>> Maigret: The Complete Collection (2013)

Show: Maigret

Season/Volume: The Complete Collection

Genre: Drama

Starring: Michael Gambon

Studio: Acorn Media

Runtime: 645 minutes

Release Date: February 26, 2013

Format: DVD

Discs: 4

Rating: 4.00 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A

Official Site

Did You Know:

Inspector Jules Maigret has been played by several actors.

With so many men and women playing the part of detective in the U.K., and so well, it’s hard when it comes to taking on a new, or new to me, character that travels the crime world in order to uncover the culprits behind a murder or blackmail or other.

Is this character going to be well written? Is the actor or actress portraying said character good enough to make that character believable? Will we simply be mulling over the tried mysteries that have come before? There are so many thoughts that come to mind it’s relatively hard to cast them all aside and just sit down and enjoy what unfurls before you.

Fortunately in this case at hand, we find an actor whose future roles have solidified him as a welcomed guest into the fold. Sir Michael Gambon (Open Range, Harry Potter Franchise) plays Inspector Jules Maigret, the famous detective from the well received crime novels by Belgian author Georges Simenon.

Maigret is an approachable character in this, The Complete Collection, featuring seasons 1 & 2. In the first episode we find Maigret at odds with his long time rival Manuel Palmari (Trevor Peacock; The Vicar of Dibley), a thief who Maigret suspects is behind numerous high profile jewel thefts. Palmari is more then a suspect though, he’s an obsession, one that might haunt Maigret soon after he finds out that Palmari has been found dead. Unfortunately when it comes to criminals, especially high profile ones at the top of the ladder, everyone is suspect.

Gambon gives Maigret a sense of calm as he waits out the evidence, but also a quite storm behind the calm. You almost half expect Maigret to slam his hands down on the table of his superior when he suggests they’ve gone round about with Maigret’s notion about Palmari more then enough times. In these instances you can sense that Maigret is a character whose patience can, and may someday, unravel, but that the frustrations seem to work more towards motivating him to dig deeper, play smarter, even bend the edges of the law a fraction. He’s not a loose canon, but at the same time his intelligence is so vast and pliable it would be foolish to push him too far.

In the following episode we find a thief breaking into a stately home where he comes across a murdered woman. The thief’s wife, who shares some small history with Maigret, comes to Maigret for help. Her husband has fled in fear that he will be framed for the murder and refuses to come home until his name is cleared. After some small pleading Maigret is on the case. Unfortunately the residence of the burgled home is a protective mother and hermit like dentists who refuse to give a straight answer on any subject.

In this episode we find Maigret more sly. His means of operation seem to be in low gear as he waits out the evidence and pushes and prods very gently the mother and son duo while questioning those employed by them. This episode felt more like a bonding episode with the rest of Maigret’s squad. The young new guy, the old prankster veterans. The new guy wants to show he’s smart and capable while the old guys are seasoned and following an unwritten protocol that has derived from seeing this situation on more then one occasion.

Maigret and The Maid is another episode that highlights Maigret’s character. When a man dies and leaves his entire fortune to a young woman who could be a mistress, maid, or illegitimate child the family of the man start casting suspicions and it’s not long till someone turns to murder. Gambon is more comical in this role here. The young woman is flirty, conniving even, and Gambon as Maigret plays it like an old wise father playing along, collecting clues, sorting out the dangers.

I felt like every episode was excellently written and acted. Every character has their own personality creating a more vast universe for them to play in. The guest stars are familiar, most of them anyway, and Gambon simply turns in another fine performance.

You can buy these seasons separately but right now they are, individually, the same price as buying the complete set here (Amazon). Well worth the money if you enjoy a good mystery, British Detective Shows, or want to see Dumbledore trying to ride a bicycle (Funny stuff). All together an enjoyment.



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