With his rumpled raincoat, ever-present cigar, bumbling demeanour and Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction, disarmingly polite homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo took on some of the most cunning murderers in Los Angeles, most of whom made one fatal, irrevocable mistake: underestimating his investigative genius.
The show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court.
Jesse L. Martin,
After traveling on the Blue Train from Calais to Nice, Hercule Poirot is pressed into service to help solve the murder of heiress Ruth Kettering who is found savagely beaten in her compartment. She was the daughter of wealthy industrialist Rufus Van Alden and very much wanted a divorce. Both her husband and her lover were on the train but she had changed rooms with another passenger, Katherine Grey, so the question naturally arises as to whether she was the intended victim. Grey may also have had enemies as she had recently inherited a very large sum of money and greedy relatives had suddenly taken a interest in her. When an attempt is subsequently made on Grey's life, this appears to the case but Poirot methodically sifts through all of the clues to determine the motive and identify the killer. Written by
Of course, this isn't the first time Poirot is on a train where someone is murdered. "The Mystery of the Blue Train" is from season 10 and stars David Suchet as Poirot, Elliot Gould, Lindsay Duncan, Bronagh Gallagher, and James D'Arcy.
In this episode, Poirot works to solve the murder of Ruth Kettering, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. She is beaten literally beyond recognition. Added to this, in order to be closer to her lover, she changed rooms with Katherine Grey, a new heiress whom Poirot has befriended. Ruth owned the brilliant Heart of Fire ruby, which is now missing - but the safe wasn't broken into. When Grey visits her relatives, she is attacked, raising the question - did the killer have the right woman? There's gambling, adultery, broke relatives and resentment as Poirot investigates the suspects further. Lindsay Duncan as Gray's suddenly attentive cousin (she's broke) is fantastic. I had the pleasure of seeing her in person in "Private Lives," and she is a wonderful actress. Suchet as usual is the perfect Poirot. I also had the privilege of seeing him in person in "Amadeus." He truly is a chameleon. Georgina Rylance is also excellent as Katherine Gray, an insecure young woman who's just inherited a fortune and now socializes with a different class of people.
The rest of the acting, frankly, wasn't fabulous - you could spot the fake American accents right away and the characters seemed put on rather than the real thing. It might have been the dialogue, it might have been the directing - I tend to think it was the latter.
I don't remember this book, so I didn't mind whatever changes there were. I enjoyed the story.
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