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|Index||59 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
These seventy episodes, these eighty-four hours of film, these thirty-
five DVDs are worth a mountain of gold of course. Agatha Christie
created this particular character who is probably as famous as Sherlock
Holmes, and that is telling a lot. The stories themselves are nearly
anecdotal but the character is absolutely fabulous. And the actor
composed his character so well that we really think he is the man in
the story. Some extras explain that transformation of an actor into his
First this character is surprisingly original for an English detective story writer. He is Belgian. He is some kind of refugee in England. He kept a delicious French accent, in fact a mixture between the Belgian and the French accents of the French language. This accent is kept constant and unvarying over twenty-one years by the very same actor who is aging of course but since Poirot's adventures stretch from the very end of the First World War to just before the Second World War this aging is natural. The actor ages the same number of years as the character.
Second the character has a distinctive physique, walks in a distinctive way, has an astonishing moustache that evolves with age but not that much, though in the last episode he reveals the most astounding secret. He dies in that last episode and the explanation of the last case is post-mortem, in fact four months after his own death. Hercule Poirot can reach beyond his own grave.
The character has a final characteristic that is particularly distinctive but also irritating. He is absolutely vain and his vanity makes him consider he is the most intelligent detective, and probably man, in the world and that his little grey cells have no equal. He has no real competitor, not even Sherlock Holmes, of course. That vanity makes him extremely nasty with most people around him and first of all his secretary, Captain Hastings and his valet-butler, not to speak of all the policemen he has to deal with. This vanity becomes a feature without which Poirot would not be Poirot. Agatha Christie made him like that and he has to be like that. She even includes in many episodes a female detective story writer who is her own impersonation as a fictional doppelganger of herself. And of course that doppelganger is not that swift and she often lets herself go into the traps of false logic, I mean false criminal logic. The logic of a criminal has little to do with that of a story teller.
But the whole series has another quality that makes it nearly real. It is rooted in real life. Poirot is rooted in England in 1918 as a veteran from the front on a convalescing period. Then the cars, the trains, the radio, and every single fixture in society move up with time little by little, year after year. All the characters, policemen and others age and go up in society, are promoted or just go away, disappear or die. The treatment of this environment, settings, buildings, people, theaters, etc, makes the series believable and true to the core.
Of course I would advise you not to watch the thirty-five DVDs in one go. Take your time and alternate four or five DVDs with something else for a few days. It may become slightly tiresome in heavy doses. But then you will find out that the various episodes are always a tremendous description of all kinds of social or cultural situations, in London and out of London, and quite a few on the continent. Of course Agatha Christie's stories are quite realistic, but the TV production was very careful to look for and find the proper elements that makes the whole thing rich and entertaining but with enough variation for the series not to become tiring. We will also note how the political situation is clearly alluded to and evoked particularly the rise of Hitler and some Nazi party or groups in Great Britain. This political and historical realism was typical of Agatha Christie and it is perfectly kept in this series, and you will enjoy it.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I literally grew up with Poirot, Sunday nights as a nine and ten year
old were all about Poirot, Pistachio nuts, Terry's Pyramint.
The productions evolved over time, the early hour long format episodes were much lighter viewing, over time they became more gritty, more daring. One good example is Series 3's Plymouth Express, a much darker presentation they anything that had gone before. By the time you reach Elephants can remember in Series 13 there was something very dark about the production.
I would imagine it became more difficult for the producers over time, they were able to cherry pick adaptations during the early years, some books were much more suitable to the screen then others, The ABC murders and Death in the Clouds would have been so much easier to work with then say The Big Four or Cards on the Table.
The adaptations remained fairly faithful to the book, there was never a fear of them doing what they did with the Marple series, and transplant Poirot into novels he was never intended to be in, for a good reason each of her works had a certain flavour. A few times changes were made to the books, I can only imagine for good reason, too many characters, budget restraints etc. The Big Four and Appointment with death being altered more then some.
So good was David Suchet in the role, that now when you think of Poirot you see David in your mind. I think it will be a while before someone attempts to remake Poirot for the small screen. David had a lot to live up to, Poirot had hit the big screen, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile had both been huge adaptations, the remakes both compete favourably. Suchet is Poirot.
Characters were switched and added quite a lot, Hastings, Japp and Miss Lemon were often drafted in, but in later years that wasn't the case. It's hardly surprising as each is so enjoyable. Watching them all reunite in 'Lord Edgeware dies' was special.
