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Before he was Dumbledore #2, Michael Gambon was a pipe-smoking detective supreme....
Acorn Media / 645 Minutes / 1992-1993 / Unrated / Street Date: February 26, 2013
Jules Maigret is a casual detective, but that doesn’t mean actor Michael Gambon holds back in his performance of the guy. Unlike so many other small-screen crime solvers who seem almost obsessively compelled to get their man, Maigret is borderline flippant in his work ethic: he does what he’s paid for, of course, but there are other elements of his nature to be addressed.
This is where Gambon’s innate talents as a performer help buoy Maigret over many of its half-cooked story arcs. Author Georges Simenon’s novels have quite a following and reputation within the mystery crowd, but as these episodes unfold, there really doesn’t feel like there’s all that much to them. If it weren’t for Gambon’s irresistible take on the show’s main character, it’d be just another bland show.
But there’s a reason Harry Potter came a-callin’ to ol’ Mikey. Gambon is a singular talent, and his pre-Dumbledore presence in Maigret: The Complete Collection is a wonder to behold. Sure, the discs on this set don’t look and sound sensational and there isn’t much rewatchability at hand (this is a one-and-done set, to be sure), but for mystery lovers, there’s at least a little bit of worthy material here.