An absolute must for fans of Georges Simenon's beloved sleuth, Inspector Jules Maigret, the four-volume Maigret Collection
is the finest detective series from Britain's Granada Television since the late Jeremy Brett gave us his definitive portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the 1980s.
Included in this collection are the first 12 episodes from the series, originally broadcast in 1992 and starring the masterful British actor Michael Gambon (now Sir Michael Gambon) as Maigret of the Paris Surete. Among the programs is "Maigret and the Burglar's Wife," which does honor to Simenon's compassionate tale of a retiring thief whose accidental encounter with a corpse sets in motion one of Maigret's most intense psychological duels. The equally compelling "Maigret's Boyhood Friend" finds the detective on a case drawing suspicion to an old school chum, while "Maigret Sets a Trap" is a wonderful production of Simenon's puzzler about a serial killer whose patterns of motivation and action must be deciphered before he can be caught.
Gambon is the latest in a long tradition of familiar leading men (from Jean Gabin to Richard Harris) who have played Simenon's blunt but humane, occasionally whimsical, and magnificently insightful investigator. Yet Gambon is perhaps uniquely suited to the part: a popular star with none of the baggage of a brand-name icon or the self-effacing obligations of a character actor. He captures perfectly Maigret's measured but hardly inscrutable presence in the eruptive underworld of Paris crime. --Tom Keogh