Generally the productions were very good to excellent, for me at the top of the pile are The ABC Murders, Curtain and Sad Cypress, each are literally flawless. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Big Four are two of the relatively few lesser offerings, with the only true misfire being Murder in Mesopotamia.
For years I hoped for the productions to be completed, at times it seemed like they'd never get through them, I'm so glad they did, but I am missing him.
Who knows maybe one day The Monogram Murders will be made, not a Christie story I know, but it would be worth it to see Poirot anew once again. This truly was a fabulous series. 10/0
When I first read the Poirot novels, I tried to imagine this
meticulous, egg-shaped headed, impeccably dressed, oiled mustached
person who would never exist in real life. It was kind of hard to
believe that someone could be so eccentric in nature and yet a person
of first class intellect and understanding of the human mind. David
Suchet has brought to life what many of the readers would not have been
able to portray in their imaginations.
This is an amazing portrayal of a series of novels into a TV series. I still believe that reading a novel beats the television in building the tension and creating the excitement. The cases are still very much interesting!
Watch this series if you like old time mysteries. If the simple country people and their scandals appeal to you. Watch this to see the dedication of a team of people who worked 24 hard years to bring EVERY Poirot case written by Agatha Christie on TV! And finally, watch this to see an amazing actor adroitly performing as arguably one of the most difficult characters created in this genre of fiction.
David Suchet simply is Poirot. All the other actors who have played him just do not measure up. Much as I love Peter Ustinov, his Poiret was just too hammed up! Anyone who has read the books (and I have read them all) will know just how accurate Suchet is and I know he goes to a lot of trouble to be as accurate as he can. I, at first, didn't like the way they padded out the stories with differently scenes not in the books, but I don't mind that know and think they add to the stories and fill out the characters, especially Miss Lemon, who is terrific. I know David Suchet's ambition is to do all the Poirot stories and I hope he manages it.
At first Poirot seems like a comic book character, and really that does
not change much. However, once the viewer is inured to the fantasy-like
stories, it becomes very entertaining. What strikes me most about the
series is the superb photography, the choice of vistas, the colors of
the scenery, of the vehicles, and of the characters' clothing. The "art
deco" look of the buildings, art, furnishing, and clothing is eye
Poirot's supposed genius and ability to figure out even the most convoluted situations is gratifying for those who want the bad guys caught and the good guys rewarded. His ability to admit his failure is notable, but sometimes it is as if he is saying, "I am sorry I thought myself wrong, when I was really right." Poirot's sidekick Captain Hastings is much like Holmes' Watson, about a step and a half behind and a day late. Much as with Watson, one wonders what good Hastings does, but sees clearly the impediment he is to Poirot.
A classic and characteristic exchange between Poirot and Hastings shows the contrast between the shallow Hastings and pensive Poirot. After speaking with the "Veiled Woman" (a villainess posing as blue blood), Hastings says, "What a stunning woman!" Poirot replies with a knowing smile, "I sometimes think mon ami, that you are too easily stunned."
Chief Inspector Jap at first is the bumbling, jealous cop who resents Poirot and gets in Poirot's way. As the series develops, Jap's respect for Poirot grows as does Poirot's for Jap. Eventually Jap becomes an ally and helper for Poirot. It is funny to see the contrast, as Poirot stays in the finest hotels while on a case, while Jap shares a bed (out of fiscal necessity) with another cop in a hostel. When Jap visits Poirot's office, he is served coffee in a plain cup and saucer, while Poirot drinks his nog (looks like Irish coffee) from a fancy clear, silver-handled tankard.
All in all this is a very good series, and fuels the addiction of movie-lovers like me. Another well-done British production; head and shoulders above anything on American TV. This from an American reviewer.
It is the end of 2013 and on TV, "Poirot" has bid farewell to Hastings
with words reflecting on the validity of the criminal methods that he
spent his life investigating and of course, the usual chiding of his
friend for "lacking the little gray cells". It is a sad moment in the
history of television because "Curtain" has closed on one of the most
beloved characters and one of the most brilliant series ever made for
David Suchet's Poirot has gone down in history as one of the most brilliant and convincing portrayals of any character on screen. His performance supported by convincing performances from Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran and a long list of guest actors factored along with the largely faithful depiction of Christie's novels that never failed to maintain the true spirit of her plots, gave this paradoxically unassuming and self-effacing series (in contrast to its self- congratulatory and arrogant protagonist) a long successful air-life of a quarter century, surviving successfully, based solely on the quality of its programming, for 24 years from 1989 to 2013.
