“TO seeing evil, you attract evil. This line was uttered by Martine Sarcy in the first episode Dolmen will be the red thread in TF1’s summer saga, all prophecies and eerie legends. We are in 2005 (or 5 years before “Breton” by Nolvenne Leroy). TF1 sends Marie (Ingrid Chauvin) to touch Celtic traditions on the small fictional island of Ty Cairn, where she is about to marry Christian (Xavier Deluc) surrounded by his family. But as soon as she arrives, against the background of “Three Martolodes” roaring in the local bar, tragic events multiply, plunging Marie, incidentally, a police lieutenant, into a stream of doubts about the meaning of life, the validity of superstitions and a far Breton recipe. No. For a distant Breton, just kidding.
At the time, TF1 boasted through its head of fiction, Takis Kandilis, that it was offering a “never before seen” soap opera, taking great pride in adding a dose of mystery to the kindly mocked genre. To tell the truth, except for a small touch of the supernatural – yes, in Dolmenmenhirs weep blood in the middle of the day, and the ghosts of headless monks prowl between the standing stones (we will have finally explanation) – this saga does not really follow the trodden paths of a summer romance: a young heroine in trouble, family secrets, want some, a shower of violent deaths and, of course, a romantic idyll between two beings who are opposed to each other, whom no one could even for a moment predict that they will find themselves tenderly intertwined by the end of the final episode. So, everything is there. But let’s instead go back to what remains one of the iconic scenes of this soap opera, with its flawless mockery, from which the crabs do not grow up.
A dead seagull and headless monks
Marie races behind the wheel of her fancy Land Rover. She is alone in the dark night. The winding road is poorly lit. Even the lighthouse in the distance is not lit. A detail – size – that never ceases to bother a young woman. But not as much as a crab that seems to have lost its way under the brake pedal. How could this crustacean get into the car? Maybe he got tangled up in a badly shaken sand towel or went rummaging through the mess of his beach bag?
READ ALSO“PBLV”, “DNA”, “Un si grand soleil”… Battle of soap operasImpossible! Marie Kermer, an honorary police officer, doesn’t have time to pamper herself on any beach – not even a Breton one. She not only has to investigate, but also face very mysterious phenomena after returning to Tai Cairn. A few days earlier, the bride-to-be discovered a dead seagull in the bloody veil of her wedding dress. And now Gildas (Luc Thuillet), her older brother, is found dead at the foot of the cliff, where, however, the heroine assures, “he never went”… Misfortune never came alone, she was her – even the victim of a horde of ghosts, known like headless monks (sic)…
So, no, nothing justifies the presence of a crab in his car. And all the more so for a hundred of his brothers, who suddenly begin to swarm under his feet, all more vicious than others. The intruders invite themselves to his seat, between his thighs … while several mischievous kids, placed on the roof of the car, are in love with Marie and boldly dive into her cleavage! The Breton night is rent by the screams of Marie, who is clearly terrified at the thought of being strangled to death. Surimi on kouign-amann, an unfortunate woman can’t control the pedals of her car and finds herself sliding backwards – even funnier – into a cliff. The car is speeding. Music too. Beginning of the end credits. We will have to wait a week to know the result.
Not a very wise bodice
Fortunately for Marie, this incredible twist with a strong iodized taste comes at the end of the first episode of the saga. Therefore, it is very unlikely that Ingrid Chauvin, his vivid interpreter, suddenly disappeared from the poster. Then the knowledgeable viewer is tormented by two questions. The first, classic: how will she get out of this mess? The second, dictated by common sense: how did a hundred crabs manage to disguise themselves in the car to suddenly appear, sticking their claws forward, and the driver did not even “feel” their presence?
If the most experienced scientists probably broke their teeth on the second question, then on the first we can answer that the courageous police lieutenant was really saved at the last minute (more precisely, in the first minute of the second episode) by the guiding Yves Rainier – Commissioner Moulin changed his worn coat here to an old sweater of a rough novelist – who didn’t hesitate to park his own car across the road to stop the young woman’s painful race. It breaks into a thousand shards of glass (sic) door window Marie screams one last time and is thrown from the car, releasing a whole series of crabs onto the asphalt.
But first, like we all would if we were faced with this situation, she took the time to shake her very deep cleavage to make sure no crustaceans were trapped there. Being able to offer the audience a fleeting shot of this gesture, which consists of moving your breasts well from left to right in front of the camera, is certainly devoid of elegance, but not primal sexism.
At that time, we assure you, no one thought to be offended, since the idea was confirmed long ago that the heroine of the saga, who was also elderly, had to give up a little of her personality and good physique in order to please the 50-year-old housewife, the target of advertisers, and above all her husband , which is less tied to content than to form.
Forms that cameras have Dolmen always covered a scenario that, admittedly, didn’t need it: Marie Kermer lying in bed in a nightgown, struggling with terrifying nightmares; Marie Kermer – still in her nightgown – is unashamedly eyed by Captain Fersen (Bruno Madigne) with a subtle vertical pan of her plastic; Marie Kermer in a wet shirt, a prisoner of a cave that was taken over by the waves…
READ ALSO“Under the sun”: cute as can be!
Far from us is the idea of playing, 17 years later, a virtue. Especially since the mayonnaise has seized up and Dolmen marked the history of television. Thanks to the adventures of Marie Kermer, TF1 proudly topped the audience that summer. The first episode attracted 12.1 million viewers. And the finale, which took place five weeks later, increased the ratings, gathering 12.9 million viewers (more than 50% of the market in total). A record never broken or even equaled in terms of TV fiction that elevated Ingrid Chauvin to the rank of TV star. A status she continues to enjoy as the head of the cast of a daily soap Tomorrow belongs to us.
After the great success of the saga Zodiac, TF1 didn’t skimp on resources last year. Manufacturer Marathon (Under the sun), Dolmen united the cast between generations. Around Ingrid Chauvin, proud woman of the law working on the same channel since 2000, viewers have seen Xavier Deluc as a nimble navigator, but above all Bruno Madigne, who has just completed ten years Tail, judge and policeman. His character, the very rational Captain Lucas Fersen, together with the sensual Marie Kermer, will become one of the mythical couples of the summer saga. Almost as intoxicating as a glass of cider.
Next Episode: “The Blue Ocean”
Dolmen available on MyTF1.fr