“Mr Bean” (Rowan Atkinson) plays Maigret! Somehow, I would never have connected Mr Bean with Maigret, so this aspect felt a little odd, but I got used to it. Nor would I have picked the location where the program was made as being Budapest (and Szentendrea, just out of Budapest), but it did seem to achieve the desired effect of giving the feel of Paris in the early 1950s. I also had misgivings about the up-market English accents, but someone told me that, in French, the Parisian accent is rather “proper”, so in a way the use of an equivalent English accent wasn’t out of place.
As said above, I really like Simenon’s writing, especially the “mental” aspects of his stories, and although TV adaptions often don’t reflect the essence of the written works, I felt that this wasn’t an issue here and in fact this show captured Simenon’s writing very well. The fact that the show lasted 90 minutes allowed adequate time for this to occur.
Unfortunately, from what I can see in the Wikipedia entry, there are only four episodes in the series. I’ll be looking out for the remaining episodes.