Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e08 Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993) – 7/10 period crime detective mystery drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer (Original Short Story): Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon: Pauline Moran
Writer (Dramatisation): Anthony Horowitz
Karl Johnson: Saunders
Elizabeth Rider: Grace
Simon Shepherd: Andrew Hall
Hermione Norris: Celestine
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Ken Grieve

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e08 Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)

Poirot is sent to the coast for a holiday after the doctor, rather disappointingly, diagnoses him as "run down" rather than heroically enduring a life-ending malaise. While he’s there, a $300,000 pearl necklace is stolen from a locked box in a drawer in a room guarded by two people.

7/10

A lot of fun but the ingenious mystery and nature of the crime is not communicated quite well enough and feels like a lot of details have been left out. It is, in fact, the reverse. The writers have added story and details that weaken the central mystery instead of adding to it. The rest of the additions to the episode are a joy, however. Japp gets a magnificent gag with a teddy bear ("That’s for your boy?" Pregnant pause. "Yes."). Poirot gets his wonderful "am I going to die" face on for the doctor at the beginning and is a little put out to discover he’s only "run down" and he gets spectacularly miffed when he keeps getting people running up to him while on holiday saying "You’re Lucky Len and I claim my ten guineas!" This climaxes in a great scene where he finally meets Lucky Len.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Sad Cypress (2003) – 7/10 period murder mystery detective drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: David Pirie
Elizabeth Dermot Walsh: Elinor Carlisle
Rupert Penry-Jones: Roddy Winter
Kelly Reilly: Mary Gerard
Paul McGann: Dr. Peter Lord
Phyllis Logan: Nurse Hopkins
Producer: Margaret Mitchell
Director: David Moore
Actor and Associate Producer: David Suchet

Agatha Christie’s Poirot Sad Cypress (2003)

A poison pen letter is brought to Poirot’s attention and though he takes it very seriously, it’s not enough to get a body exhumed for further investigation. Shortly thereafter, a murder is committed and Poirot returns only to fall short once more as a woman is sentenced to death for a crime only she had the means, motive and opportunity to commit. Yet the little grey cells refuse to settle.

7/10

"I am thirty-six times an idiot!" – Hercule Poirot

This is a nicely staged production with a good sense of atmosphere and a beautifully-judged pace. There is just enough information given to the audience for them to have worked out the mechanics of the murder themselves but no way for them to derive the motive. This isn’t a mystery where everywhere has means, motive and opportunity – only one has; Poirot’s challenge is to see that there was, in fact, another. The screenwriter’s challenge is to help the audience see that and what he does is quite interesting. Though the clues regarding the true murder are there, the audience is highly unlikely to perceive them. The only reason they will consider that Elinor Carlisle isn’t guilty is because whomever we are told is guilty in these murder mysteries is always innocent. And so, unlike Poirot, we don’t need to find another motive because we already presume that she is innocent.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains unexpectedly unpleasant nightmare scene

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

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e06 The Chocolate Box (1993) – 7/10 period detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer (Original Short Story): Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Writer (Dramatisation): Douglas Watkinson
Rosalie Crutchley: Madame Deroulard
Anna Chancellor: Virginie Mesnard
Director: Ken Grieve

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e06 The Chocolate Box (1993)

Poirot returns to Belgium for the first time in years to accompany Japp who is being honoured by the Belgian government. While there, Poirot is reminded of a case that didn’t go his way and he decides that the time is right to reveal the truth.

7/10

It’s terrific to see a young Poirot skilfully brought to life by David Suchet with his normal weight and gait and a bit of running around and a bit of extra hair on the toupé. Dramatiser Douglas Watkinson does well in structuring the story and there’s plenty to like, especially with Poirot as a burgler and his constant lack of discretion. I did chuckle happily at the scene where Poirot is asked for, not by name but, "by moustache." Even though Hastings isn’t here, there’s a lovely feeling of friendship with Poirot accompanying Japp to an award ceremony in Belgium. While the setting and atmosphere are terrific, the colour blindness that is at the heart of the detective story climax doesn’t convince. Even if pink looks green and green looks pink, couldn’t you still tell whether a lid and a box were the same colour? Regardless, a good episode.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – 6/10 fantasy action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Screenplay Writer Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling: Steve Kloves
Producer: David Heyman
Producer: Chris Columbus
Producer: Mark A. Radcliffe
Writer (Original Novel): J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe
Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint
Hermione Granger: Emma Watson
Julie Christie: Madame Rosmerta
Rubeus Hagrid: Robbie Coltrane
Professor Albus Dumbledore: Michael Gambon
Vernon Dursley: Richard Griffiths
Sirius Black: Gary Oldman
Professor Severus Snape: Alan Rickman
Petunia Dursley: Fiona Shaw
Professor Minverva McConagall: Maggie Smith
Peter Pettigrew: Timothy Spall
Professor Lupin: David Thewlis
Professor Sybil Trelawney: Emma Thompson

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

After finally losing his temper and using his magic outside of the school at his foster family, Harry Potter is somewhat surprised at the lack of punishment. The whole thing is just cleaned up and he is allowed to return to Hogwarts. The only thing he finds out is that Sirius Black, the first ever escapee from the feared Azkaban prison, has got all the wizard’s fearful for Potter’s safety but they are confident that Hogwarts, guarded by the horrific Dementers, is the best place for Harry.

