Maigret: The Complete Series
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The 4 episodes of Rowan Atkinson's "Maigret" total almost 350 minutes, making each episode almost an hour and a half.
We started with the Rowan Atkinson version which is very good but this Micheal Gambon version is far more approachable and likeable. John Warnaby, for instance, ruins "Maigret on Home Ground" with his uncouth, unemotional performance of a highly complex character from the original novel. On assignment in the provinces, Maigret acts on a tip to find a distinguished judge dragging a corpse out of his house, presumably to dump in the sea. The relationship between actors who assume the roles of associate investigators, or victims, or witnesses, are convincing. The series was filmed in Budapest which makes a very good 1950's Paris (although Maigret worked from 1930 to 1972 in the novels, by which time he would have been about 88) and spares us establishing shots of the Eiffel Tower every two minutes.
Cremer's Maigret is taciturn and intense, preferring to wait silently while people reveal themselves, riding his men hard at times, especially the often incompetent officers he encounters outside of Paris; and his Paris (Prague) is always gray or pitch black, dark wet streets, his pipe glowing. Maigret stumbles upon a series of murders in Fontenay-le-Comte while visiting an old school friend in the Channel premiere of MAIGRET AFRAID (1996) starring Bruno Cremer on Tuesday at 9:05pm (31st October). The adapters do Simenon a great disservice by stripping his novels down to their bear essentials and turning them into straightforward detective stories robbing them of their unique, psychological complexity. I'm fond of them both, but the Cremer Maigret is one of my favorite television programs, with plenty to love, at over 75 hours.
It doesn't help that the guest cast is mainly comprised of B-list supporting players who presumably are cheap to hire and willing to fly out to Budapest for a week. My favorite ones are the ones set in Paris, they seem to have the scene set better than the ones where Maigret is assigned to the Flying Squad helping out in areas outside Paris, and a few where he is in the US or Holland.
This as much a review of a review, than the series, as I've just read the earlier reviews and must correct the outpouring of pretentious nonsense from 'mdjedovic'. a shot on the bike I forgot they put a bigger behind, and I stopped once behind my gate when an actor was cycling, he laughs but filmed from behind it is not seen. The other characters dance around him like complete imbeciles trying to trick him while he smokes his pipe and think that he isn't paying attention.