Sunday, 3 April 2016

Theme Time : Nigel Hess - Maigret

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.


  1. Glad I gave the new MAIGRET a miss - I just could not picture Mr Bean (whom I hated) in the role - it all seemed deadly dull too. Are comedians going all serious now - viz Hugh Laurie in THE NIGHT MANAGER ?

    1. As I said in my review, Atkinso couldn't hope to match Laurie's dramatic turn(s) but he was certainly better than David Walliams in the sreadful Partners in Crime. But he was certainly no Maigret; too thin, too reedy in physique and voice, too morose and 'haunted' in personality - in short the same template they give every detective in drama these days. Quite why they cast a comedian and then set about removing the lovely wry humour from Simenon's novels is beyond me. There's another film due later this year but, given the poor reviews, I doubt Atkinson will get to play the role for a third time