In Dead on Arrival the Van der Valk’s weekend away in London doesn’t get off to the best of beginnings when a man on the plane has some kind of bizarre attack claiming he has seen a premonition in which two people will die and then promptly drops dead himself.
It turns out that the man is well known Dutch clairvoyant Sartorius who was travelling to the UK to meet Johnny Palmer and journalist Millie Sanger. Johnny has recently been released from prison for a murder he is adamant he didn’t commit. Sanger and a former cop, FInch, are convinced that Sartoriius had the means to clear Palmer’s name.
Of course Arlette is none too pleased when the British police, led by Inspector James, ask Piet to help on the case.
The cast is first rate in this episode too with the lead role going to the brilliant Bob Hoskins, there are also key roles for Pamela Salem, Richard Davies (as the police segeant assigned to help Van der Valk) and Michael Culver.
Dead on Arrival of course offered the team the chance to make an episode of the series without having to go location shooting in Amersterdam.
“Which is quicker ferry boat or taxi.”
“Oh darling, they don’t have ferry boats here.”
“Really? How stupid of them.”
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 24 October 1977 at 9.00pm
Writer: Patrick O’Brien / Director: Ted Childs
Series: Van der Valk Season 3 Episode 8
Barry Foster as Van der Valk
Joanna Dunham as Arlette
Bob Hoskins as Johnny Palmer
Pamela Salem as Millie Sanger
Michael Culver as James
Richard Davies as Lloyd
Brian Poyser as Finch
Bill Hootkins as Frank Garvin
Roger Kemp as Wainwright
Arnold Diamond as Dr Pritchett
Peter Cartwright as KLM Captain
Michael O’Hagan as Special Branch man
Valerie Holliman as Samantha
Hazel McBride as Stewardess
Jeremy Young as Eddie Palmer
Robert Gary as First Detective
Robert Swales as Second Detective
Ken Parry as Sartorius
Anthony Collin as Clerk
Suzanne Fleuret as Nun