15 Must-Stream French Spy Series From Le Bureau to Marseille

From riveting undercover missions to high-stakes intelligence operations, we unveil the crème de la crème of French series to immerse you in intrigue, suspense, and sophistication.

1. The Bureau / Le Bureau des Légendes (2015 - 2020) 

French undercover operative Guillaume Debailly is recalled to Paris after six years in Damascus and struggles to reconnect with his old life - made more difficult when his Syrian lover Nadia shows up. The Bureau is based on stories by former French spies. Keep an eye out also for George Clooney’s English-language remake, The Department. (French with English subtitles. Prime Video, Apple TV+, Sundance, AMC)

2. Lupin (2021 - )

French mystery thriller Lupin stormed onto Netflix in 2021 led by charismatic Omar Sy as Assane Diop who unravels the dark secrets of the powerful Pellegrini family 25 years after his father's tragic death. The series, inspired by the legendary Arsène Lupin, captivated 76m households in its first month on the streaming network. In France, Lupin is a Sherlock Holmes-type of character, a gentleman thief who's been around for a century. A TV series of the same name ran from 1971 to 1974 and Romain Duris starred in a 2004 movie. (Netflix)

3. Drops of God (2023)

Camille’s wealthy father has died and she must compete with his ‘spiritual son’, Issei, in a series of increasingly difficult wine-tasting tests to inherit the family fortune. Along the way, shocking family secrets are revealed. This stylish thriller about wine and intrigue is based on a Japanese manga series and triggered a wine boom in Japan and South Korea. Drops of God is written by Quoc Dang Tran, a Vietnamese-French writer who worked on The Bureau. (Apple TV+)

4. A French Village / Un Village Français (2009-2017)

The French Village traces the residents of a fictional small village inside the occupation zone during WWII and deals with collaboration, the Resistance, the fate of French Jews, and war profiteering. Far from being another costume drama period piece, Un Village Français evokes a sci-fi alien-invasion movie convention to produce a seven-season narrative. (Prime Video)

5. The Frozen Dead /Glacé (2016)

In this chilling thriller, investigator Martin Servaz becomes involved in a series of gruesome murders in the French Pyrenees and a twisted dance with a serial killer. The six-episode series is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. Starring Charles Berling and Julia Piaton Pascal. Netflix released the series from 2018 to 2021 to acclaim. Glacé won Best Series at the Festival de la Fiction TV de La Rochelle. (Apple TV, Netflix in some countries)

6. La Mante / The Mantis (2017)

In contemporary Paris, police grapple with a deranged killer who emulates the infamous Jeanne Deber, ‘The Mantis’, a notorious serial murderer who instilled fear across the nation two decades earlier. The Mantis agrees to cooperate with police in catching the copycat killer under one condition: she must deal solely with Detective Damien Carrot, her estranged son. (Netflix)

7. The Last Panthers / Les Derniers Panthers (2015-16)

Samantha Morton stars as a claims adjuster in The Last Panthers, a gripping crime drama involving a heist and intelligence officers. Morton's job is to catch a dangerous gang of Serbian jewel thieves. Along the way, she rubs shoulders with a former MI6 officer (Oscar-winning actor John Hurt) and a French-Algerian cop (Tahar Rahim). The series is stylish and violent - think French Connection meets La Femme Nikita. (Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu)

8. The Spy (2019)

Based on the life of Israel's top Mossad spy Eli Cohen (portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen), the six-part series is set in the 1960s as Israeli clerk-turned-secret agent Eli Cohen goes deep undercover inside Syria to spy for Mossad. This English-language French espionage miniseries is a production by Légende Entreprises for Canal+ and Netflix. (Netflix)

9. Baron Noir (2016-2020)

Baron Noir explores the gripping political and legal odyssey of Philippe Rickwaert, a member of Parliament and Dunkerque mayor, fueled by an unyielding thirst for personal vengeance. Betrayed by his mentor during the presidential election, Rickwaert rebuilds his shattered future, forming an alliance with his former enemy's closest advisor. (Prime Video)

