After Rowan Atkinson's rather dreary and lacklustre take on Maigret on Easter Monday last week, it's good of ITV Encore to remind us of a much better portrayal of Simenon's great Parisian detective, Jules Maigret, thanks to its weekday afternoon repeats of the 1992-1993 Granada TV series starring Michael Gambon.
From illustrious executive producer Sally Head (who had already exec produced the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Prime Suspect and Medics for Granada and would go on to exec produce Cracker in '93) and boasting scripts from the likes of Alan Plater, Maigret was a classy affair totally in keeping with Simenon's original novels and twelve of the 75 novels were adapted during the show's tenure. Led by Gambon on fine form as the titular detective, the regulars included Geoffrey Hutchings, Jack Galloway, James Larkin and Barbara Flynn, whilst guests included Toyah Wilcox, Michael Sheen, Minnie Driver, Joanna David, Cheryl Campbell, Brenda Blethyn, Sorcha Cusack, Steven Mackintosh, Ron Cook, Jon Finch and Peter Barkworth. Like the recent Maigret adaptation, the series was filmed in Budapest, which stands in for 1950s Paris rather beautifully.
The theme music was by Nigel Hess and performed by the London Film Orchestra, featuring Olive Simpson. It's a suitably romantic Gallic affair
Catch Maigret on ITV Encore at 2:05 PM weekdays.