Postbus X (1989–1994)

TV Series   |    |  Adventure, Comedy, Crime

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12 November 2005 | Chip_douglas
More difficult to get into than 'Merlina'
This series was the follow up to Merlina, with only Pol Ricour as Pol Tack and (to a lesser extend) supporting character Police Chief Stapel returning. Pol Ricour is like the Belgian Tony Danza: he goes by his own name and plays basically the same character in each subsequent series. This time around he gets a job as a reporter for the local newspaper in the fictional town of Ravensburg (where Merlina also took place). He soon finds out that some of his co-workers are secret good-doers working under the name Postbus X, like modern day Zorro's. Newspaper owner Jonathan Hiks is the brains, but after his mysterious disappearance early in the series his daughter Ilse takes over. Pol and female photographer Jessi do all the hard work (Jessi being another version of the An character from Merlina) and instead of an old inventor, they have a burly Bartender called Waldo (replacing his brother Bobo) as the muscles from Ravenburg. Anyone seeking the help of Postbus X need only leave a message in their special postbox (explaining the title).

At the newspaper there were three other characters who remained unaware of the secret organization under their noses: Chief Editor Juffrouw Pluym, irritating comic relief Felix Haantes and old pro Willem de Prachter. The last one rarely got to do any more than just sit there pretending to be busy, but Felix Haantjes had a subplot devoted to him in nearly every episode. Not least of these were his ongoing infatuation with the rather frigid Miss Pluym. If you did not know better you might think the series was all about him. Haantjes took Pol's place as the biggest moron in town, meaning Pol hardly ever got to use his stupid catchphrase "Akerdjie" anymore. Instead he started wearing really awful looking sweaters.

With most episodes revolving around Pol and Jessi trying to solve a mystery and Felix getting in their way or having his own trouble with Pluym, there was little time left for the other two members of Postbus X (see paragraph 1). Yet is was they who were prominently featured in the opening credits, not the minor comedic characters. And since, unlike Merlina, there was no narration explaining everyone's place in the grand scheme of things, it could be quite a while for a casual viewer to figure out how and why everybody was relating to each other. The series was still a big hit with the generation of children who had been too young to follow Merlina and eventually led into yet another spin off starring Pol and (gasp) Felix.

6 out of 10

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Adventure | Comedy | Crime | Family

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