**** Maigret (French TV 1991/1992)
Sporting his pipe that seems a nod to Sherlock Holmes, the pragmatic, reserved and refined Maigret investigates murders in his singular unhurried manner and inevitably discovers the truth. To crack his cases he peels back the veneer of seemingly idyllic villages and neighborhoods, exposing the criminals who lurk in all levels of society. Against a backdrop of 1950s Paris and the surrounding French countryside, these original feature-length films pay homage to one of the most brilliant detective minds of the twentieth century. Maigret is played by a marvelous Bruno Cremer and this first (hopefully) set includes 6 episodes from the 1st and 2nd seasons. The series remained in production until 2005 and they made 54 episodes in total. Bruno Cremer passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.
Le Commissaire Jules Maigret comes from a series of 75 novels written between 1929 and 1975 by the French author Georges Simenon and there have been countless adaptations done for both cinema and television over the years. I was never a huge fan of the ITV series from the ’90s starring Michael Gambon and find Cremer’s Maigret much more in keeping with the original novels. My favourite Maigret adaptations remain the three French films done in the late ’50s with Jean Gabin in the lead, but they are difficult to find with subtitles.