Nox promo shot featuring Malik Zidi as Raphaël Berger, Nathalie Baye as Catherine Susini, and Maïwenn as Julie Susini

Nox is a binge-worthy French series on Topic that takes viewers into the tunnels of Paris to search for a missing cop. Lieutenant Julie Susini (Maïwenn) and her partner Raphaël Berger (Malik Zidi) are chasing bank robbers in the sewers below Paris when Julie disappears without a trace. After hours of searching, the cops can’t find her. Julie’s mother, Catherine (Nathalie Baye) an aggressive, insubordinate “retired” police captain, inserts herself into the investigation. Catherine forces Raphaël to go off-book with her and traverse the three levels of tunnels under Paris to find Julie. Along the way, they discover a literal hell on earth, with the devil being Nox, a murderous team of men who dwell on level 3. Although, to me, the real mystery of Nox is why there are no rats in the tunnels in Paris.

The Real Catacombs

Every Parisian would know this already, but for the rest of us, here is an explanation of what lies below Paris. There are 320 kilometers of tunnels, quarries, and sewers below the city. Only 1.5 kilometers of that is the official Catacombs, with the bones, that tourists can traverse. The rest is left to the Quarry Inspection Department and their nemeses, the cataphiles. Cataphiles explore and set up shop below the city, even having rivalries with other cataphiles. Although it has been illegal since 1955 to explore the closed off tunnels, there have been film festivals and other events below the surface for years. Nox makes fantastic use of this network and the potential it has for hiding both murderers and their victims.

Catherine and Raphaël

Catherine and Raphaël are opposites. Catherine is, frankly, a bad ass. But also a bad mother and wife. She is single minded, stubborn, callous, and aggressive. She’s not afraid to pistol whip another cop when she needs information out of him. She’s disgusted by Raphaël, whom she calls “one who blindly follows rules”. She also blames Raphaël for letting Julie run off into the tunnels by herself while he followed orders and stayed put. But alas, Raphaël is the only person who will help her, even though she has to guilt him into it. For Raphaël’s part, he’s kind of…lost. He is likely in love with Julie, but has a wife who wants kids, so they are doing the whole, “we have to have sex right this minute because I’m ovulating” routine. His wife has asked him not to take any risks, since he’s going to be a father, and that’s why he doesn’t follow Julie into the tunnel. *eye-roll* I kind of agree with Catherine here.


While Julie is lost down below, we discover a few things. One, Julie had approached internal affairs recently, but then ghosted IA before they could find out what she had to tell them. Two, Catherine and Raphaël discover a mass grave down below, with dead bodies cemented into an opening between tunnels. They fear that Julie will end up in one of these graves if they don’t find her. Three, in a subplot that eventually ties to the main plot, two guys who call themselves Nox have a site on the dark web where they can be hired for murder and other nefarious deeds. They have the tunnels wired up with cameras so they can see if anyone is coming for them. There are more gruesome storylines, but I won’t spoil them all here.

Our Take On Nox

Nox is exceedingly binge-worthy. The cliff hangers in each episode are the kind that make you watch the first 10 minutes of the next episode before you go to bed. And who can resist the setting-three levels of tunnels with who knows what kind of squatters under Paris? Come on! The plot is a little byzantine (pun intended), and they try to shoehorn a theme of “unlikable women” in, which is unnecessary. There is also some clunky writing and overacting, but not by the main leads-they are great. Catherine is a jerk, but she owns it and she repents by sacrificing herself, if necessary, to find Julie. I kind of like her. With its creepy elements, fantastic setting, quick pace and short length, Nox is compelling TV. Although, again, there aren’t any rats under Paris? Seriously?

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