Agatha Christie’s Poirot S03E09 The Plymouth Express (1991) – 7/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Rod Beacham
Script Consultant: Clive Exton
John Stone: Halliday
Kenneth Haigh: McKenzie
Julian Wadham: Rupert Carrington
Alfredo Michelson: Comte de la Rochefour
Marion Bailey: Jane Mason
Shelagh McLeod: Florence Carrington
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Andrew Piddington
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S03E09 Plymouth Express, The (1991)

When Florence Carrington, the daughter of a self-made millionaire, is murdered on the London to Plymouth Express and her extensive and valuable jewelry collection taken, Poirot becomes involved as he had been previously asked to cast an eye over her latest suitor. However, the two obvious suspects in her death, the latest suitor and her broke soon-to-be ex-husband, simply do not work for Poirot. The critical clue is clearly an insistent attempt to buy a late edition daily newspaper (as opposed to an early edition) by Florence shortly before her death but what can it mean?

7/10

There are less little pieces of character business in this episode (though I did enjoy Hastings almost calling a Frenchman a “frog” in front of Poirot) but the director paces the thing so beautifully that when Poirot starts preparing for the finalé you are sure you should still have a good twenty minutes of sleuthing to go. That’s the beauty of the one hour format, the episode are consistently crisp and fast-moving. When the series moved to the two-hour format, it lost much more than (the extra hour) it gained.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains unpleasant description of death by knife and violent and unpleasant scene.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

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One thought on “Agatha Christie’s Poirot S03E09 The Plymouth Express (1991) – 7/10 period murder mystery TV review

  1. [” That’s the beauty of the one hour format, the episode are consistently crisp and fast-moving. When the series moved to the two-hour format, it lost much more than (the extra hour) it gained.”]

    I disagree. The one-hour format was fine for Christie’s short stories like “The Plymouth Express”. But the idea of adapting a novel like “The A.B.C. Murders” or “Five Little Pigs” into a one-hour episode does not appeal to me. And I doubt that such a format would have done these novel any real justice.

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