German company Pidax have announced they will be releasing Kommissar Maigret – Vol. 1 which contains nine of the first ten episodes from series one (originally broadcast in 1960/1961). Thirty-six episodes have been cleared via FSK (the German equivalent of the BBFC).
This would suggest that Pidax plan to release four volumes, each containing nine episodes. Since all fifty-two episodes starring Rupert Davies exist, this would leave sixteen episodes unreleased. As per one of the comments below, this may be because the episodes are being sourced from the available material contained within the German archives rather than new masters being obtained from the BBC (who hold a complete run).
Initial reports indicated the DVD would have both English and German language tracks, but now it seems that they may have German only. So for now, it’s probably best to wait unril the DVD is in circulation before buying.
EDIT – Sadly it’s now confirmed that this DVD only has a German language track. That’s disappointing, but maybe a UK company (Simply or Acorn maybe?) might consider an English language release sometime in the future.
EDIT 8/9/15 – Volume two has been announced. Like volume one it only has a German language track – the included episodes are listed below.
1. Maigret und die Gangster (The Experts)
2. Maigret als möblierter Herr (The Cactus)
3. Maigret unter den Anarchisten (The Children’s Party)
4. Maigret und der Schatten am Fenster (Shadow Play)
5. Maigret und der Kopflose (The Simple Case)
6. Maigret trifft einen Schulfreund (Death of a Butcher)
7. Maigret und sein Toter (The Winning Ticket)
8. Maigret und Inspektor Lognons Trumph (Inspector Lognon’s Triumph)
9. Maigret und der geheimnisvolle Kapitän (The Lost Sailor)
21 thoughts on “Selected episodes from series one of Maigret (Rupert Davies) to be released in Germany in July 2015”
All 52 episodes of the BBC series “Maigret” with Rupert Davies were also presented in Germany in the sixties (synchronised, even Ron Grainer’s music was substituted for music by Ernst August Quelle, although very well done). The German broadcast station was the ZDF in Mainz. Not all episodes have overcome the last 50 years well preserved in the archives of the ZDF, only 45 survived, 7 are lost or in bad condition. Most of the 45 well preserved episodes also would need intensive digital restauration work for the sake of being published on DVDs.
I suppose, the German company Pidax has the intention of publishing 5 cases of Maigret DVDs with 9 well preserved episodes each case. “The old Lady” unfortunately belongs to the German copies of bad condition. But there is hope: As far as I know, the BBC has got ALL episodes as originals on celluloid, most likely in a good condition!
Thanks for the information. I have heard, via various message boards, that it’s possible that “The Old Lady” will be included on this first DVD – as an extra – since Pidax only have access to a fairly poor-quality time-coded recording.
It also seems to be that Pidax will be sourcing all of the episodes from German sources, presumably those held by ZDF. If that’s the case, then it may be that, as you say, they won’t be able to release all the episodes (even though the BBC do retain them all).
As to the accuracy of this, I can’t say – but hopefully more concrete information will emerge. It would be a pity if Pidax’s release was simply a direct transfer of these fifty year old prints – it would be far better if new masters could be struck from the BBC’s holdings (but the potential cost is presumably a major factor in this)
As a matter of fact Volume 1 of the BBC Maigret series starring Rupert Davies was released in Germany on 17th of July, 2015. Now I can confirm the accuracy of my supposition that the work of Pidax was based on the German ZDF copies, not on the original BBC celluloids.
This means a bit of lack in the quality of the picture and, furthermore, there is only the soundtrack of the German synchronisation. The original English soundtrack unfortunately is not co-resident. This is because of legal matters, I suppose, certainly not made in bad faith. Even numerous Germans really would have preferred to get to enjoy the films in the original English version, too.
However, if anybody wants to order this case of DVDs, it’s obtainable, for example, at Ebay and, directly, at Pidax.
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Sadly, my suspicion is that the BBC wiped the original tapes and simply won’t admit it, If that is the case, then perhaps a global appeal for the return of archived episodes would be in order. Such an appeal resulted in the recovery of many early Doctor Who episodes.