6/10

A step backwards as this film loses the humanity of the previous instalment. The visuals are less impressive and John Williams’ off-the-peg music is conspicuously bland but the biggest problem is director Alfonso Cuarón’s completely flat handling of all the material.

This movie contains strong violence, scary scenes, strong unpleasant scenes

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002) – 8/10 fantasy action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Executive Producer: Chris Columbus
Screenplay Writer Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling: Steve Kloves
Producer: David Heyman
Writer (Original Novel): J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe
Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint
Hermione Granger: Emma Watson
Kenneth Branagh: Gilderoy Lockhart
Nearly Headless Nick: John Cleese
Rubeus Hagrid: Robbie Coltrane
Professor Filius Flitwick: Warwick Davis
Vernon Dursley: Richard Griffiths
Professor Albus Dumbledore: Richard Harris
Lucius Malfoy: Jason Isaacs
Professor Severus Snape: Alan Rickman
Petunia Dursley: Fiona Shaw
Professor Minverva McConagall: Maggie Smith
Molly Weasley: Julie Walters

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Unhappily existing at his Muggle family anxious to return to Hogwart’s, Harry Potter is visisted by a house elf who’s mission is to stop him attending this year at all costs. Despite the elf’s best efforts, Harry manages to get to school but he might wish he hadn’t as petrified animals and students and writing in blood on the walls warn of the re-opening of the legendary Chamber of Secrets and the unleashing of the horror within.

8/10

Significantly better than the first episode with vastly improved special effects, more interesting photography and lots of ideas and good moments. Kenneth Branagh steals the show as a superstar wizard, Jason Isaacs is good value as what will hopefully be a recurring character but the two male leads, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, provide the movies’ unshakable heart and soul.

This movie contains intense scary scenes, violence, strong unpleasant scenes

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) – 6/10 fantasy action movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Executive Producer: Chris Columbus
Screenplay Writer Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling: Steve Kloves
Producer: David Heyman
Writer (Original Novel): J.K. Rowling
Executive Producer: Mark A. Radcliffe
Executive Producer: Michael Barnathan
Executive Producer: Duncan Henderson
Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe
Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint
Hermione Granger: Emma Watson
John Cleese: Nearly Headless Nick
Rubeus Hagrid: Robbie Coltrane
Vernon Dursley: Richard Griffiths
Professor Albus Dumbledore: Richard Harris
Ian Hart: Professor Quirrell
Lord Voldemort: Ian Hart
Ollivander: John Hurt
Professor Severus Snape: Alan Rickman
Petunia Dursley: Fiona Shaw
Professor Minverva McConagall: Maggie Smith

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

6/10

Solid start to the massively lucrative franchise that sees plenty of ideas clearly and carefully placed on the big screen by director Chris Columbus. He makes the film a little too slow and even, clumsily lumps John Williams music on and doesn’t have access to state-of-the-art visual effects (CG replacements for the actors are particularly noticeable) but doesn’t make the mistake of making a bad film. With this first year of Hogwart’s safely sorted, a foundation is laid for the remainder of the series.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e03 Dead Man’s Folly (2013) – 4/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Nick Dear
James Anderson: Michael Weyman
Rosalind Ayres: Mrs. Warburton
Sinéad Cusack aka Sinead Cusack: Mrs. Folliat
Tom Ellis: Detective Inspector Bland
Rebecca Front: Miss Brewis
Emma Hamilton: Sally Legge
Martin Jarvis: Captain Warburton
Sam Kelly: John Merdell
Stephanie Leonidas: Hattie Stubbs
Sean Pertwee: Sir George Stubbs
Daniel Weyman: Alec Legge
Nicholas Woodeson: Detective Sergeant Hoskins
Ariadne Oliver: Zoë Wanamaker aka Zoe Wanamaker
Producer: David Boulter
Director: Tom Vaughan

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e03 Dead Man’s Folly (2013)

Ariadne Oliver has been hired to organise a murder hunt for a fete being hosted by Sir George Stubbs but she has a nasty, niggling feeling that real crime is in the air and calls upon the services of Hercule Poirot to bristle his moustache in evil’s general direction. Certainly not to prevent any murders, good heavens, no.

4/10

Taking nearly half its running time to get to the first murder, this adaptation suffers, as so many of the feature-length Poirot‘s by choosing not to be interesting, fun or informative. The second half has trouble maintaining interest as there aren’t enough clues to construct a theorem and, somehow, there aren’t any suspects; reeling from the shock of seeing a black man in a Christie adaptation, they just send him to the gallows and congratulate themselves on a job well done. When Poirot reveals the solution, it turns out most of the information he gives is brand new and not derived from the clues supplied. In a nice touch, this was filmed on location at Greenway in Devon: Agatha Christie’s home.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains violence

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e05 Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (2013) – 8/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Kevin Elyot
Helen Baxendale: Elizabeth Cole
Shaun Dingwall: Doctor Franklin
Claire Keelan: Nurse Craven
Anna Madeley: Barbara Franklin
Aidan McArdle: Stephen Norton
Matthew McNulty: Major Allerton
Alice Orr-Ewing: Judith Hastings
John Standing: Colonel Toby Luttrell
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Anne Reid: Daisy Luttrell
Philip Glenister: Sir William Boyd Carrington
Producer: David Boulter
Director: Hettie MacDonald

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e05 Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (2013)

Hastings travels to Stiles, location of his and Poirot’s first murder case together, to visit an ailing, wheelchair-bound Poirot. Fortunately, Poirot’s moustache and little grey cells are in as good condition as ever, but evil is here once more and Poirot aims to stop it.

