There had never been a drama series on British television like "Maigret" before. The quiet, polite, untidy, infinitely observant inspector was played to perfection by Rupert Davies (although he lacked the moustache specified by Georges Simenon's novels). His casting was personally approved by Simenon, who later said that he was "perhaps the best Maigret of all" - no small claim when one considers that such great actors as Harry Baur, Jean Gabin, Michel Simon and Charles Laughton also played the part. The stories were, to a British audience at the dawn of the sixties, alarmingly frank, and free of any Anglo-Saxon puritanism - indeed, the calm, understanding attitude Maigret showed towards prostitutes was the chief reason, apparently why the show was never exported to the United States, where TV censors were shocked by its "permissiveness". How good would this show seem today? Do any episodes still exist, or did the BBC wipe them all?
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