Several Season 3 Remington Steele episodes break away from California to take Steele to Europe, home of his murky criminal past; apparently the 1984 Summer Olympics drove a lot of producers out of cheap and handy LA for a bit.
Two episodes, 'Maltese Steele' and 'Puzzled Steele', are set on Malta, and you bet I was going to track down some of the locations. Some of these I looked up on Google Maps before the trip, some were guesses and some were pure luck.
In ‘Maltese Steele’, part of a Maltese cross, the key to long-lost treasure, is stolen from the Historical Society. The armoury and courtyard of the Grandmasters Palace in Valletta stand in, but they were being refurbished so this is all you get.
The Phoenicia Hotel was open, though. I had a gin & tonic and a slice of really good chocolate cake.
Later, our heroes steal a scooter in pursuit of a Maltese falcon. They ride down one of the island’s typical stepped streets (this is off Melita Street in Valletta, next to the British Legion)...
...and through this tunnel by the Customs House.
They hop on jetskis and end up at Fort St Elmo for the final showdown. 1978's Midnight Express was also filmed here, which I’m sure Remington would have pointed out if he’d had time.
Establishing shot is of Fort St Angelo though.
The second Malta-set episode, ‘Puzzled Steele’, sees Steele and Laura pursuing a suspect through this tunnel, which I found by accident outside the walled city of Mdina and insisted we drive through.
They catch up with their man at the Popeye village and quickly discover it’s all a fake set up for their benefit (you can just see a sign reading Sweethaven, the town’s name in the film, behind the TOWN GARAGE façade).
I guess the director thought this, near the village, was a cool rock. Well, it is.
Steele has to infiltrate the bad guy’s stronghold, actually Verdala Palace. This is the summer residence of the President of Malta, and when we parked outside it a soldier asked us very nicely to go away again.
That's all I found, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Finally and incidentally, there is a LOT of Pierce chest going on in these two episodes. Put it away, lad.