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Hitchcockian is the word that springs to mind when watching Framed, the latest TV show to premiere in the UK via All 4’s Walter Presents. Originally titled Bellicher, it’s the first Dutch series to land on the site and, as with all of its other international acquisitions, offers a tantalising glimpse into a hitherto undiscovered TV industry.
The show takes its title from its protagonist, Michael Bellicher (Daan Schuurmans), who finds himself in an unexpected spot of bother. Everything in his life seems to be going well, with a promotion at his software firm on the cards and a party held in his honour to announce it. When an ex-lover appears, though, and he lapses back into his unfaithful ways, things begin to spiral out of control. His wife is sick of it and packs her bag – and that ex of his suddenly turns up dead.
Driven to investigate her mysterious demise, Bellicher only makes matters worse, turning up in the wrong place at the wrong time – exactly the kind of behaviour that leads the police to suspect him of being the culprit.
Schurrmans makes for a charismatic lead, with a believably flummoxed face that makes him perfect for the innocent-man-on-the-run role, while director David Lammers shoots everything with the kind of dynamic eye that subtly nudges us into his corner – the opening sex scene is filmed with a vivid intimacy, before the episode slides into growing paranoia. Glossy presentation is one thing, but the programme promises to have the plot to back it up; it’s based on the novel by Charles den Tex, which means there’s little chance of the narrative spinning its wheels in the coming 10 episodes. A hint of conspiracy, combined with the burning topical themes of identity theft and technology, and you can feel the script slowly sinking its hooks into you.
The result is far from Hitchcock, but the Master of Suspense sets a high bar for anyone to meet. Compared to the rest of Walter Presents’ consistently impressive line-up, though, Framed fits right in. Roll on the site’s next two Dutch series.
All episodes of Framed are available to stream on All 4’s Walter Presents from Friday 14th October.
For more information on the other foreign-language shows available, see our Walter Presents TV guide.