Research Unit (TV Series 2006– )


Research Unit (TV Series 2006– )
Section de recherches (original title)

The police work of a special Gendarmerie unit that operates in Bordeaux, their complicated cases and the interpersonal relationships established among the team members.
IMDb   5.5 /10
TheMovieDb    8.0 /10
FilmAffinity   4.6 /10
Creator Steven Bawol
Creator Dominique Lancelot
Creator Yann Le Nivet
Release Date2006-05-11
Content Rating
Awards1 win.
CompanyLes Auteurs Associés, Dragons Films, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF)
CountryFrance, Belgium
Martin Bernier 162 episodes, 2006-2020
Nadia Angeli / ... 123 episodes, 2006-2017
Franck Sémonin
Franck Sémonin
Lucas Auriol 87 episodes, 2014-2020
Félicité Chaton
Félicité Chaton
Vicky 80 episodes, 2014-2020
Alex 79 episodes, 2014-2020
Luc 77 episodes, 2006-2014
Virginie Caliari
Virginie Caliari
Mathilde Delmas 76 episodes, 2006-2013
Enzo Ghemara 65 episodes, 2006-2013

Section de recherches

Section de recherches ("Investigation Unit") is a French television series that was first broadcast on TF1 on May 11, 2006.

In Belgium, the series was shown on La Une from November 9, 2013.


The Investigation Unit is a special unit of the National Gendarmerie, responsible for the most complex cases. In Bordeaux (from 2006 to 2013) and then in Nice (since 2014), it investigates child abductions, disappearances, vicious or sexual crimes. In search of witnesses, the team is empowered to extend its investigations beyond the borders of France.


The series was developed at the same time as another TF1 police show, "R.I.S, police scientifique", and so the production team chose to create points of difference between the two, opting to portray gendarmes outside of Paris, in Bordeaux, to present different scenery. The series has a deliberate focus on interpersonal relationships, inspired by American series such as "Cold Case" and "Without a Trace".

The show runner Dominique Lancelot is both producer and screenwriter. The series is one of the few French productions to be written using the writing room process commonly employed by American TV shows: the writers work in two groups to produce two storylines at a time and meet several days a week to work together. One of the writers is then designated to write the step outline, and another to write the dialogue. Each storyline thus passes through several hands before receiving the approval of the show runner for the shoot. The series is therefore in continuous production, with each episode being shot as soon as it is finalised, a style quite rare for French series which are more typically filmed in whole seasons. Each episode has a budget of €900,000, plus a €100,000 fee payable to the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image), making a total cost of one million euros per episode.

In 2013, following the seventh season, the production team decided to make a number of changes to the show, including moving the police unit from Bordeaux to Nice. Both technical and creative factors were cited as prompting the changes; the writers wanted to develop the serial format of the show, with an increasing focus on the characters' personal lives; and the at times inclement weather in the Gironde region had been creating difficulties in filming some of the show's many outdoor scenes. The milder climate and longer days in the Alpes-Maritimes made production schedules easier.

The show was commissioned by TF1 for a tenth series to be broadcast in 2016, but underwent a major upheaval when at the end of the ninth series producer Dominique Lancelot stepped down from her role as show runner and was replaced by Marie Guilmineau (The Shadow Men).


In 2008, Linda Hardy joined the cast of the third season as a Chief Warrant Officer Claire Linsky. She decides to leave at the end of next season series in 2010 to focus on his family.

In 2011, two new characters appeared in the fifth season: Warrant Officer Fanny Caradec played by Félicité Du Jeu and Officer Marc-Olivier Delcroix played by Vincent Primault.

The seventh season saw many casting changes. Félicité Du Jeu left the series because of her pregnancy, she puts her career on hold to give birth to a baby girl. Kamel Belghazi also left the series in mid-season. Manon Azem joined the show shortly after in the role of Warrant Officer Sarah Casanova.

In 2013, the relocation of the series from Bordeaux to Nice for the eighth season led to many changes in the cast: except for Xavier Deluc and Chrystelle Labaude and Manon Azem, all the other actors (Jean-Pascal Lacoste, Virginia Caliari and Olivia Lancelot) are written out. New joined as the new characters: Franck Sémonin in the role of Lieutenant Lucas Auriol and Julie Fournier in lieutenant Roxane Janin. Them joined also Stéphane Soo Mongo as Warrant Officer Alexandre Sainte-Rose and Félicité Chaton as Warrant Officer Victoire Cabral. Finally, Manon Azem returns to the cast in the eighth season to the fifth episode.


Martin BernierXavier DelucMajorMain
Matilde DelmasVirginia CaliariSergeantMain
Enzo GhemaraKamel BelghaziCaptain (Seasons 1–5)
Commander (Seasons 5–7)
Nadia AngeliChrystelle LabaudeCaptainMain
LéonJulien CourbeyMain
Claire LinskyLinda HardyChief SergeantMain
Luc IrrandonéaJean-Pascal LacosteOfficerRecurringMain
Fanny CaradecFélicité Du JeuSergeantMain
Alain BergerBernard MontielProsecutorMain
Nathalie CharlieuOlivia LancelotLieutenantRecurringMain
Marc-Olivier DelcroixVincent PrimaultOfficerRecurringMainGuest
Sara CasanovaManon AzemSergeantRecurringMainGuest
Roxane JaninJulie FournierLieutenantMain
Lucas AuriolFranck SémoninLieutenantMain
Alexandre Sainte-RoseStéphane Soo MongoSergeantMain
Victory CabralFelicite ChatonSergeantMain
Juliette DelageJulie BernardLieutenantMain
Camille ChatenetRaphaël BouchardLieutenantMain
Sophie WalleMarine SainsilySergeantMain
Ariel GrimaudÉlise TielrooyCaptainMain
Rose OrsiniHonorine MagnierSergeantMain


For the first seven seasons the set was in Bordeaux and from season 8 onward the set is in Nice.

SeriesEpisodesOriginally broadcast
Series premiereSeries finale
1411 May 200618 May 2006
286 September 200728 September 2007
31020 November 200829 January 2009
41410 September 200911 March 2010
51410 March 201128 April 2011
61026 April 201224 May 2012
71628 February 201318 April 2013
81227 February 20143 April 2014
9125 February 201519 March 2015
101328 January 201631 March 2016
11145 January 201713 April 2017
12141 March 201826 April 2018
13147 March 20192 May 2019


The filming of the first six seasons takes place in Bordeaux and in the Aquitaine region for outdoor scenes and in Paris for indoor scenes.

The filming of episodes 67 and 68: from April 3 to April 20 in Angoulême and around, episodes 69 and 70: from may 22 for 3 weeks in Angoulême and surroundings, episodes 71 and 72: from June 18 for 3 weeks in Angoulême and surroundings and episodes 73 and 74: from September 3 for 3 weeks in Angoulême and the surrounding area.

The filming of the final of the fifth season in La Réunion lasted 24 days.

The shooting of the sixth season begins at the end of February 2011 for an expected duration of nine months.

The shooting of the seventh season is from April to December 2012.

Since the eighth season and the relocation of the series to Nice, production has set up its studios in a former perfumery factory in the Grasse (Alpes-Maritimes) zone. The shooting of the eighth season begins in April 2013 in region.

The filming of the ninth season begins March 24, 2014.

The shooting of the tenth season is planned in two stages: a first part from the end of March 2015, and a second part from the summer until the end of December 2015.

The filming of the eleventh season began in March 2016.

The shooting of the twelfth season began on March 13, 2017.