This very satisfying adaptation of the Maigret Simenon crime novels stars film and TV actor Michael Gambon in the title role. He plays the detective from the Paris Surete as a solid, dependable plodder who studies people far more than shreds of evidence. He’s more at home in cafes than his office and can always depend on Madame Maigret to provide a hearty meal at night.
A young Minnie Driver guest stars in the second series as the ill-fated stripper Arlette, who has links with one of Maigret’s own detectives.
The series was filmed in Hungary because it was cheaper and looked more like old France and Paris than the real thing. Gambon was initially lined up as George Lazenby’s successor as James Bond. He was invited to audition for the role of 007 by the franchise’s legendary producer Cubby Broccoli. But the films’ makers decided they didn’t want to take another risk with a relatively unknown actor, and so instead cast Roger Moore.
Maigret has long remained a popular TV proposition, from Rupert Davie’s long running BBC version of the late fifties, through to a 1988 TV movie with Richard Harris and most recently Rowan Atkinson in lush period adaptations for ITV.
UK / ITV – Granada / 12×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 February 1992 – 18 April 1993
Novels: Georges Simenon / Script Editor: Craig Dickson / Theme Music: Nigel Hess / Executive Producers: Sally Head, Arthur Weingarten
Michael Gambon as Chief Inspector Maigret
Geoffrey Hutchings as Sergeant Lucas
Jack Galloway as Inspector Janvier
James Larkin as Inspector Lapointe
Ciaran Madden as Madame Maigret (season 1)
Barbara Flynn as Madame Maigrat (season 2)