Today, 22nd of July, 2016, the last “Kommissar Maigret” Volume is being released, Vol. 5. Thus, almost the complete series is now available, only 6 out of 52 episodes from the ZDF archives are not presentable anymore. The rest, 46 films, are now within our reach, as a German dubbed version.
High time for the BBC to publish the original English version, before it’s too late and the valuable material will definately become dust. According to Maigret author Georges Simenon – and for countless television viewers all over the world – Rupert Davies simply was “the perfect Maigret”!
Yes, a UK DVD release is long overdue. There does seem to be (unspecified) rights issues though, as at least one company has attempted to licence the series but found it was impossible to proceed.
But hopefully these issues can be overcome as it’s such a pity that Davies’ Maigret remains stuck in the archives.
Anyway, for future possibilities they should digitise the material in time, by now, if this not already had happened. Meant only as a friendly advise.
Release of all Rupert Davies/Maigret episodes in their original (English) form is hugely overdue and would surely be a big money-spinner for the BBC?
where is Rupert davies dvds come on bbc. shame on you.
I watched the Maigret episodes during the early 1960’s at Cambridge with many of my colleagues and we thoroughly enjoyed them, so real, magical and lively with pensive Maigret (superb acting by Rupert Davies) and Lucas (acted by lively. Soloman). I still remember them even after 56 years. I have been waiting for them to appear once again in dvd or shown on BBC. After that wonderful period, any Maigret film cannot be compared to Rupert Davies’ Maigret.(indeed the best episodes I have ever seen revealing the Parisian way of life in those days). I have read every Maigret book by Simoneon and know exactly how I would have acted if I were Maigret.
Please please will BBC re-produce these episodes on their channel or in dvd and in English sub-titles? Thanks. Tony Boyce
One of my favorite series by the BBC in the 60s was Rupert Davies in Maigret. I have just been pleasantly surprised by the new series starring Rowan atkinson,His “Maigret” was every bit as good as Rupert Davies and although not so portley as Davies, carries it off well in the “Foyle” tradition with a real touch of class as always from the BBC with pedantic accuracy with the right cars in the right places,in fact a Foyle blend stamped all over it. Well done and keep it up.
both foyle and 2016 maigret by itv
I agree totally with all the above comments .If talking pictures can release old TV series why can’t the BBC?
said corporation is a racket
cool gravatar you’ve got there. mine only have rotational symmetry
I’m 77 next month and have been waiting patiently for the Rupert Davies’ Maigret series to be released on dvd. Is there any hope I’ll see them before it is too late? Come on BBC get a move on.
There are two interesting web pages concerning the Rupert Davies Maigret, an old one, from 2005, in which “andrew martin” seems to have had a closer look at the BBC archives:
and a rather new one (2018), in which the author even presents some coloured original b&w photos and screenshots:
I really would like to watch the whole original series like that: colourised! But that’s a very special desire, I believe. So I would be very happy with the original b&w series, too, of course.
When I enquired with the BBC about the possibility of releasing the Rupert Davies series on DVD, they replied that all underlying rights have reverted back to George Simenon’s estate.
It also seems in 2013 that 90% of the George Simenon estate was bought by a British creative agency called the Rights House, the literary arm of which (Peters Fraser and Dunlop) is behind the current tv series and retranslations into English:
So, if anyone’s in a position to release the Rupert Davies series, it looks like Peters Fraser and Dunlop!
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Another interesting link, perhaps, quite new, from June 2019. In 1959 it was Maigret author Georges Simenon calling out “That’s Maigret!”, when he saw Rupert Davies for the first time. Now, 60 years later, the same reaction by someone who accidentally discovered Davies’ grave.
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Here I found another report that suits the last one well:
These Australian magazine articles from 1963/64, when the Maigret series was on TV there, could be interesting and informative:
What a relief! It’s a near-miracle! The original Rupert Davies Maigret released from chains, emerging from the dungeon!
Maybe he will live on in the best of health, after all. But lots of his fans felt like being tortured during his undeserved imprisonment, that went on for ages. The survivers can draw a deep breath now.