are only 6 episodes in Series 1, none of which are weak or filler, which is nice.
Balthazar is recommended for fans of forensic mystery shows specifically and mystery/thriller shows generally, though with a slight caveat. The show isn’t particularly violent (in the sense of violence that is depicted onscreen, rather than its aftermath), but there are some fairly gruesome moments, both in the state of certain victims and in the autopsy scenes. If you can get past that though, you’ll be rewarded with a strong, character driven little mystery series.
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