Les Combattantes on TF1: what is the event series worth with Audrey Fleurot, Julie de Bona, …

Three years after “Le Bazaar de la Charité”, TF1 is launching “Les Combattantes” tonight, its new historical series with Audrey Fleurot, Julie de Bona, Camille Lou, and Sofia Essaïdi. Is this fresco against the backdrop of the First World War successful?

What is it about ?

September 1914. For several weeks, the fighting has been raging. In a small village in the east of France, a few kilometers from the German zone, four women find themselves thrown into the heart of horror.

Marguerite, a mysterious and flamboyant Parisian prostitute who is suspected of being a spy; Caroline, wife of a car factory owner who went to the front. She sees herself propelled to the head of the family business, a colossal and unprecedented challenge for a woman at the beginning of the century; Agnès, mother superior of a convent requisitioned and transformed into a military hospital. Overwhelmed by the influx of wounded, Agnès is more tormented and questions her life choices; and Suzanne, a young feminist nurse on the run since an abortion that went wrong…

Every Monday at 9:10 p.m. on TF1 from September 19. 4 episodes seen out of 8.

Who is it with?

Initiated by the creative team of Charity Bazaar – namely the producer Iris Bucher (Quad Drama) and the director Alexander LawrenceThe Fighters thus sees a return, like an anthology to the American Horror Story – the three main actresses of the mini-series which had a hit in 2019 on TF1 in the skin of new characters.

alongsideAudrey Fleurot, Julie de Bonaand Camille Louwho respectively lend their features to the prostitute Marguerite, the mother superior Agnès, and the escaped nurse Suzanne, Sofia Essaidi (The promise) joins the adventure and completes this quartet of fighters who go through an intense and tragic moment in the history of France in the role of bourgeois Caroline Dewitt.

But the show’s five-star cast also includes Sandrine Bonnairewho plays Caroline’s mother-in-law, Cheky Karyo, Laurent Gerra in an unexpected role, Tom Leeb, Yannick Choirat, Gregoire Colin, Maxence Danet Fauvel (France), Vincent Rottiers, Florence Loiret-Caille, Eden Ducourant (For Sara), and Mikael Mittelstadtone of the revelations ofHere it all starts on TF1.

Les Combattantes on TF1 what is the event series worth
Caroline Dubois/TF1/QUAD DRAMA

Well worth a look ?

While historical frescoes are on the rise across the Channel and across the Atlantic, with The Crown, The Bridgerton Chronicle, Hotel PortofinoWhere Downton Abbey which continues to appear on the big screen, TF1 managed to restore the nobility of the genre of the great saga in costume in France in 2019 with Le Bazar de la charité, co-financed by Netflix.

Buoyed by this success, La Une continues its momentum and offers, with the same team, and still in partnership with Netflix (which will offer the series in a few months), Les Combattantes, which once again tells the stories of women which intertwine against the background of a strong historical event. And after the catastrophic fire that devastated the Bazaar of Charity in Paris in 1897, it is here a small part of the First World War that is told by the scriptwriters Cecile Lorne and Camille Treiner.

The action of Les Combattantes takes place in 1914, during “the war of movement”, that is to say after the battle of the Marne and just before the trenches. Visually stunning, this eight-episode mini-series immediately amazes with its sets, costumes, and the striking realism of the war and hospital scenes it depicts episode after episode.

Through the stories of Marguerite, Mother Agnès, Suzanne, and Caroline, who are all gripped in their own way by the horror of war, the two authors of Les Combattantes, with the help of Alexandre Laurent, manage to restore women to their place in History, because these are obviously the great forgotten of the First World War. A very good idea when you know that almost all of the fictions returning to the “Der des Ders” focus on the point of view of men.

1663562799 34 Les Combattantes on TF1 what is the event series worth
Jean-Philippe Baltel/TF1/QUAD DRAMA

If the historical aspect, which grows over the episodes, is obviously fascinating, we also really like the soap side (in the noble sense of the term) of the series which, like the Charity Bazaar, enriches the story. of each of the four heroines with a good dose of buried secrets just waiting to resurface. And with major antagonists – camped by Grégoire Colin, Vincent Rottiers, Yannick Choirat, or Laurent Gerra – who threaten their security, their balance, and their future.

Viewers disappointed to see the actresses meet so little in The Bazaar of Charity will also be happy to learn that they interact a little more in Les Combattantes. Indeed, two pairs emerge quite quickly: Julie de Bona and Camille Lou, who gravitate in the setting of the convent transformed into a makeshift military hospital, and Audrey Fleurot and Sofia Essaïdi, whose characters are linked in a certain way (but we will say no more).

On the casting side, TF1’s new big-budget historical fresco does not disappoint since the four “Fighters” of the series are brilliantly played by Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou, Julie de Bona, and Sofia Essaïdi. While Sandrine Bonnaire, Grégoire Colin, Yannick Choirat, Tom Leeb, and Maxence Danet-Fauvel also quickly pull out of the game and sparks in their respective scores.

1663562800 26 Les Combattantes on TF1 what is the event series worth

Only downside: Les Combattantes begins in a less strong and less intense way than Le Bazar (which began with the famous fire and impressive and suffocating sequences) and takes more time to lay the foundations of its plot and its characters. In such a way that we have the impression that the plot only starts at episode 2. Which could unfortunately discourage some viewers.

Perhaps a little less epic and romantic, in any case out of the four episodes that we were able to see, Les Combattantes nonetheless remains a quality fiction that clearly shows the indispensable role of women during the First World War, either to care for the soldiers or to keep the economy running in the absence of the men who had gone to the front. And who manages to draw characters to whom we immediately become attached (even more so than in The Bazaar of Charity), heroines with secondary roles which all have their importance.

It remains to be seen whether the particular breath of the series, which mixes historical narrative and very soapy intrigue, will last until the end and keep us in suspense until a last episode which we hope will be a climax. But as it stands, TF1’s new fiction is a very good surprise that promises to thrill viewers and is part of a TV season (Aim for the heart, Out of season, And the mountain will bloom, The house opposite) overall high level.

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