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 finalĂ© 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.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s06e01 Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1994) – 6/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

AmazonBuy Hercule Poirot’s Christmas at Amazon

Cast / crew
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
Vernon Dobtcheff: Simeon Lee

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s06e01 Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1994)

“For Poirot it will be a quiet Christmas.” Poirot’s powers of prophecy are not as finely tuned as his powers of deduction as he finds himself – thanks to a heating malfunction in his own apartment – staying at the home of the odious Simeon Lee who believes that his life is in danger. Sure enough, Lee is brutally murdered soon thereafter.

6/10

While the mechanics of the locked-room murder are agreeably ingenious, Clive Exton fails to bring much of his usual humour and humanity to the script and doesn’t disguise the fact that Poirot couldn’t possibly know what he knows at the end (he could know the murderer and the method but not the murderer’s mother or where she was staying). Exton also fails to successfully present any of the suspects as genuinely having the means, motive and opportunity to commit the crime. A bit weak, then, but still watchable thanks to David Suchet’s Poirot and Philip Jackson’s Japp who hadn’t yet lost their humanity and friendship in their performances ("Ah, Chief Inspector! You have been thinking again; I have warned you of this before.").

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains bad language, blade violence, inferred strong violence, unpleasant scenes

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Agatha Christie’s Poirot 3.03 The Affair at the Victory Ball (1991, TV) – 7/10

Writer (Original Story): Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer (Dramatization): Andrew Marshall
Mark Crowdy: Viscount Cronshaw
David Henry: Eustace Beltaine
Haydn Gwynne: Coco Courtney
Nathaniel Parker: Chris Davidson
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Renny Rye
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s 3.03 Affair at the Victory Ball, The (1991)

When Poirot is enticed from his stamp collection straightening to attend a fancy dress Victory Ball, the proceedings are interrupted by a knife in the chest of one of the attendees.

7/10

Entertaining episode with a fun punchline (complaints regarding a dreadful accent which Poirot majestically deflects on to Japp – "Chief Inspector, you really ought to look to your elocution." "Swipe me, there’s nothing wrong with my lingo.") but the mystery is not difficult to work out. The explanation seems a bit drawn out and relies on the hoary old left-handed proof as a climax. Still, it’s always fun to see Hastings appeal to Poirot’s lack of humility and the great man, like every character in television and movie history, cannot operate a magnifying glass (they always hold them the wrong way around so that what they are looking is diminished not magnified).

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains death by cocaine and unpleasant scenes.

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

Agatha Christie’s Poirot 3.01 How Does Your Garden Grow? (1991, TV) – 8/10

Writer (Original Story): Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer: Andrew Marshall
Script Consultant: Clive Exton
Anne Stallybrass: Mary Delafontaine
Tim Wylton: Henry Delafontaine
Margery Mason: Amelia Barrowby
Catherine Russell: Katrina Reiger
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Brian Farnham
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s 3.01 How Does Your Garden Grow? (1991)

While at Chelsea Flower Show to be accorded the honour of having a beautiful pink rose named after him, Poirot is accosted by Miss Amelia Barrowby and insistently given a packet of Catherine the Great seed. With no seed in it.

8/10

Splendid Poirot adaptation with all the clues given to you but only the master can put them together. There’s even a great closing gag involving a bottle of weed-killer. This is great fun and Suchet is marvelous. While a gander at the cast list and the verse of the nursery rhyme from which the title is taken will reveal the guilty party, you won’t do this before the event and, in any case, the way Christie weaves the story around the nursery rhyme is wondrous to behold.

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

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot 3.10 The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge (1991, TV) – 6/10 review

Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Writer (Dramatization): T.R. Bowen
Script Consultant: Clive Exton
Diana Kent: Zoe Havering
Jim Norton: Roger Havering

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s 3.10 The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge (1991)

After several hours freezing on a moor while Hastings shoots game, Poirot finds himself with the world’s deadliest cold (though he might be exaggerating slightly) but he manages to keep his little grey cells at full operating temperature when the moor’s owner is murdered.

6/10

This is a solid episode with some good fun with Poirot making a meal of a mild cold ("I have the deadly fever!") but still astounding Hastings and Japp with his ability to divine the description of the murderer without leaving his hotel bed. As with most of the hour-longs, there’s great camaraderie between Hastings, Japp and Poirot with an especially fun epilogue. However, this suffers from SPOILER the odd inability of television to completely disguise an actor END SPOILER and that gives away the mechanics of the murder if you were quick enough to pick up on it in the second or two of screen-time available.

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

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e03 After the Funeral (2005) – 5/10 period crime detective drama TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Philomena McDonagh
Robert Bathurst: Gilbert Entwhistle
Geraldine James: Helen Abernethie
Anna Calder-Marshall: Maude Abernethie
Monica Dolan: Cora and Miss Gilchrist
Kevin Doyle: Inspector Morton
Michael Fassbender: George Abernathie
Fiona Glascott: Rosamund
Julian Ovenden: Michael Shane
Lucy Punch: Susannah Henderson
William Russell: Lanscombe
Anthony Valentine: Giovanni Gallaccio
Benjamin Whitrow: Timothy Abernethie
Producer: Trevor Hopkins
Director: Maurice Phillips

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e03 After the Funeral (2005)

Poirot investigates the death of a man who, after his funeral, is claimed to have been murdered by one of his slightly dotty relatives, Cora Gallaccio. Her rambling is dismissed but a bizarre and unexpected will proves to be an appetiser for the main course: the brutal murder of Cora Gallaccio the day after the funeral.

5/10

Christie’s whodunit has such an unforeseen solution that it drags this adaptation back up to average after declining slowly through inactivity and ripe acting during the second hour. Despite all the period production design, this outing, like most of these two-hour adaptations, simply has no atmosphere or charm.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains mild sexuality, Unpleasant scenes

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Agatha Christie’s Poirot 1.06 Triangle at Rhodes (1989, TV) – 6/10 review

Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Dramatization): Stephen Wakelam
Script Consultant: Clive Exton
Frances Low: Pamela Lyall
Jon Cartwright: Commander Chantry
Annie Lambert: Valentine Chantry
Peter Settelen: Douglas Gold
Angela Down: Marjorie Gold
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Renny Rye
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott
Executive Producer: Linda Agran

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s 1.06 Triangle at Rhodes (1989)

While Poirot isn’t the only one to notice the eternal triangle between a habitual-bride and somebody’s else husband while in Rhodes but he is the only one to warn the philanderer’s wife to leave Rhodes if she values her life. However, the whole thing seems to work out amicably before Poirot leaves for home.

6/10

Composer Christopher Gunning overdoes the localization and it renders significant portions of this episode rather irritating. However, it’s beautifully produced, well-acted and Suchet is charming, handsome, gracious and charismatic as Poirot.

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

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.