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.


"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.


Lewis 3.01 Allegory of Love (2009, TV) – 6/10 review

Kevin Whately: DI Robert Lewis
Laurence Fox: DS James Hathaway
Clare Holman: Dr. Laura Hobson
Rebecca Front: Ch. Supt. Innocent
Selina Cadell: Professor Rutherford
Anastasia Hille: Ginny Harris
Cara Horgan: Alice Wishart
Adrian Lukis: Jem Wishart
Art Malik: Professor Hamid Jassim
Tom Mison: Dorian Crane
James Fox: Professor Norman Deering
Writer (inspired By The Original Novels By) Inspector Morse: Colin Dexter
Writer (Original Story): David Pirie
Writer (Screenplay): Stephen Churchett
Producer: Chris Burt
Director: Bill Anderson

Lewis 3.01 Allegory of Love (2009)

Lewis investigates the murder of a beautiful Czech immigrant who was killed using a sixteenth-century mirror. Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Innocent encourages Lewis is move on in his personal life by introducing him to a friend of hers.


One thing Kevin Whately really should steer clear of is emoting or trying to look attentive as he finds it very difficult to be convincing. Instead he looks like he’s forgotten his lines. He’s much better when smiling and I wish he’d do more of it in this show. This is a merely solid episode which is rescued by some gleefully barmy murders: one girl has her throat opened by a mirror that has been smashed over her head (in a nod to Alice Through The Looking Glass) while a man has a giant "sword of truth" run through his heart. The emotional delivery of the killer during the climax works much better than anticipated or, indeed, scripted and a slightly begrudging above-average rating is the reward.

This Lewis episode contains adult dialogue and brief violence, strong gory and unpleasant scenes.