Germinal: 5 things to know about the event series available on Salto

A true event on the small screen, “Germinal” is the brand new adaptation of the famous novel by Emile Zola, almost 30 years after the film by Claude Berri. 5 things to know about the ambitious series to discover now, only on Salto.


The story of Etienne Lantier, enlisted in the mines of Montsou. He meets the Mahues and falls in love with their daughter Catherine. She is courted by Chaval, a brutal worker. When the Compagnie des Mines lowered wages, Etienne, already outraged by this misery, rose up. Dreaming of justice, he pushes for a strike. Weeks go by, the starving strikers struggle, but victims of violent repression, resign themselves to work.


A simple evocation of the title Germinal, and it is all the French heritage that is summoned … Written by Emile Zola and published in 1885, this key novel by Rougon-Macquart immediately became part of the classics of the literature, at the same time arousing the interest of many filmmakers, with several adaptations from the beginning of the 1900s.


In 1963, Yves Allégret rubbed shoulders with this monument in a feature film worn by Claude Brasseur, Jean Sorel and Bernard Blier. But it is undoubtedly the version imagined in 1993 by Claude Berri, with Renaud in the role of Lantier facing Miou-Miou, Gérard Depardieu and Jean Carmet, which marked the memories of the public.

Although present in the minds of the French for more than a century, Germinal had to wait until 2021 to reveal himself under a whole new skin. Available now exclusively on Salto, Germinal is indeed the first series devoted to this mythical story. And that’s not all, since the series is also the very first SALTO, France TV and RAI co-production! An event that it would be a shame to miss!


An oh-so-ambitious project, the series shot in part on the old Oignies pit, in the Pas-de-Calais, takes up universal themes that resonate more than ever with current events. But much more than a new adaptation, the six episodes offer a real reinterpretation of the novel and the films. Following in the footsteps of great HBO mini-series, the episodes feature a polished realization, immersive original music, composed by Audrey Ismaël, and a very rhythmic approach.

In addition to his production, Germinal plays the novelty card by placing emotion and passion at the heart of the plot, and gives pride of place to certain poorly developed characters in previous adaptations, such as women for example.

We wanted to bring a modern perspective to it by collaborating with young talents such as the author Julien Lilti and the director David Hourregue. The bias for this adaptation was to highlight secondary characters from the book, and in particular female characters.“, explains Nathalie Biancolli, director of international fiction acquisitions / co-productions France Télévisions.



In order to meet the challenge of dusting off Germinal, France Télévisions has bet on a duo of choice and which has already proven its worth in the hearts of viewers. In the production, we find in fact David Hourrègue, to whom we owe the immense success of SKAM France, without forgetting Cut.

The writing of the episodes was entrusted to Julien Lilti. Brother of Thomas Lilti (director of the film and the Hippocrates series), he wrote the eponymous film in 2014 and co-wrote the arches of the two seasons of the Original CANAL + creation alongside his brother. Fans of series have also certainly seen his name pass in the credits of Family Business, since he shared the writing of the 2nd season with Igor Gotesman.



While a large part of the spectators still have in mind the image of Renaud in the role of Etienne Lantier or Gérard Depardieu in that of Maheu, the Germinal series relies on a cast designed to stand out from these interpretations. Counting on no less than 21 main characters, the six episodes are carried by a cast which marries essential faces of television to young talents.

If Thierry Godard and Alix Poisson form the Maheu couple, Guillaume de Tonquédec and Natacha Lindinger the Hennebeau and Sami Bouajila and Valeria Cavalli play the roles of Victor Deneulin and Madame Grégoire, many revelations embody key characters.

Hero of the series, Louis Peres, revealed in Mental, takes on the features of the hero Lantier. In front of him, we discover Jonas Bloquet (Antoine Chaval), Rose-Marie Perreault (Catherine Maheu), Aliocha Schneider (Paul Négrel), Marilou Assiloux (Cécile Grégoire), Anna Mihalcea (La Mouquette) or even Max Baissette de Malglaive (Jeanlin Maheu): names and faces to remember.

The six episodes of Germinal are to be discovered now, only on Salto.

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