Marc Warren is better known for playing shady characters like Danny Blue in crime caper Hustle. But for 2020, he’s swapping sides and working for the good guys in reboot cop show Van Der Valk from Wednesday, 24 June on BBC First (DStv 119) at 20:00. He’s playing Amsterdam-based detective Piet van der Valk who, despite his British accent, is as Dutch as they come.

There are only three episodes but they’re being split in half as six 45-minute instalments, which will see Piet and his team turn the city upside-down investigating high-profile cases. Art, politics, addiction, mysticism and the fashion industry – you name it and Piet will find a connection to his murder victims, all while running around the streets of Amsterdam.

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Reboot writer Chris Murray says, "We wanted a show that felt modern, contemporary and at ease with itself. It’s a procedural without being stuck on procedure. The Dutch setting helps with this. After all, no one’s expecting Amsterdam to do everything by the book! Van der Valk reflects ‘his’ city: he has seen it all, done it all, lived a life and mirrors the energies of Amsterdam: its multicultural, multiracial mixture of tolerance and liberalism."

Dream team

There’s no such thing as a one-man army when it comes to detective work, so Piet has a team of lawmen and women who will get to the bottom of their cases and make sure Amsterdam’s streets are crime-free. "Van der Valk is surrounded by a great team, really characterful, very likeable and watchable so they do a lot of work for him really. All he does is use his instinct and intuition to put the pieces together and join the dots to figure it all out," says Marc. 

Piet van der Valk

Dutch police commissaris Piet is an easy-going boss who’s respected by his team. Piet is comfy in his own skin, uses street smarts to investigate crime, and he makes no excuses for his methods, which can sometimes be a little “irregular”.

Lucienne Hassell (Maime McCoy)

Piet’s right-hand inspector is cool, calm and collected when she’s investigating with her boss. She’s by the books and follows protocol. Off the books she’s gay, and she gives Van der Valk a shoulder to cry on.

Brad de Vries (Luke Allen-Gale)

This sergeant in Amsterdam’s police force is your average bloke. Average good looks, average detective skills, average interest in work. Throw a pretty woman into the crime and he’s suddenly all ears.

Job Cloovers (Elliot Barnes-Worrell)

This rising star lieutenant follows Piet and Lucienne like a bloodhound, eager to learn and eager to climb the ranks. He may just be the protégé Piet has been yearning for.

Hendrik Davie (Darrell D’Silva)

Piet’s potty-mouth pathologist lives a life of extremes, but technically as a forensic analyst he is brilliant.

Julia Dahlman (Emma Fielding)

Van der Valk’s boss has had to take a desk job because of injuries sustained out in the field. She uses her political clout and her iron nature to make sure the team get what they want to solve crime.


Dutch holiday

While the entire show has been filmed in and around the actual city of Amsterdam (just like the original was), episode 2 is the most picturesque. It features sights like the market at Hershal Het Veem, the apartment blocks in the canalled suburb of Laagte Kadijk, the “most beautiful street in Amsterdam” Plantage Parklaan, the hotel suburb of Scharrebiersluis featuring iconic Dutch sluice gates in the canal, the cosmopolitan loft apartments at Nieuwe Teertuinen and more.

The location and settings have turned series lead Marc into a tourist when he’s not on set working (like during the COVID-19 lockdown, which has delayed the filming of S2). “Before, I had only done the touristy parts. But living here (while working), I walked everywhere and got to know the city a bit more. I think it is a very cool city. It is very beautiful, and such an interesting place. But the reality is I was mostly working so only scratched the surface really,“ he says. "The one I really remember was filming at the Rijksmuseum because I was stood right next to these masterpieces, Vermeer paintings and of course Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. There is a scene where I enter and it is right behind me. That was extraordinary. The whole place was closed and we were just there after hours,” adds the actor.

Watch Van Der Valk S1 Wednesdays on BBC First (DStv 119) at 20:00

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