Home Television Drama Van Der Valk

Van Der Valk

1 9 7 2 – 1 9 9 1 (UK)
25 x 50 minute episodes

Barry Foster played the moody blonde Amsterdam CID detective in this Thames Television series based on the books by novelist Nicholas Freeling.


The first season began in 1972, just as Freeling killed off the hero in his novel A Long Silence. But Van Der Valk lived on in television in a show which was greeted as a worthy attempt to match the BBC’s success with Maigret.

The second series began in August and became a ratings winner. Curly-haired actor Barry Foster took to the role with relish, announcing that he was pleased not to be playing a British policeman:

“Who would want to be a Barlow? He’s just a mindless bully. Van Der Valk thinks“. Barlow might have replied that Van Der Valk wouldn’t have got into the police here. He’s far too short . . .

The series survived for four years and Foster resurrected the role again in 1991. The revival failed to engage viewers.

The theme tune (Eye Level) was an unlikely #1 UK hit for the Simon Park Orchestra in 1973.

Commisaris Piet Van Der Valk 
Barry Foster
Arlette Van Der Valk 

Susan Travers (1)
Joanna Dunham (2)
Hof-Commisaris Samson 

Martin Wyldeck (1)
Nigel Stock (2)
Inspector Johnny Kroon 

Michael Latimer
Brigadier Mertens 

Alan Haines
Brigadier Stribos 

Dave Carter