Rough Justice: the Belgian detective series that would appal Poirot

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018, 10:11

Justice isn't always served fairly. A blind eye is sometimes turned to corporate fraud - while petty crimes perpetrated by the common man are handled hard.

It's this kind of social morality that Rough Justice - the latest Walter Presents crime series - deals with.

The Belgian detective saga debuts on More4 next week.

Antwerp's finest

Rough Justice stars Hilde De Baerdemaeker as Commissioner Liese Meerhout, the no-nonsense head of the Antwerp police force's homicide division, who'll stop at nothing to get her cases solved.

She and her team go to great lengths to ensure justice is served, even if it means they too must cross the line between right and wrong.

But though she might be hard-headed, Meerhout also has a warmer, more quirky side.

Trading in the bold patterned jumpers of her Scandinavian counterparts, Meerhout drives an old yellow Mercedes, frequents gay clubs, and pounds a drum kit as a way of letting off steam.

One of Commissioner Liese Meerhout's quirks is her drum playing under pressure (Photo: Channel 4)

The series combines adaptations of the crime novels from Toni Coppers (hence the show's amusingly simple 'Coppers' moniker in its native country), and new stories in keeping with the tone of the author's work.

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The opening episode sees Meerhout investigate a car crash in which the chief constable was involved, putting the heat on a fellow officer to get to the truth.

Then she's looking into the death of a journalist - a gruesome end by suffocation - with a rag doll left by the corpse.

Belgium on the rise

It's all overseen by Dirk Impens, the Oscar-nominated producer behind Daens and Broken Circle Breakdown.

Rough Justice was acquired by Walter Presents alongside another crime-thriller from Belgium, 13 Commandments.

There's no word yet on when that might be screened, but it's a thriller about a modern-day Moses figure who commits a series of gruesome crimes in order to jolt society’s conscience and restore moral values.

"I am consistently thrilled by the quality of Belgium drama, and these two series are no exception," said Walter Presents curator Walter Iuzzolino.

"[Rough Justice] is in many ways a simple crime procedural, but the quality of the actors and the story telling came as a real surprise, and is what makes this crime drama feel totally unique."

Rough Justice begins on More4 on Friday March 9 at 9pm

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