Yes, Bruno Cremer IS Maigret. Reading these mystery stories many decades ago, I was struck by the fact that atmosphere was everything. No high speed car chases, no shootouts in the bedroom. Maigret interacts with myriad characters relying on his experience, empathy and intuition. Some relevant history is unearthed and the case is solved. Sometimes a person will end up in jail, sometimes not. Either way justice and the viewer's sense of appropriateness is served. These shows perfectly capture the stories, every character, even the most minor feels correct. One hopes all 4 series which I have seen on Region 2 DVD's are made available in the U.S.
Incidently, the Michael Gambon version is excellent too, but very different, far more English in its sensibility (Gambon takes the ministry stairs two at a time, Cremer seems to take them one half at a time. Cremer speaks on the phone to his wife in each episode but she almost never appears, with Gambon, the wife is often shown).
The only downside to these episodes is that, like Downton Abbey, they are very addictive.