Barry Foster as dutch detective Van Der Valk has become one of the most well remembered of all TV Tecs, a huge hit when it first appeared in the early seventies, especially with its super catchy theme tune, Eye Level, which became a top chart hit, VDV despite only running for five series across many years has stood the test of time.
Piet Van Der Valk is head of the CID in Amsterdam, where he is teamed with Inspector Johnny Kroon (played by Michael Latimer) and their cases include all the usual suspects of murders, blackmail, missing persons and other dodgy crimes that come their way.
Unlike most detective Van has a happy home life with his loving wife Arlette, the character was created by Nicholas Freeling with much input from the Dutch police although none of the stories for the series were adapted from Nicolas Freeling’s novel (of which there are ten).
The series initially ran from 1972-1973 with a traditional mix of video and film for interior/exterior shooting as was the norm in the early seventies before being revived in 1977 for an all shot of film series made by Thames-Euston. 1991 saw another revival – this time in the shape of seven feature length mysteries.
Besides Kroon and Arlette there were a few other regulars too including Hoofdcommissaris Samson (played by two different actors – firstly Martin Wyldeck and then Nigel Stock) and Hoofdcommissaris Halsbeck.
For the early 1990’s revival Van der Valk’s son Wim also played a major part in the dramas and the fabulous Ronald Hines took over as Samson.
Sadly Susan Travers had retired from acting not long after the second season of Van der Valk and her role was taken by Joanna Dunham in the 1977 series and by Meg Davies in the later revival.
Van Der Valk also made an appearance in the 1992 ITV Telethon drama The Four Oaks Mystery.
UK / Thames – Euston / 25×50 minute episodes 7×100 minute episodes / Broadcast 13 September 1972 – 10 October 1973 and 5 September – 21 November 1977 and 16 January 1991 – 19 February 1992
Creator: Nicholas Freeling / Theme Music: Eye Level by Jack Tromberg
BARRY FOSTER as Van Der Valk
SUSAN TRAVERS as Arlette Van Der Valk (1972-73)
JOANNA DUNHAM as Arlette (1977)
MEG DAVIES as Arlette (1991-1992)
MICHAEL LATIMER as Kroon (1972-1973)
NIGEL STOCK as Samson (1977)
SEASON ONE 13 September – 18 October 1972
1. ONE HERRING’S NOT ENOUGH (13 Sep 72)
2. DESTROYING ANGEL (20 Sep 72)
3. BLUE NOTES (27 Sep 72)
4. ELECTED SILENCE (4 Oct 72)
5. THICKER THAN WATER (11 Oct 72)
6. THE ADVENTURER (18 Oct 72)
SEASON TWO 29 August – 10 October 1973
1. A DEATH BY THE SEA (29 Aug 73)
2. A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (5 Sep 73)
3. A ROSE FROM MR. REINHART (12 Sep 73)
4. A DANGEROUS POINT OF VIEW (19 Sep 73)
5. SEASON FOR LOVE (26 Sep 73)
6. RICH MAN, POOR MAN (3 Oct 73)
7. THE RAINBOW ENDS HERE (10 Oct 73)
SEASON THREE 5 September – 21 November 1977
1. ENEMY (5 Sep 77)
2. ACCIDENTAL (12 Sep 77)
3. THE RUNT (19 Sep 77)
4. WOLF (26 Sep 77)
5. MAN OF IRON (3 Oct 77)
6. EVERYBODY DOES IT (10 Oct 77)
7. FACE VALUE (17 Oct 77)
8. DEAD ON ARRIVAL (24 Oct 77)
9. THE PROFESSOR (31 Oct 77)
10. IN HAZARD (7 Nov 77)
11. GOLD PLATED DELINQUENTS (14 Nov 77)
12. DIANE (21 Nov 77)
SEASON FOUR 16 January – 6 February 1991
1. DOCTOR HOFFMAN’S CHILDREN (16 Jan 91)
2. DANGEROUS GAMES (23 Jan 91)
3. A SUDDEN SILENCE (30 Jan 91)
4. THE LITTLE RASCALS (6 Feb 91)
SEASON FIVE 5 February – 19 February 1992
1. THE TIES THAT BIND (5 Feb 92)
2. PROOF OF LIFE (12 Feb 92)
3. STILL WATERS (19 Feb 92)
SPECIAL 18-19 July 1992
1. THE FOUR OAKS MYSTERY (18-19 Jul 92)
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