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Maybe it’s just me, but Origins reminds me a bit of Murder, She Wrote.

Origines S1
Origins (Origines): Micky Sébastian as Margot Laurent & Julien Baumgartner as Captain Arthur du Plessis — Photo © Alberti Boscogil / Sama Productions, courtesy of Amazon

Although the Origins (Origines) character of Margot Laurent (Micky Sébastian, Meurtres à Saint-Malo, Dead Beautiful) isn’t Jessica Fletcher’s French doppelganger, things about Margot are reminiscent of the character played by Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote, the hit American mystery series.

Like Jessica, Margot is personable, intelligent, and curious. She’s also an author, albeit not of crime novels, and has devoted fans of her works. But writing isn’t her primary profession; Margot’s main line of work is as a genealogist.

And it is this work — the search for a woman’s sister who left home 50 years ago and never returned — that brings Margot to a country estate in the series opener. Here she meets Captain Arthur du Plessis (Julien Baumgartner, the actor who has taken over the role of Fred Caïn from Bruno Debrandt in Caïn), a young, confident detective recently arrived in Angoulême from Paris, who’s at the manor to investigate a murder.

Viewers who are sticklers for proper police procedures in crime dramas will be aghast when Margot simply waltzes onto the property and into the room where the murder occurred, aka the crime scene. To be fair, she has permission from Chief Stavros (Christian Rauth, Magellan), an old friend (but still).

The victim was the daughter of Dr. Charles Manin (Bernard Verley, Murder in Luberon), a bigwig in town who runs a humanitarian medical foundation. Unfortunately for Margot, he can’t help with her inquiries. But Stavros can and does, and this allows Margot to discover a few things about the missing sister, which has links to Arthur’s murder investigation.

Margot is still a genealogist and also an official, although not full-time, member of Stavros’ team starting with the second episode, in which the discovery of a mummy connects a middle-aged woman to a family that disappeared on Christmas Eve 50 years ago.

As with all the stories in Origins, Margot and Arthur solve the murder mysteries by examining things in the distant past as well as recent present — with Arthur focused on finding the criminal, and Margot concerning herself with dramas from years past that led to the commission of the crime.

Season 1 costars Maud Forget (L’art du crime) as Lt. Marianne Garnier, Philippe Dusseau (The Chalet) as the public prosecutor, and Guilaine Londez (Family Business) as Sister Astrid. Guest stars include Stéphane Blancafort (Tandem), Aude Briant (Meurtres dans les Landes), Catherine Mouchet (Witnesses), Philippe Nahon (Tony’s Revenge), and Eric Savin (Marseille).

Origins is currently available for streaming in the US on Prime Video.


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Euro TV to Watch: Entertaining French Mystery Series ‘Origins’
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