10. Black Spot / Zone Blanche (2017-2019)

Set in a small town surrounded by a forest, Black Spot follows a police chief who investigates a string of grisly crimes and eerie phenomena. A missing persons case turns into a homicide investigation when the mayor's daughter is found dead and an eccentric new prosecutor, Franck Siriani (Laurent Capelluto), wants to know why the town's murder rate is six times the national average in this French-Belgian supernatural thriller. (Prime Video, Netflix)

15 Must-Stream French Spy Series From Le Bureau to Marseille

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From riveting undercover missions to high-stakes intelligence operations, we unveil the crème de la crème of French series to immerse you in intrigue, suspense, and sophistication.

1. The Bureau / Le Bureau des Légendes (2015 - 2020) 

French undercover operative Guillaume Debailly is recalled to Paris after six years in Damascus and struggles to reconnect with his old life - made more difficult when his Syrian lover Nadia shows up. The Bureau is based on stories by former French spies. Keep an eye out also for George Clooney’s English-language remake, The Department. (French with English subtitles. Prime Video, Apple TV+, Sundance, AMC)

2. Lupin (2021 - )

French mystery thriller Lupin stormed onto Netflix in 2021 led by charismatic Omar Sy as Assane Diop who unravels the dark secrets of the powerful Pellegrini family 25 years after his father's tragic death. The series, inspired by the legendary Arsène Lupin, captivated 76m households in its first month on the streaming network. In France, Lupin is a Sherlock Holmes-type of character, a gentleman thief who's been around for a century. A TV series of the same name ran from 1971 to 1974 and Romain Duris starred in a 2004 movie. (Netflix)

3. Drops of God (2023)

Camille’s wealthy father has died and she must compete with his ‘spiritual son’, Issei, in a series of increasingly difficult wine-tasting tests to inherit the family fortune. Along the way, shocking family secrets are revealed. This stylish thriller about wine and intrigue is based on a Japanese manga series and triggered a wine boom in Japan and South Korea. Drops of God is written by Quoc Dang Tran, a Vietnamese-French writer who worked on The Bureau. (Apple TV+)

4. A French Village / Un Village Français (2009-2017)

The French Village traces the residents of a fictional small village inside the occupation zone during WWII and deals with collaboration, the Resistance, the fate of French Jews, and war profiteering. Far from being another costume drama period piece, Un Village Français evokes a sci-fi alien-invasion movie convention to produce a seven-season narrative. (Prime Video)

5. The Frozen Dead /Glacé (2016)

In this chilling thriller, investigator Martin Servaz becomes involved in a series of gruesome murders in the French Pyrenees and a twisted dance with a serial killer. The six-episode series is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. Starring Charles Berling and Julia Piaton Pascal. Netflix released the series from 2018 to 2021 to acclaim. Glacé won Best Series at the Festival de la Fiction TV de La Rochelle. (Apple TV, Netflix in some countries)

6. La Mante / The Mantis (2017)

In contemporary Paris, police grapple with a deranged killer who emulates the infamous Jeanne Deber, ‘The Mantis’, a notorious serial murderer who instilled fear across the nation two decades earlier. The Mantis agrees to cooperate with police in catching the copycat killer under one condition: she must deal solely with Detective Damien Carrot, her estranged son. (Netflix)

7. The Last Panthers / Les Derniers Panthers (2015-16)

Samantha Morton stars as a claims adjuster in The Last Panthers, a gripping crime drama involving a heist and intelligence officers. Morton's job is to catch a dangerous gang of Serbian jewel thieves. Along the way, she rubs shoulders with a former MI6 officer (Oscar-winning actor John Hurt) and a French-Algerian cop (Tahar Rahim). The series is stylish and violent - think French Connection meets La Femme Nikita. (Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu)