8/10

Along with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and, arguably, The Murder on the Orient Express, this is one of Agatha Christie’s most unforgettable and surprising murderers. Fortunately, screenplay writer Kevin Elyot didn’t remove that (like ITV did with Roger Ackroyd) and the episode is crisp, involving and emotional. After the highly variable quality of the feature-length episodes, it’s nice to report that the series ends on a high. Oh, and yes, of course, ITV interrupted SPOILER Poirot’s death for adverts and, of course, the ITV announcer talked all over the deliberately silent end credits.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains adult dialogue, gory and unpleasant scenes, distressing scenes

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s02e04 The Lost Mine (1990) – 6/10 period crime detective drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon: Pauline Moran
Writer (Dramatisation): Michael Baker
Writer (Dramatisation): David Renwick
Anthony Bate: Lord Pearson
Colin Stinton: Charles Lester
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Edward Bennett

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s02e04 The Lost Mine (1990)

Poirot’s struggles in the early running of a game of Monopoly versus Hastings is mirrored in the real world with financial problems with his bank account (he’s £60 overdrawn, much to his fury and protestations). Meanwhile, he is engaged by his bank to find the owner of a map to a lost mine who failed to arrive at a crucial business meeting.

6/10

You don’t often see Poirot get the wrong end of the stick but writers Michael Baker and David Renwick deliver a delightful scene early on when Lord Pearson arrives to ask for Poirot’s help while Poirot thinks he’s come to apologise for a mistake in his account balance. It’s also great to see characters doing something other than their principle activity; in this case, Hastings and Poirot are playing Monopoly. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the plot but it is a tremendous amount of fun and reinforces the friendship between our two heroes. Sadly, the mystery aspect of the episode is uninvolving.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains mild gory and unpleasant scenes, opium abuse

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e04 Taken at the Flood (2005) – 7/10 period crime detective drama TV review

Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Guy Andrews
Jenny Agutter: Adela Marchmont
Patrick Baladi: Rowley Cloade
Eva Birthistle: Rosaleen / Eileen
Elliot Lowan: David Hunter
Amanda Douge: Lynn Marchmont
Penny Downie: Frances Cloade
Claire Hackett: Beatrice Lippincott
Supt. Harold Spence: Richard Hope
Celia Imrie: ‘Aunt’ Katy Cloade
Nicholas Le Prevost: Major James Porter
Tim Pigott-Smith: Dr. Lionel Cloade
Elizabeth Spriggs: Mrs Leadbetter
Pip Torrens: Jeremy Cloade
Tim Woodward: Enoch Arden / Charles
David Yelland: George the Butler
Producer: Trevor Hopkins
Director: Andy Wilson

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e04 Taken at the Flood (2005)

When the Cloade family can’t get financial support from their father’s widow – a very young American actress that none of them had met before the marriage – they, rightly, blame her extremely controlling brother. As their lives were predicated around a certain amount of income, having it cut off has brought them into desperate straits but then it appears that the young actress was married before and her first husband didn’t die. The Cloade’s enlist the help of family friend and world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot – no, not Batman – to find evidence of bigamy. Naturally, as soon as Poirot takes on the case, someone dies.

7/10

After awkward character introductions, Guy Andrews’ adaptation improves on some details of Christie’s novel while retaining the plot that sees deaths cleverly disguised as other kinds of deaths and revelling in the energetic odiousness of the Cloade family of suspects. Acceptable changes include how Rowley identifies Arden, the nature of the explosion and Rosalie and Lynn’s fate at the end. The cast is good, especially Elliot Lowan as David Hunter and David Suchet’s Poirot is a cheerful presence.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains adult dialogue, bad language, substance abuse, violence, gory and unpleasant scene

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e02 The Big Four (2013) – 6/10 period crime detective drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Mark Gatiss
Screenplay Writer: Ian Hallard
Tom Brooke: Tysoe
Nicholas Burns: Inspector Meadows
Jack Farthing: Gerald Paynter
Patricia Hodge: Madame Olivier
Simon Lowe: Dr Quentin
Sarah Parish: Flossie Monro
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Miss Lemon: Pauline Moran
Chief Inspector Japp Assistant Commissioner Japp: Philip Jackson
Producer: David Boulter
Director: Peter Lydon

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e02 The Big Four (2013)

As the world appears to be tottering into war, the Peace Party organise a symbolic chess match between America and Russia. On his third move, however, the Russian Grandmaster keels over dead. You know, this never would have happened if Poirot hadn’t been invited to attend; he is a little egg-shaped Belgian bad luck magnet. Still, if he wasn’t there, they also wouldn’t have discovered that the death was far from accidental and, according to the papers, a mysterious organisation calling themselves The Big Four was responsible.

