Van der Valk is a British television series that was produced by Thames Television for the ITV network. It starred Barry Foster in the title role as Dutch police detective Commissaris "Piet" (real name Simon) van der Valk. Based on the characters and atmosphere (but not the plots) of the novels of Nicolas Freeling, the first two series was shown in 1972 and 3. After a short hiatus production was taken over by Thames subsidiary Euston Films in 1977. Finally a fourth series appeared in 1992, in which Van der Valk's now-adult son was also an officer in the same force as his father.
The theme from the series was an unexpected chart hit.
This cop show has examples of these tropes:
- Break Away Pop Hit: The theme tune, "Eye Level", played by the Simon Park orchestra, became a smash hit in its own right.
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: Despite all his years in the force, Van der Valk never rises above the rank of Commissaris.
- Commissaris already is the highest possible rank for a Dutch police detective, only commandants get to be hoofdcommissaris.
- Video Inside, Film Outside: The first two series were shot in studios in England (on video) with location filming taking place in Amsterdam, shot on 16mm film. Averted in the third and fourth series which were made entirely on location on 16mm, mostly in the Netherlands although one third series episode took place in London.