Agatha Christie: Poirot: Season 8, Episode 2

Murder in Mesopotamia (8 Jul. 2001)
"Agatha Christie's Poirot" Murder in Mesopotamia (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Crime
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 848 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

While Poirot is on holiday in Iraq, the wife of the head scientist at an archaeological dig confides to him that she is the target of threatening letters.

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Title: Murder in Mesopotamia (08 Jul 2001)

Murder in Mesopotamia (08 Jul 2001) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dr. Leidner
Barbara Barnes ...
Dinah Stabb ...
Anne Johnson
Georgina Sowerby ...
Amy Leatheran
Jeremy Turner-Welch ...
Bill Coleman
...
Sheila Maitland
Christopher Hunter ...
Father Lavigny
Christopher Bowen ...
Richard Carey
Iain Mitchell ...
Superintendent Maitland
Alexi Kaye Campbell ...
Joseph Mercado
Deborah Poplett ...
Mrs. Mercado
Kamel Touati ...
Squat Man
Hichem Rostom ...
Hotel Receptionist (as Hichem Rostrom)
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Storyline

While accompanying his friend Hastings to a dig in Iraq, Hercule Poirot becomes involved in the murder of an archaeologist's wife. The victim, Mrs. Leidner, had been receiving threatening letters signed by her first husband, who was known to have been killed in a train wreck. Did he survive? Was it his younger brother who was avenging his memory? Did Miss Johnson get rid of her rival for her employer's affections? Did Richard Carey kill the woman he publically announces that he hates? Is the French priest really who he pretends to be? And how many deaths will occur before Poirot unmasks the murderer? Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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8 July 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When in the Bagdad hotel Superintendent Maitland and Poirot enter the room with the "dead" body of Joseph Mercado, you can see the actor of Mercado just open his left eye preparing the subsequent close shot of his face. See more »

Quotes

Hastings: But why would she write threatening letters to herself?
Hercule Poirot: O, I think that would be an assumption too great to make, Hastings, on the grounds of the similarity of the handwritings. But if it were so, it would not be an occurence unheard-of.
Hastings: Pretty ruddy silly if you ask me.
Hercule Poirot: Ah, well, if only people would ask you, Hastings, they would refrain from the ruddy silliness.
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Thanks to the Archeological Site of Oudhna. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, if rather slow adaptation of a wonderful book!
29 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Murder in Mesopotamia, I have always considered one of the better Poirot books, as it is very creepy and has an ingenious ending. There is no doubt that the TV adaptation is visually striking, with some lovely photography and a very haunting music score. As always David Suchet is impeccable as Hercule Poirot, the comedic highlight of the episode being Poirot's battle with a mosquito in the middle of the night, and Hugh Fraser is good as the rather naive Captain Hastings. The remainder of the cast turn in decent performances, but are careful not to overshadow the two leads, a danger in some Christie adaptations. Some of the episode was quite creepy, a juxtaposition of an episode as tragic as Five Little Pigs, an episode that I enjoyed a lot more than this one. What made it creepy in particular, putting aside the music was when Louise Leidner sees the ghostly face through the window. About the adaptation, it was fairly faithful to the book, but I will say that there were three things I didn't like. The main problem was the pacing, it is rather slow, and there are some scenes where very little happens. I didn't like the fact also that they made Joseph Mercado a murderer. In the book, I see him as a rather nervous character, but the intervention of the idea of making him a murderer, and under-developing that, made him a less appealing character, though I am glad they didn't miss his drug addiction. (I also noticed that the writers left out the fact that Mrs Mercado in the book falls into hysteria when she believes she is the murderer's next victim.) The other thing that wasn't so impressive was that I felt that it may have been more effective if the adaptation had been in the viewpoint of Amy Leatheran, like it was in the book, Amy somehow seemed less sensitive in the adaptation. On the whole, despite some misjudgements on the writers' behalf, I liked Murder in Mesopotamia. 7/10 Bethany Cox.


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