6/10

Though it ends up being rather silly and features a critical centrepiece explosion that has atrocious effects, this is largely a snappy, murderful couple of hours with the first death (at the chess game) being particularly ingenious. It uses manipulation of an eagerly sensationalist press as a key theme; something that certainly applied to the understandably partisan industry at the time this is set (shortly before the outbreak of World War II) but also applies to the contemporary grab for ratings through ever more explicit and intrusive coverage of scandals and disasters. It seems that BBC News can get George Alagiah to any place on Earth before local governments can get water or emergency services and supplies there.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains unpleasant scenes

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e04 The Labours of Hercules (2013) – 4/10 period crime detective drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Guy Andrews
Orla Brady: Countess Rossakoff
Simon Callow: Dr. Lutz
Morven Christie: Elsie Clayton
Rupert Evans: Harold Waring
Nigel Lindsay: Francesco
Sandy McDade: Mrs. Rice
Fiona O’Shaughnessy: Katrina
Eleanor Tomlinson: Alice Cunningham
Tom Wlaschiha: Schwartz
Producer: David Boulter
Director: Andy Wilson

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s13e04 The Labours of Hercules (2013)

After a case goes horribly wrong, a depressed Poirot takes a long car ride with a young man who bursts into tears and runs away and then tells him about a lost love and Poirot goes to Switzerland to find this lost love and, unpredictably, there is a connection to the case that went horribly wrong and a chance for redemption and a character arc and there’s a twist and it’s all WRITTEN BY CHILDREN.

4/10

"They say Poirot is so intelligent, he is scarcely human, but, you know, he does not listen to this ‘they’" – Poirot

Once more eschewing any recognisable humanity or warmth or fun, this feature-length episode suffers from a complete lack of atmosphere, a surprisingly offensive pot-pourri of accents, the baffling insistence on making everything unspeakably serious and a weak central mystery (where the identity of the killer is immediate from the moment they appear largely because it obviously isn’t anyone else; it is inexplicably changed from the original short story). It also might contain the single most embarrassing scene in the entire series (not involving Zoe Wanamaker) when a young man is supposed to burst into tears and run away from a car. Christie’s stories are largely fun, generally very well-paced and these feature-length episodes are not. And I miss Hastings. It will be interesting to see if his return in the next and last ever episode of Poirot will make good use of him.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains gory scene, adult dialogue

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S01E08 The Incredible Theft (1989) – 7/10 period crime drama TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): David Reid
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
John Stride: Tommy Mayfield
Carmen Du Sautoy: Mrs Vanderlyn
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Edward Bennett
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott
Executive Producer: Linda Agran

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S01E08 Incredible Theft, The (1989)

Poirot is invited to make sure that aircraft plans vital to national security aren’t stolen but, wouldn’t you know, they are.

7/10

"But we must put on it a brave face, heh, and not allow cheerfulness to keep breaking through!" – Hercule Poirot

A lot to enjoy with Poirot in particularly good spirits. The mystery isn’t for anyone who watches these kind of things regularly but it’s the cheerfulness that provides the entertainment. Hastings gets a great scene moaning about Japp’s bedroom habits and, as already mentioned, Poirot is in a fun mood; teasing Miss Lemon, happily polishing his shoes, satisfyingly bristling at being called a “froggie” and even stealing police cars. As a bonus for boys, there’s an explosion and an useful car chase. Poirot finishes with the above sarcastic sentiment but it’s intriguing to see that a lack of cheerfulness, or even humanity, would characterise and undermine the poorer episodes of this classic series.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e05 The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993) – 8/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Pauline Moran: Miss Felicity Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
Leonard Preston: Mr Edwin Graves
Anna Mazzotti: Margherita Fabbri
David Neal: Bruno Vizzini
Vincenzo Ricotta: Mario Asciano
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Brian Farnham

Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E05 The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)

Poirot is drawn into London’s gangland underworld following the murder of the master of Miss Lemon’s new boyfriend.

8/10

Poirot: ‘Haven’t you ever exaggerated your own self-importance to impress a girl?’
Hastings: "Well certainly not. Never. Oh, well, I once told a girl I was a member at Wentworth when I wasn’t. But she didn’t play golf anyway. She thought Wentworth was a lunatic asylum."

This is a very good episode with a story that successfully gives you enough clues to point the finger of suspicion while misdirecting you wonderfully. The solid story is backed up, as is frequently the case in these hour-longs, by some wonderful writing and that lovely chemistry between Poirot and Hastings, especially, but also with Japp and Miss Lemon. Poirot is respectful and cheerful; he happily accompanies Hastings on a car shopping trip and shares his joy just like friends do. Writer Clive Exton really nailed the close friendship of the pair and never forgot the importance of humour. He gave Hastings the outstanding gag above and it’s not the only one. In fact, Hastings is awesome throughout the episode and gets to top it off with a car chase (which is quietly but brilliantly joined by a bus), a "you swine" and a classic punch on the nose.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains gory and unpleasant scene, inferred violence, brief violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E04 The Case of the Missing Will (1993) – 7/10 period murder mystery drama TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Felicity Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Douglas Watkinson
Beth Goddard: Violet Wilson
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: John Bruce
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S05E04 Case of the Missing Will, The (1993)

The day before he is due to make a new will leaving his entire fortune to his beloved ward Violet, Andrew Marsh dies. Poirot, who would have been the executor of the new will, smells a rat. When the time comes for the will to be read, however, even the old will cannot be found and Poirot’s suspicions are confirmed.

