Van der Valk: Rich Man, Poor Man (ITV 3 Oct 1973, with Roy Boyd)

In Rich Man, Poor Man Van der Valk gets involved with a group of Yugoslavian immigrants who may be implicated in an explosion at a factory that reconditions farm machinery. One of the employees, Leo, is badly injured but refuses to implicate the two main suspects, brothers Anton and Peko Kovacic.

Then a barber in a poor area is found murdered. When Van der Valk and Kroon investigate they discover that the barber was living well beyond his mean. Further digging reveals that not only did the barber own the machinery plant he was also a loan shark. The Kovavcic’s had taken a loan to buy a tractor to send back to their parent’s farm but the tractor was a dud and the brothers wanted revenge. They insist that they had nothing to do with murder and there is a distinct lack of evidence…

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The outcome is not quite what you’d expect, interesting to see how the “aliens” are treated by the authorities too. The plot doesn’t quite stand up, quite why the murder victim would spend all his time working in a run down barbershop in the poor end of town when he making very large amounts of money from his other “business” interests doesn’t really add up. Some good guest appearances though from the likes of Roy Boyd, Christopher Benjamin and Jane Lapotaire.

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production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 3 October 1973 at 9.00pm

Writer: David Butler / Production Design: Mike Hall, Neville Green / Director: Douglas Camfield

Series: Van der Valk Season 2 Episode 6

Barry Foster as Van der Valk
Michael Latimer as Kroon
Susan Travers as Arlette
David Webb as Leo
Roy Boyd as Anton Kovacic
Keith Buckley as Peko Kovacic
Jane Lapotaire as Elly
Christopher Benjamin as Mulder
Rod Beacham as Technician
Kay Gallie as Nurse
Julian Somers as Dijker
Beth Harris as Miss Texel
Stegan Gryff as Havranek
Peter Weston as Policeman
Peter Vidovic as Waiter

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.