Long-awaited and unseen anywhere for decades, Georges Simenon’s Maigret (1960-1963) is the definitive adaptation of Georges Simenon’s world famous novels. This BBC television production stars Rupert Davies as Commissaire Jules Maigret, the dogged French detective. Though Simenon’s books have been adapted many times, Davies’s celebrated, BAFTA-winning portrayal won the approval of Simenon himself, who stated: “At last, I have found the perfect Maigret!” This three disc-set includes all 13 episodes of Season 3, in which Maigret reckons with “The Madman of Vervac”, “The Crooked Castle”, and various other vexing cases that only the moody Maigret can solve. Georges Simenon’s Maigret has been remastered in High Definition from original film elements and is featured here in its original fullscreen TV format.
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Maigret: Season 3 is presented on Blu-Ray courtesy of Kino Classics with its original fullscreen presentation which maintains the same level of quality as the first two seasons. If you have read previous overviews, you will be aware that this series has some limitations in place to how good it can look aesthetically. This transfer has been derived from existing high definition transfers of the 35mm telerecordings. The original 405-line recording had severe combing which has been digitally filtered to look as pleasing as possible. Even with the limitations from the conversion, this release offers a big benefit to the series as a whole.
There are certain expectations for how a series should look in HD, but having this one rescued from obscurity and allowed to exist in its most satisfying state is a win for physical media. This is a very nice looking transfer that eliminates numerous unintended deficits. The track does show off some faint detail in the clothing of the subjects and in the production design, but the nature of the elements leaves the picture looking very soft. There does not appear to be any issues with compression artifacts, but some of the darker segments reveal the slightest amount of crush. This material is incapable of looking super crisp and pristine, but the upgrade is welcome nonetheless.
The Blu-Ray comes with a fine DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track that represents the series quite well over the course of the season. Audiences will notice the vibrancy and clarity of the score when certain scenes are supported with music. Despite the strength of this score, nothing ever overpowers the dialogue or other pertinent information. Dialogue and background noises hold up with fine fidelity. The sound effects and score appears to be faithful to the original intention for the sound. This disc maintains its integrity during all key moments. This track shows no overwhelming instances of age related wear and tear such as hissing or popping. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles included for the feature film.
- The State of Maigret – Restoration Notes: A two-and-a-half minute piece which relays some of the information included in the booklet about the restoration process, only with the added benefit of getting to see some before-and-after examples of the efforts put into this restoration. While not perfect, it is a drastic improvement from what the source looked like originally.
- Simenon on Simenon – 2021 Interview with Georges’s Son John Simenon: A 33-minute virtual interview in which John Simenon discusses the circumstances that led to his father creating the titular character, how the character evolved over the years, his father’s “philosophy of mankind,” literary influences and much more that makes for a rewarding listen.
- Trailer: The minute-long trailer is provided.
The third season of Maigret continues to offer an engaging array of interesting cases that do provide some genuine intrigue. Star Rupert Davies proves himself to be the ultimate inhabitant of the Maigret moniker, as he always brings something special to each episode. Even when you figure out the episode before the big reveal, the journey proves to be a good time all on its own. Kino Classics has provided a new Blu-Ray featuring an A/V presentation that is as good as the source will allow. This season does add a substantial supplemental feature which enhances this release even more than usual. Fans should be pleased if they pick this one up. Recommended
Maigret: Season 3 is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Kino Classics has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.