7/10

"I have been stumbling around in a darkened room. But now I see the light." – Poirot, accompanied by an entirely baffled Hastings.

Writer Douglas Watkinson generously shares the spotlight which is, of course, most unusual in a hero detective drama; Miss Lemon is served particularly well with a critical grammatical observation and a related reveal during Poirot’s summation while Hastings gets to impeccably and authoratively, in the nicest possible manner, discover and guard the crime scene. The finger of suspicion dots around gleefully and it’s a credit to Watkinson and director John Bruce that we can comfortably keep track; even making us feel like we’re one step ahead though, of course, Poirot is two steps ahead, just as we want him to be.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains unpleasant scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot Murder on the Orient Express (2010) – 8/10 period murder mystery drama TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Stewart Harcourt
Eileen Atkins: Princess Dragomiroff
Hugh Bonneville: Edward Masterman
Jessica Chastain: Mary Debenham
Marie-Josée Croze: Greta Ohlsson
Serge Hazanavicius: Xavier Bouc
Toby Jones: Samuel Ratchett / Cassetti
Susanne Lothar: Hildegarde Schmidt
Joseph Mawle: Antonio Foscarelli
Denis Menochet: Pierre Michel
David Morrissey: John Arbuthnot
Elena Satine: Countess Andrenyi
Brian J. Smith: Hector MacQueen
Stanley Weber: Count Andrenyi
Samuel West: Dr Constantine
Barbara Hershey: Caroline Hubbard / Linda Arden
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Philip Martin

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

A miserable Poirot is called to London and boards the Orient Express. On the second night, one of the passengers is found brutally stabbed to death and Poirot is implored to investigate before the authorities arrive.

8/10

This is a surprisingly gripping, if humourless, adaptation which successfully provokes thought about the nature of justice and who has the right to execute it. Most surprisingly, it stops Poirot from delivering the traditional summation (Princess Dragamoff takes over and does it) which rather undermines the triumph of intellect required to close these stories on a high. Instead, the story ends with a cold miserable Poirot clearly feeling like he’s been backed into a corner where he had to choose the least wrong answer. It’s not the joyous revelation of the book or previous adaptations, but it is definitely interesting and a worthwhile tinkering for this screen outing of the classic Christie.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains strong violence, graphic blade violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S03E04 Wasps’ Nest (1991) – 7/10 period murder mystery drama 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): David Renwick
Martin Turner: John Harrison
Melanie Jessop: Molly Deane
Peter Capaldi: Claude Langton
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Brian Farnham
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S03E04 Wasps’ Nest (1991)

Buzzing, crawling creatures are low on Poirot’s list of favourites things at the best of times but he has even more for his little grey cells to worry about when he becomes convinced that a murder is in the air. If he can solve the crime that has not yet been committed, maybe he can prevent a murder instead of merely catching the culprit. Hastings has taken up photography (and taken over Poirot’s bathroom), Japp has a nasty stomach problem and Miss Lemon is advocating the goodness of her fitness class to Poirot.

7/10

"Good god; this is England. Jealous suitors don’t go around murdering people."

A career high for Poirot as he attempts to solve a murder before it happens. Both the plot and the murder that Poirot attempts to foil are cleverer than they first appear, writer David Renwick gives Poirot and Hastings some choice comedy moments (Poirot trying to move a box and Hastings engaging a pharmacist in conversation) and Poirot’s traditional summation rounds things off nicely.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s04e03,04 Death in the Clouds (1992) – 6/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Writer (Dramatisation): William Humble
Sarah Woodward: Jane Grey
Shaun Scott: Norman Gale
Cathryn Harrison: Lady Horbury
Director: Stephen Whittaker

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s04e0304 Death in the Clouds (1992)

Poirot’s professional pride is somewhat deflated when a murder is committed just a few feet from him. His excuse: he was flying on a plane and he was sleeping. Even when awake, however, his only real clue from the scene seems to be a wasp buzzing around the cabin.

6/10

"Well, well. Seems you can’t even fly on an aeroplane now without someone getting murdered."

This is fine and reasonably crisp for a two-parter but the significance of the wasp is never made clear, the two coffee spoons isn’t revealed until much later than it should and the whole murder mystery aspect feels very thin indeed with almost no gathering of information taking place. Surprising, then, that it holds together as well as it does.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains extreme and extremely graphic murder and dismemberment of a wasp (yay!), poisoning violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S01E10 The Dream (1989) – 8/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Arthur Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Felicity Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
Director: Edward Bennett

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S01E10 Dream, The (1989)

Benedict Farley, a wealthy businessman (he makes pies), requests the wisdom of Poirot with regard to disturbing dream he keeps having where he commits suicide at 12:28 with a revolver. He asks Poirot if he can be made to kill himself through the suggestion of the dream but Poirot cannot offer any advice due to lack of information. His puzzlement and frustration is joined by professionally dented pride when Farley is found dead the next day. Shot. At 12:28. With a revolver. Meanwhile, Miss Lemon is having trouble with the typewriter.

