Van der Valk: Enemy (ITV 5 Sep 1977, with Jim Norton)

In Enemy Van der Valk accidentally kills a villain (who just happens to be female) whilst pursuing a trio of bank robbers in a high speed car chase. It soon becomes obvious that someone is then keen to get their revenge on both Van der Valk and his wife Arlette. First Arlette has one of the tires on her car slashed, then Van der Valk gets a crank message to say Arlette has been run over. Next their house is broken into and all their plants destroyed with acid. Worse still someone takes pot shots at Van der Valk whilst he is out walking. Van der Valk is convinced it is the dead girl’s brother.

After a gap of four years Van der Valk returns with a whole new look. Now made by Thames-Euston and shot on film ala The Sweeney. Same fab theme tune but a whole new title sequence with scenes of Van der Valk driving around Amsterdam. Van der Valk also has a new wife, well same wife but played by a different actress. Susan Travers, the previous Arlette, had retired from acting and her role was taken by Joanna Dunham who had previously appeared in season two episode A Death by the Sea. Van der Valk is also now working solo, Kroon having disappeared, although Piet does have a boss, Samson, to answer to.

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Joanna Dunham as the new Arlette.

An excellent opening episode, it does open like an episode of The Sweeney before entering proper thriller territory.

Jim Norton, who is one of the main guest players here, actually appeared in the final episode of season two The Rainbow Ends Here – playing a different character of course.

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Jim Norton played different characters in consecutive episodes of the series. It just so happened they were four years apart!

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 5 September 1977 at 9.00pm

Writer: Paul Wheeler / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Van der Valk Season 3 Episode 1

Barry Foster as Van der Valk
Joanna Dunham as Arlette
Nigel Stock as Samson
Jim Norton as Hanson
Donal Gee as Tahlen
Brian Gwaspari as Marken
Marilyn Finlay as Receptionist
Kathleen Moffatt as Nurse

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.