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.

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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

Audio