8/10

Though the nature of the revelation of the dream is immediately transparent to the audience and, it should be noted, to a certain extent by Poirot, the surrounding stuff including Poirot revealing a wild youth that may have permanently damaged some little grey cells (prompting a welcome "I say" from Hastings), the murder method, a clock (another "I say") and a typewriter ("Voila!") keeps the episode more than entertaining enough. And there is the tacit recognition (by Japp) that like super-villains flocking to Gotham, even when it looks like suicide, "where Hercule Poirot is concerned, there arises immediately the suspicion of murder." A lot of fun.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains mild unpleasant scene, mild violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot The Clocks (2009) – 7/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Stewart Harcourt
Frances Barber: Merlina Rival
Stephen Boxer: Christopher Mabbutt
Tom Burke: Lt. Colin Race
Phil Daniels: Inspector Hardcastle
Beatie Edney: Mrs Hemmings
Guy Henry: Matthew Waterhouse
Anna Massey: Miss Pebmarsh
Geoffrey Palmer: Vice Admiral Hamling
Tessa Peake-Jones: Val Bland
Ben Righton: Constable Jenkins
Lesley Sharp: Miss Martindale
Abigail Thaw: Rachel Waterhouse
Jason Watkins: Joe Bland
Jaime Winstone: Sheila Webb
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Charles Palmer

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Clocks, The (2009)

A typist is booked by a blind woman to be at her house at 3:00pm but when she arrives she finds four clocks set to 4:13. And a dead body, of course.

7/10

Good episode of Poirot because it is, however mildly, fun, a quality that is in short supply in the feature-length adaptations. On top of this, the clues, characters and mystery are presented clearly and kept in focus and, while Poirot does keep a clue away from the audience (a marriage certificate), there are enough other clues to the how and who to get us most of the way there if we’re paying attention. The support cast do a good job with Phil Daniels balancing his character delicately and Tom Burke providing a surprisingly welcome romantic element.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains adult dialogue and brief gory violence, graphic fatal car accident.

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

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2010) – 6/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Gatiss
Amelia Bullmore: Judith Butler
Paola Dionisotti: Mrs Goodbody
Deborah Findlay: Rowena Drake
Ian Hallard: Edmund Drake
Georgia King: Frances Drake
Phyllida Law: Mrs Llewellyn-Smythe
Julian Rhind-Tutt: Michael Garfield
Eric Sykes: Mr Fullerton
Sophie Thompson: Mrs Reynolds
Paul Thornley: Inspector Raglan
Timothy West: Reverend Cottrell
Fenella Woolgar: Miss Whittaker
Zoë Wanamaker: Ariadne Oliver
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Charles Palmer

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party (2010)

A child at a Hallowe’en party claims to have seen a murder years ago but didn’t realise it was murder. Now that she’s older, she knows better. Everyone at the party mocks her obviously attention-grabbing lies. Well, everyone except the murderer, of course.

6/10

Most impressively, the critical clue is given without obfuscation to the viewer and Poirot at the same time, nice and early in the investigation. It isn’t until Poirot twigs the significance that the audience realises too. Brilliant. Adapter Mark Gatiss successfully tidies up the reportedly slightly haphazard novel and even managing to briefly shoehorn some lesbians in (as required by ITV period drama law). Director Charles Palmer keeps a good grip on things and delivers a tidy feature-length episode.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes.

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

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot Three Act Tragedy (2009) – 5/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Nick Dear
Jane Asher: Lady Mary
Kate Ashfield: Miss Wills
Suzanne Bertish: Miss Milray
Anna Carteret: Mrs Babbington
Anastasia Hille: Cynthia Dacres
Art Malik: Sir Bartholomew Strange
Tony Maudsley: Supt Crossfield
Kimberley Nixon: Egg
Ronan Vibert: Captain Dacres
Tom Wisdom: Oliver Manders
Martin Shaw: Sir Charles Cartwright
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Ashley Pearce

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy (2009)

At a cocktail party hosted by famous actor and Poirot’s friend Sir Charles Cartwright, Reverend Stephen Babbington collapses and dies after sipping his cocktail. It looks like poison but his glass is clean and the inquest labels it a tragedy and Poirot agrees. A month later, however, the guests reassemble minus Cartwright and Poirot, and someone else, Sir Bartholomew Strange, dies in the exact same manner. This time there is no question: it is murder – nicotine poisoning – and there’s a prime suspect, new butler Ellis, but there’s still no poison in the glass.

