Cordon-A Belgian Series. First Two episodes. Short notes and One-off Review of Episodes One and Two. In Flemish with English subtitles. Minor spoilers Only. BBC4 or channel number 107 on Virgin Media TV-Saturdays @ 9pm


TV Preview:
“When doctors at the Antwerp National Institute for Contagious Diseases discover an alarming viral disease on a patient, the authorities take no chances”.

Episode One.
Some short notes on first watching.
(first half of episode one)

Beautiful scenery with Antwerp’s port lit up at night.  As it says:
“Antwerp-container port”

Scenes of violence, some viewers might find upsetting.

South Antwerp.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases, much as I would love to go, doesn’t seem like the first choice for a school trip!

Doctor to the School-children:
This is a big parasite!”
The Doctor continues:
“All of these parasite you see here have come out of someone..”
“and some parasites are invisible, and inside you!”


Review of Episodes One and Two.

So I have seen the first two episodes now.  Cordon is looking good.  If lurid in parts.  The drama is holding no punches with its depiction of patient zero and the progression of the virus in him.  That’s for sure.

Patient zero being the first patient identified with a transmissible disease.  Most often after they die. Unfortunately.

I only know this already from watching an horrific documentary about this one guy. Who had flown in from somewhere (Hong Kong I think).  Changed planes in the airport and then took to his hotel bed.  The drama in that documentary was reconstructed.  But with an anatomical see through man. Fascinating.
But I digress.

(From) The beginning of Cordon and right up until the end of episode two and a certain occurrence: Cordon is deceptively ordinary in appearance.   With its day to day scenes: the teacher and her class on their school trip, the Police Commissioner and his girlfriend (Maja?) a pregnant girl and her parents.

Then there is a red haired boy being bullied by older kids, who gets put on detention in the library. The young ginger haired boy has to work in the school library.  Everybody else in school has gone home.

So we have all of these people described above along with some secondary characters such as Maja’s work colleagues in her mysterious secret and extremely Hi-Tech company office.

Then there is the Policeman sent to the National Institute for contagious Diseases.  On what he believes is a simple errand. From which place, the Institute-he will soon return to the Police Station.

Yes, all of these people are now within the cordon.   And it isn’t looking like the much swearing Policeman will be getting back to the Police Station any time soon.

Cordon is deceptively humdrum in the beginning.  Oh yes. There is also the sweetly adoring of each other-elderly couple.  The spry and intelligent old man provides rats for the Institute’s laboratory.  His wife is in a wheelchair.

In spite of its dreamy dawning day of the first episode: Cordon is already minorly horror tinged somehow.  The teacher’s face is so very pale already.  The white daylight is grainily lit.

The beautiful old buildings of the Institute and the library are monolithic from the outside and full of blocks of darkness and shadow inside.

All of the buildings’ occupants are blissfully unaware at first of the horrors, microscopic and contagious in nature that are about to unfold.  The people are all trusting and complicit as you would be.  Safe in the knowledge that this is a public health procedure.

All will be well. In a while.

The thing is that I would normally be into a series such as Cordon.  However right now the series is just one too many dystopian dramas for me.

Yes Cordon is possibly unfairly losing out in the company of Between, Humans and Wayward Pines.  The series is just one too many metaphorical measuring weights on my scales of horror watching.

My viewing is too horror filled at the moment to encompass any more.

I feel like Cordon would get my full and undivided attention better with more distance from those other shows.  That’s if I ever return at all.

Since to misquote an old Advertisement/ Ad: The future in the Cordon ain’t looking bright.  And the future ain’t looking orange.



Definition of a “Cordon Sanitaire”: (Google-sourced 10th July 2015)

  1. a guarded line preventing anyone from leaving an area infected by a disease and thus spreading it.
    “inoculations replaced cordons sanitaires as a major medical intervention”


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