Baptiste is dragged into the case after Amsterdam’s Chief of Police – who also happens to be the detective’s former girlfriend – seeks out his help to solve it.
“This first series of Baptiste will allow us to discover more about Julien than ever before as he is parachuted into the centre of a shocking and wide-ranging crime story,” says BBC drama controller Piers Wenger.
Is Baptiste a prequel or a sequel to The Missing? When is it set?
Baptiste is a “direct sequel” to The Missing, according to writers Harry and Jack Williams, and is set in real-time. When we meet Baptiste in Amsterdam for the spin-off, just over two years has passed since the events of The Missing series two – which aired towards the end of 2016.
Will Baptiste’s brain tumour play a big part in this spin-off series?
Harry and Jack Williams revealed to RadioTimes.com that Baptiste’s health will not directly compromise his work in the spin-off – but that his bruised confidence after his brain operation will play a part.
“It’s more about how it impacts his psyche and approach to the work,” they said. “Obviously in series two, he was facing up to his mortality and asking questions about whether he would live and if he could take the risk. This year, we wanted to do something different.
“We didn’t want to repeat it, but it definitely informs his confidence and his ability to do his job which we haven’t seen before, so his vulnerability and his questioning whether he can actually do this, which is a huge part of his story this year. So it factors, but not in the way people might expect.”
What is the inspiration behind Baptiste’s character?
“Baptiste, as a French detective, is a homage to somebody the writers know,” Tchéky Karyo told RadioTimes.com. “He is known to the family and to their father Nigel, who is also a very well-known writer.
“They grew up in this milieu, in this field, and one of their friends is a real detective and follows all sorts of cases in France, so that’s why when they started on this missing case they thought of him and decided he was going to be French.”
Which characters from The Missing will also appear in Baptiste?
Of course, Baptiste himself will feature – but so will his wife Celia, played by Anastasia Hille, and his daughter Sara (Camille Schotte). The rest of the cast are playing new characters.
Who are writers Harry and Jack Williams?
As well as penning The Missing and Baptiste, the Williams brothers are known for writing ITV’s Liar and BBC1’s Rellik. Their next creation is Kate Beckinsale drama The Widow.
The duo also run a production company, Two Brothers Pictures, which has produced Fleabag and Strangers and also has the forthcoming series Cheat on its slate.
Where is Baptiste set?
Baptiste is set in the beautiful streets, canals and houses of Amsterdam as well as the murky underworld beneath the city. Its filming locations also include Deal in Kent and Antwerp in Belgium.
What happened in the second series of The Missing?
The Missing series two followed Keeley Hawes and David Morrissey as the parents of a missing schoolgirl, Alice Webster, with Baptiste as the detective assigned to the case.
Throughout the series, Baptiste’s health was worsening thanks to the tumour in his brain, and his search for Alice’s captor Adam Gettrick took him as far as Iraq, pushing him to his physical limits.
After a twisting and turning investigation, during which Baptiste discovered that a girl claiming to be Alice was actually another of Gettrick’s victims, Baptiste finally captured Gettrick and he was arrested for kidnap, rape and murder.
The series ended with the real Alice being reunited with her family at last, and Baptiste going into hospital to have an operation to remove his brain tumour.
Is there a trailer for Baptiste?
Yes, the BBC have released a minute-long trailer which gives a proper glimpse of the plot through the eyes of Tom Hollander’s character…
The footage sees him attempt to hunt down his niece, with the help of Julien Baptiste, while also hinting that all is not what it seems. “People take one look at me and think they know me, but they don’t,” Edward is heard saying, amid plenty of shots of seedy Amsterdam, Baptiste’s investigation and glimpses of co-stars Jessica Raine and Anastasia Hille.