5/10

This is a clumsy episode where adapter Nick Dear and director Ashley Pearce show no understanding of the plot. They don’t make enough of the SPOILER red-herring investigation into what connects the parson and the psychiatrist, fail to setup the motive (it carries no meaning for modern viewers) and ostentatiously and suspiciously avoid showing SPOILER the butler Ellis. As with so many of the two-hour Poirot’s, what’s really missing is humanity and humour and they fail to connect to the audience emotionally. This is a story about the shattering of the trust of friendship but you’d never tell. So instead of being a Three Act Tragedy, what we’ve got is simply Three Acts.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S01E09 The King of Clubs (1989) – 6/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Arthur Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Writer (Dramatisation): Michael Baker
Script Consultant: Clive Exton
Niamh Cusack: Valerie Saintclair
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Renny Rye
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott
Executive Producer: Linda Agran

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S01E09 King of Clubs, The (1989)

A much-disliked movie producer is found dead by his leading lady, Valerie Saintclair, but her subsequent actions are too well witnessed for Poirot.

6/10

Bit of a surprise to see Poirot allow being called French (by Sean Pertwee) to go without correction and SPOILER allow someone to get away with a crime. It’s always fun to see Japp think he is out-performing Poirot’s little grey cells ("You mustn’t get discouraged Poirot. When you’ve been around as long as I have…"). Suchet is spot on, Philip Jackson does his thing and Hugh Fraser’s Hastings is, as always, perfect ("You’re onto something, Poirot. I’m dashed if I know what it is.") So while this is one of the weaker hour-long’s, it’s still a fun, entertaining murder mystery and there’s a lovely closing shot that reinforces why: the relationship between Hastings and Poirot.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains adult dialogue and mild unpleasant and gory scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s02e05 The Cornish Mystery (1990) – 7/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon: Pauline Moran
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
Chloe Salaman: Fred Stanton
John Bowler: Jacob Radnor
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Edward Bennett
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s02e05 The Cornish Mystery (1990)

Mrs. Alice Pengelley arrives in London to confess to Poirot that she believes her husband is poisoning her. Poirot takes the case and tells her that he and Hastings will follow her to Cornwall the following day. When they arrive, however, Poirot is horrified to find that she died shortly before their arrival.

7/10

Poirot is never really presented with clues or a mystery so dramatiser Exton has to concentrate on the character bits and pieces to make it entertaining. He succeeds. David Suchet gets an awesome scene with a doctor who keeps interrupting him (you can literally see all the sentences piling up inside Poirot’s face, it’s wonderful) while revealing that Belgium has a thing against rice. Hugh Fraser’s Hastings displays an improvised brilliance (in the confession scene) that truly impresses Poirot and gets his best “I say!” of the entire series and probably the best in the entire history of the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Suchet is the ultimate Poirot but Hugh Fraser is the ultimate Hastings.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot 3.05 The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor (1991) – 6/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Writer (Dramatisation): David Renwick
Ian McCulloch: Jonathan Maltravers
Geraldine Alexander: Susan Maltravers
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Renny Rye
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s 3.05 Tragedy at Marsdon Manor, The (1991)

Poirot is called by a hotelier to solve a case where every person has a perfect alibi. When he arrives, however, another, more urgent case, grabs his attention as a wealthy but sick man is found dead. Poirot immediately suspects murder and the young widow finds herself the next target. With Poirot’s little grey cells up to full speed maybe he can solve both cases.

6/10

A bit of a weak episode thanks to some variable pacing and the deliberately difficult-to-believe supernatural elements (which are portrayed amateurishly) but there are still items of note including the reason for Poirot’s presence in the town, Poirot’s waxwork (both added by writer David Renwick) and a particularly horrible murder (not shown graphically but still a nasty one; the victim sleepily opening his eyes to behold his fate was a quality touch). Renwick also supplies a healthy number of lovely incidental gags ("Doctor? There’s a gentlemen outside suffering from Hercule Poirot. He seems to think it’s quite serious.") and bits of business which Suchet and Fraser take full advantage of.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains one scene of strong, impactful gun violence.

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

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E03 Yellow Iris (1993) – 7/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Anthony Horowitz
David Troughton: Barton Russell
Dorian Healy: Anthony Chapell
Geraldine Somerville: Pauline Wetherby
Yolanda Vasquez: Lola
Robin McCaffrey: Iris Russell

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S05E03 Yellow Iris (1993)

Poirot is perturbed when a restaurant called Le Jardin de Cygnes opens in London on the same day he receives a yellow iris at his apartments. He knows it is a reminder of a two-year-old murder which he could not solve due to circumstances beyond his control but it looks like he may have another chance.

7/10

Splendid Poirot with a terrific prologue and epilogue (“the English do not have ‘cuisine,’ they have food”) though the central mystery does seem short on clues and the memorable methodology was also used in the far more widely known SPOILER Sparkling Cyanide (Agatha Christie’s own novelisation of this short story). Still, what I absolutely love about these hour-long episodes is the relationship between Poirot and Hastings. They are so clearly the best of friends, it’s just lovely to see; here Hastings didn’t let Poirot not joining him in Argentina bother him. It’s so rare to see positive relationships in dramatic screen productions and it gave Poirot a uncommon identity and emotional connection that future filmmakers have seemed to overlook.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains mild adult dialogue and unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple (2004) – 5/10 crime mystery anime review

Cast / crew
Kaoru Yachigusa: Miss Marple
Kotaro Satomi: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Story) The Adventure of the Cheap Flat: Agatha Christie

Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, Agatha Christie’s (2004)

Maybelle is the great niece of Jane Marple, a resident of St. Mary Mead with a reputation for solving mysteries, especially criminal ones. Maybelle also invents herself a job as an assistant to the world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot and proceeds to work for him. As such she gets to see two great detectives at work and hopes to learn from them.

