Starring by Alain Delon and Jacques Perrin, the beginning of Frank Riva took my mind back to their collaboration 18 years before: Parole de flic. It is almost the same: Alain Delon in exile returns to France after someone in his family died violently, to do the detective work.
Frank Riva is a very enjoyable series. It consists of 2 seasons. I have only the first season and have watched the 2nd season on TV, but missed the first episode. The plot is as follows: In the beginning, there were 3 inseparable friends from the Coast: Frank Riva, Xavier Unger, and Marc-Antoine Rezzoni. All dreamed for an ideal world, and all became policemen. Frank Riva went undercover and infiltrated the Loggia family. His work harvested in May 1974 when the police tampered a big drug delivery, but as there was a price on his head, Riva had to leave France. Twenty-five years later, he received a phone call from Unger, now the Chief Commissioner, telling him that Rezzoni was in comma, and that Frank Riva had to return to France to replace Rezzoni for the time being.Commissaire Lydie Herzog gets the order to pick Riva from the airport. She has this 40 year old photo of him (from Melodie en sous-sol. In other scenes, a photoshoped picture from L'eclisse appears.), which made me giggle, because if I were Lydie, perhaps I would never find him - unless there was only 1 man left in the airport. At first it is not easy for Riva to control the situation, as Rezzoni's men don't like their boss being replaced by a total stranger. However, as the investigation leads them to the Loggia family and Frank Riva knows better than anyone about the family, their respect for him begins to grow.
With Cédric Chevalme and Eric Defosse (although only a little part - at least in season 1), Frank Riva seems similar to Fabio Montale. Mireille Darc also appears, and I like the dialogues: "Have have you been waiting long?" "Oh, about a quarter of century." "I meant..." "I know what you meant." which are also used in the ending song. Nice touch.