I am reminded of Lord Tennyson's words - "men may come and men may go, but I go on forever." Several series have come and gone since "Poirot" started airing and several with continue to come and go, while Poirot continues to entertain us through repeat airings and DVD sets.
Reading Christie's Poirot was a great experience for me. But the shear
plot and the style of the books written aren't the only reason why I
like the Poirot series. It's the atmosphere of the era which was
brought to us in a splendid manor. Watching Poirot makes me want to
move back 80 years a go, live in Art Deco and ride the famous steam
lines from coast to coast.
The cleanliness of the frames, perfection of scenery and the scholar English dialogs really made me enjoy Sunday afternoons. Yes, I know it's an ideogram of times long passed but it still is one of the best portrayed history based motion picture contents.
Also, Poirot shows one particular thing that really was authentic for the time when novels were written - concern for crime and it's impact in society. Today's vision of murder is widely accepted as something normal and common. Watching all sorts of CSI programs made today's environment accept murder as an acceptable category, no matter how sinister, bizarre and pointless it is. Poirot represents a completely different point, showing that a crime was a scarce and socially unacceptable unlike today. By enlightening all the aspects of the crime Poirot makes not only good entertainment, but a conclusion with meaning and a clear message.
Concerning Poirot, I'm sorry about two things - that the world has degraded so much in the last 80 years, and the fact we don't have more good series like Poirot.
British mysteries don't get any better than this. Poirot is a wonderful
series that shows the pure dedication of the cast and crew. Each
episode has 1) a baffling mystery, 2) great performances from the cast,
3) gorgeous production values, and much more. David Suchet is the
quintessential Poirot, hands down. He studied every single Poirot book
or short story in minute detail, and gets every trait of Poirot's down
perfectly. He even pays attention to how many sugar cubes Poirot puts
in his tea (it's three, by the way). If that isn't dedication, I don't
know what is.
The rest of the cast supports Suchet ably. Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson as Inspector Japp, and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon lend a sense of humor, comradery, and fun to the series. They are sorely missed in the most recent feature-length episodes, and I hope they will return. Speaking of, the newer episodes are slightly disappointing in that they stray from Agatha Christie's plots and lack the feel of the earlier episodes. But Suchet is superb as always, and they are entertaining mysteries in their own right.
You really owe it to yourself to watch this fantastic mystery series, even if you are not naturally drawn to that sort of thing. Believe me, you won't regret it.
Agatha Christie's Poirot is a wonderful and brilliant show that lasted for many years, based on the ingenious tales of murder and mystery by the queen of crime herself, Dame Agatha Christie. David Suchet dissolves into the role of the great eccentric genius, Hercule Poirot, a character previously played on film by Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov. But none were as perfect for this part as David Suchet. And where would a detective be without his loyal companions, Captain Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon, all of them delightful and lovable, played by Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran respectively. This is definitely British television at its best, and seeing these wonderful and ingenious novels and short stories come to life is really a treat. Different episodes also feature different stellar casts, Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express come to mind. I also have to acknowledge the wonderful score composed by Christopher Gunning, that is really a wonderful tune and sets the tone for a fun time. Even after this show sadly had to end, it will always be re-watched and discovered by new people, and Suchet's performance as Poirot will be cherished and remembered forever.
I am a huge Agatha Christie fan, at 17, and I absolutely love Agatha Christie:Poirot. What I love most about Agatha Christie's books are their clever final solutions and well developed characters. My favourite Poirot book is Death on the Nile, Sleeping Murder for Miss Marple, but my favourite of all the books is And Then There Were None. Back to Agatha Christie:Poirot, the period detail is splendid, with wonderful costumes and sets, and matched with great music. David Suchet is impeccable as Poirot, in my opinion he doesn't just play Poirot, he IS Poirot, just like John Thaw WAS Morse. Don't get me wrong, Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney both gave enjoyable portrayals of the character, but Suchet has something that makes him the best of the Poirots, he not only looks the part, but he brings this sense of humour to the role, and his co-stars were always saying how he was always in character when he put his moustache on. Hugh Fraser is very entertaining as the rather naive Hastings, as is Phillip Jackson as Japp and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon. The scripts are always well written, the stories are intriguing, and the characters fairly complex. Out of all the episodes, which range from good to outstanding, one of my personal favourites has to Five Little Pigs, very haunting and tragic at the same time. It is true that very few of the episodes are completely faithful to the books, but the fact that all the episodes are so well-made and acted, that is forgiven. 10/10 for a wonderful series, one of my favourites along with Inspector Morse and Touch of Frost. Bethany Cox.
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