5/10

This is an intriguing and surprisingly accurate adaptation (no lesbians here ITV) of a lot of Agatha Christie stories for a Japanese audience. The mysteries are very clearly presented but, despite excellent music and perfectly adequate animation, there’s no atmosphere and the girl and baby duck (!) are not artistically justifiable or thematically necessary. (They will have been added for commercial reasons.) Generally, Miss Marple comes off worse; basically she’s a smug know-it-all. Poirot clearly works for and applies his "little grey cells" to the solution but there’s no character behind his brains.

This series contains adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes.

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Agatha Christie’s Murder at the Gallop (1963) – 6/10 murder mystery movie review

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Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Lawrence P. Bachmann
Margaret Rutherford: Miss Marple
Robert Morley: Hector Enderby
Flora Robson: Miss Milchrest
Charles Tingwell: Inspector Craddock
Katya Douglas: Rosamund Shane
Screenplay Writer: James P. Cavanagh
Novel Writer After the Funeral: Agatha Christie
Producer: George H. Brown
Director: George Pollock

Murder at the Gallop, Agatha Christie’s (1963)

Miss Marple has to investigate personally when the police refuse to believe that a wealthy old man died of anything other than a heart attack.

6/10

While the ending is significantly messed up (you’ll know who dun it but won’t be certain why the murderer killed who they did and who, indeed, was murdered), the journey in the company of Margaret Rutherford’s indestructible Miss Marple is a delight. It’s also before-it’s-time self-aware as Miss Marple proclaims to Inspector Craddock that “Agatha Christie should be compulsory reading for the police force.” The plot is taken from Poirot novel After the Funeral but the clever sleight of hand of the original is deployed without clarity or motive, thus removing the backbone of the movie. So while this may not be Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple exactly, it is very much Margaret Rutherford’s, and, as such, is rather good fun.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Agatha Christie’s Murder She Said (1961) – 7/10 murder mystery movie review

Cast / crew
Margaret Rutherford: Miss Marple
Arthur Kennedy: Quimper
Muriel Pavlow: Emma
James Robertson Justice: Ackenthorpe
Writer (Original Novel) 4:50 from Paddington: Agatha Christie
Thorley Walters: Cedric
Charles Tingwell: Craddock
Writer (Adaptation): David Osborn
Writer (Screenplay): David Pursall
Writer (Screenplay): Jack Seddon
Producer: George H. Brown
Director: George Pollock

Murder She Said, Agatha Christie’s (1961)

"If you imagine I am going to sit back and let everybody regard me as a dotty old maid, you are very much mistaken." Miss Jane Marple tells the police in no uncertain terms that she will get to the bottom of a murder she witnessed while travelling by train though there is no other evidence of it ever haven taken place.

7/10

Margaret Rutherford’s version of Miss Marple bursts onto the screen fully formed and wonderfully captures the sense of fun and character of Agatha Christie’s stories. This streamlined version of "4:50 from Paddington" is well adapted to bring Marple centre-stage but cannot do anything about the weakness of the climax. Marple reckons she can recognise a pair of hands after a brief glimpse several days before but I suppose it’s more about the accusation shaking the murderer into exposing himself. Much better is the opening murder scene with the scream of the train whistle over the scream of the woman being strangled; simple but brilliant. Cast-wise, things are interesting as well. James Robertson Justice adds some spectacular bluster and his world-class beard, there’s an early outing for future British sit-com legend Richard Briers and Rutherford’s Marple also meets future ultimate Marple Joan Hickson. Oh, and special mention for Ron Goodwin’s irresistibly fun theme music.

This movie contains violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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The Janson Directive (2002, Conspiracy Thriller) – 7/10 book review

Cast / crew
Writer: Robert Ludlum

Janson Directive, The (2002)

Paul Janson, a former Con-Ops legend and current high-level private security advisor, is requested by his former employers to retrieve munificent billionaire Peter Novak from the clutches of a Middle-Eastern country who plan to publicly execute him. Though reluctant to have anything to do with the American military again, Janson puts his own personal feelings aside to plan and lead the rescue of Peter Novak, a great man who was responsible for saving Janson’s life several years earlier.

7/10

Largely thrilling page-turner with an intriguing central conceit (through his charitable foundation a billionaire accomplishes what the American government can’t due to foreign policy and international etiquette, SPOILER except he is a fictitious character, played by multiple surgically altered agents, created by the American government to do just that). There are a couple of marvellous rug-pulling moments though the first one is undermined by the later revelation it was done on purpose (though it’s not clear why) and it has the unfortunate effect of making the entire story feel a bit of a cheat. Nevertheless, this ticks most of the boxes you want from a thriller novel.

This Robert Ludlum book contains sexual swear words, adult dialogue and graphic violence, unpleasant and sadistic torture scenes and sexuality.