Van der Valk: A Death by the Sea (ITV 29 Aug 1973, with Patrick Allen)

In A Death by the Sea prominent businessman Van Teeseling goes for a moonlight skinny dip in the ocean with his wife but only he returns. Several days later the dead body of his wife washes ashore. Van der Valk is convinced that Van Teeseling has deliberately killed his wife. Piet believes that Van Teeseling has another woman hidden away somewhere but after weeks of close surveillance he has nothing on him. His boss Halsbeek (who is newly returned to Amsterdam but knows Van der Valk of old and has an antagonistic relationship with him) tells him to back off, instead Van der Valk arranges for Stribos to go off-duty and keep Van Teeseling still under watch. Even though Van der Valk discovers Van Teeseling has a lover he is unable to dig up any proof of murder.

Joanna Dunham, who plays Lucienne in this episode, would return to the series for it’s third season in 1977 as Arlette, taking over from Susan Travers who had given up acting.

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Sydney Tafler plays Van der Valk’s superior Halsbeek.

As season two opens we get the same fabulous theme tune but get a new title sequence featuring Van der Valk driving around the city, showing off some of it’s famous canals and making plain the fact that this series does not take place in Britain.

The show was also given the accolade of a TV Times cover (25 Aug 1973 issue) to herald it’s return. There was a two page article inside that focused on novelist Nicolas Freeling, who created the character, and why he recently killed the Dutch detective off.

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In this episode Joanna Dunham plays Lucienne, the girlfriend of Van Teeseling. When the third season started she took on the role of Arlette in place of Susan Travers.

classic quote
Van Tesseling: “Haven’t you ever gone for a nude swim with your wife.”
Van der Valk: “We bath together occasionally.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 29 August 1973 at 9.00pm

Writer: Philip Broadley / Production Design: Neville Green, Mike Hall / Director: Don Leaver

Series: Van der Valk Season 2 Episode 1

Barry Foster as Van der Valk
Michael Latimer as Kroon
Susan Travers as Arlette
Dave Carter as Stribos
Sydney Tafler as Halsbeek
Patrick Allen as Van Teeseling
Mark Jones as Martin
Karin MacCarthy as Doctor
Jack May as Minister
Joanna Dunham as Lucienne
Richard Simpson as Jeweller
Harold Reese as Caretaker

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.