A Very Secret Service
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|A Very Secret Service|
|Created by||Jean-François Halin|
|Directed by||Alexandre Courtès|
|Theme music composer||Nicolas Godin|
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||24 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||21-31 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Mandarin TV|
|Original release||October 29, 2015|
|Au service de la France|
A Very Secret Service (French: Au service de la France) is a French comedy-drama series created by Jean-François Halin and produced by Gilles de Verdière. It was commissioned by Arte, where it premiered in 2015, and was later distributed worldwide by Netflix on 1 July 2016. The second season appeared on Netflix in August 2018.
In 1960, young André Merlaux eagerly accepts a cryptic summons to take a position as a trainee officer with the French Secret Services (based on the Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage). He will be watched over by the operations director Moïse, and reluctantly mentored by senior colleagues Moulinier (in charge of African affairs), Jacquard (Algeria), and Calot (Eastern Bloc). It is the height of the Cold War and the position of France as a Great Power is in crisis, faced with independence challenges from the African colonies, above all the fight over the independence of Algeria. French society is changing at home as well, with a rising counterculture exemplified by growing feminism and New Wave cinema.
Cast and characters
- Hugo Becker as André Merlaux
- Wilfred Benaïche as The Colonel Maurice Mercaillon
- Christophe Kourotchkine as Georges Préjean "Moïse"
- Mathilde Warnier as Sophie Mercaillon
- Karim Barras as Jacky Jacquard
- Bruno Paviot as Roger Moulinier
- Jean-Édouard Bodziak as Jean-René Calot
- Marie-Julie Baup as Marie-Jo Cotin
- Joséphine de La Baume as Miss Clayborn
- Antoine Gouy as Henri Lechiot / Hervé Gomez / Schmid
- Philippe Resimont as Father Jean
- Julie Farenc as Nathalie
- Khalid Maadour as Moktar
- Stéphanie Fatout as Irène Mercaillon
- Axelle Simon as Marthe
- Baptiste Sornin as Planton, reception desk employee
The series recalls OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies in style and tone, although it is slightly more serious (writer Halin also helped write the OSS 117 films, and Les Guignols). The show uses historical events as background or foreground for its action, similar to Mad Men (such as the Algerian war of independence and the first French nuclear test, Gerboise Bleue).
- "MIPCOM Hot Pick: A Very Secret Service". TBI Vision. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Middleton, Richard. "Mandarin's Secret Unpeeled in Belgium". C21. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- Lawson, Richard; Busis, Hillary. "What's New on Netflix in June—and What to Watch Before It Disappears". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "" Au service de la France ", une série d'espionnage en tournage pour Arte" [A Very Secret Service, a spy series being filmed for Arte]. Arte. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Au service de la France dézingue les années de Gaulle" [A Very Secret Service takes apart the de Gaulle years]. Telerama. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- "Au service de la France: une saison 2 sur les rails". Le Figaro télé. Retrieved 10 July 2016.