8. The Spy (2019)

Based on the life of Israel's top Mossad spy Eli Cohen (portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen), the six-part series is set in the 1960s as Israeli clerk-turned-secret agent Eli Cohen goes deep undercover inside Syria to spy for Mossad. This English-language French espionage miniseries is a production by Légende Entreprises for Canal+ and Netflix. (Netflix)

9. Baron Noir (2016-2020)

Baron Noir explores the gripping political and legal odyssey of Philippe Rickwaert, a member of Parliament and Dunkerque mayor, fueled by an unyielding thirst for personal vengeance. Betrayed by his mentor during the presidential election, Rickwaert rebuilds his shattered future, forming an alliance with his former enemy's closest advisor. (Prime Video)

10. Black Spot / Zone Blanche (2017-2019)

Set in a small town surrounded by a forest, Black Spot follows a police chief who investigates a string of grisly crimes and eerie phenomena. A missing persons case turns into a homicide investigation when the mayor's daughter is found dead and an eccentric new prosecutor, Franck Siriani (Laurent Capelluto), wants to know why the town's murder rate is six times the national average in this French-Belgian supernatural thriller. (Prime Video, Netflix)

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11. The Disappearance / Disparue (2015)

The search for teenager Lea intensifies when she goes missing after a music festival in Lyon attended with her cousin Chris, her boyfriend, and friends. Her family reports the disappearance and Lieutenant Molina is appointed to lead the investigation, a recent transfer from Paris. Delving into Lea's life, the police uncover secrets that hint at the involvement of her friends and family as potential suspects. (Apple TV+)

12. The Break / La Trêve (2016-2018)

Police detective Yoann Peeters moves from Brussels back to his hometown in France where the body of an African football player is pulled from the river. Peeters suspects murder, but he is caring for his daughter and struggling with issues from his past. Does he really need more trouble? The Break ensures Peeters has no choice. He soon becomes aware of corruption associated with farmers selling their land to allow construction of a dam and reservoir. (Netflix)

13. Marseille (2016-2018)

The mayor of Marseille expects to hand over the reins to his protégé when a ruthless battle for control of the city erupts. Gérard Depardieu stars in this tale of power struggles and corruption. Meanwhile, a shadowy conspiracy targets the city's beloved football team and the battle for control of the port city of Marseille heats up when right-wing nationalists gain power. The series was the first French-language original production for Netflix. (Netflix)


14. The Tunnel / Tunnel (2013-2018)

Starring Clémence Poésy and Stephen Dillane, British-French crime drama The Tunnel follows detectives investigating crimes on both sides of the English Channel. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between Britain and France, two agents must work together on behalf of their countries to find the murderer. (Prime Video)

15. A Very Secret Service / Au service de la France (2015–2018)

At the height of the Cold War, young André Merlaux (Hugo Becker) accepts a cryptic summons to train with the French Secret Services (based on the Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage). He is reluctantly mentored by senior colleagues as they face an independence challenge from Algeria and unrest at home including feminism and New Wave cinema in this comedy-drama. (Keep an eye on Netflix as it is available to stream off and on.)

HONORABLE MENTION

Paris Enquêtes Criminelles / Under Suspicion (2007-2008) 

In this French adaptation of the American series Law & Order Criminal Intent, the show follows two police detectives with very different methods of investigation. Vincent Revel (Vincent Pérez) is intuitive, while his partner, Claire Savigny (Sandrine Rigaux), is logical. It’s formulaic but bingeable. (Chaîne TF1)

Call My Agent! / Dix Pour Cent (2015 - 2020)

After the death of the talent agency’s founder, four co-workers at fictional Agence Samuel Kerr (ASK) in Paris must deal with their clients’ secrets, egos, finances, and legal problems while they jockey for power and prestige in this French comedy-drama. The premise of Call My Agent! is fiction but the clients are real-life French celebrities. (Apple TV, Netflix in some countries)

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