Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013)
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Taken at the Flood 

A young widow is left in sole possession of her late husband's fortune, and her brother refuses to share it with her in-laws - so they enlist Poirot to try to prove that the widow's missing first husband might not be dead after all.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Adela Marchmont
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Rowley Cloade
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Rosaleen / Eileen
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David Hunter
Amanda Douge ...
Lynn Marchmont
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Frances Cloade
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Pebmarsh
Claire Hackett ...
Beatrice Lippincott
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'Aunt' Kathy Cloade
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Major James Porter
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Dr. Lionel Woodward
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Mrs Leadbetter
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Storyline

Hercule Poirot finds himself trying to solve the mystery of the Cloade family. Rosaleen is the young widow of Gordon Cloade who was killed in a gas explosion in his London home. Rosaleen has inherited her late husband's substantial fortune and she and her brother David Hunter are refusing to share it with other members of Gordon Cloade's family. There have been persistent rumors that Rosaleen's first husband, an intrepid explorer, is still alive and as such would nullify her marriage to Gordon. What Poirot learns however is of a far greater deception that will alter everyone's perception of what they believe to their reality. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 December 2006 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (11 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is from the words of Brutus in William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", which Poirot (in the novel) quotes: "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to Fortune". (Poirot is explaining "it is very Shakespearian".) See more »

Goofs

When Poirot is at the inn examining the murder scene, the "dead" body can be seen breathing. See more »

Quotes

Hercule Poirot: Do you know that the priest, when he is buried, he is always facing his parishoners? Oui. Because when the Day of Judgment, it comes, and the dead, they all arise, he can greet them, and lead them through the Gates of Paradise. Tis a beautiful idea.
Rosaleen: He shan't be leading me.
Hercule Poirot: You must not say that, ma chere. Despair is a sin.
Rosaleen: I'm cut off from the mercy of God.
Hercule Poirot: No. No one is cut off from the mercy of God... ever.
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User Reviews

 
Some outstanding things, some acceptable things and some things that didn't work- for me overall this is the weakest Poirot
19 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I will say, that my overview of the entire Poirot series is that it is absolutely wonderful, so well made and acted. Taken At the Flood isn't terrible, as there are some good things, but as an adaptation it doesn't work. Out of Season 10, this is the episode that I was most disappointed with. I was disappointed as well with Cards on the Table which started off so well with great acting but the ending spoilt it completely, but After the Funeral was absolutely phenomenal and one of my favourite Poirots to date. As far as Poirot episodes go, while there are some undeniably good things this is for me the weakest Poirot, and this was after I saw the Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which despite the good performances and production values made a mess of what I consider one of Miss Christie's best books. Speaking of the book Taken At The Flood, I agree it is one of the lesser works by the Queen of Crime, but it is still a compelling enough read.

There are some outstanding things here. First and foremost, David Suchet; by far the best thing of the adaptation, for he was absolutely outstanding here as Poirot. Here he acquired a perfect mix of the comical Poirot, which he does so effectively and the serious which he does even better. Second, the production values. The photography is excellent, the effects are well done and the scenery and costumes as is always the case with this series is top notch. Thirdly, the music is very good, beautiful in some places and haunting in others. Fourth, the direction from Andy Wilson is excellent in general. Out of the supporting performances, Elizabeth Spriggs and Tim Piggott Smith are the most impressive, and I love Jenny Agutter and she does a good job. Also Amanda Douge is stunning.

Some other things were merely acceptable. The quality of the script is not as good as it is in an adaptation like Five Little Pigs or After the Funeral, but Poirot does have some truly funny and even moving parts that Suchet, the great actor that he is, delivers brilliantly. Everything else ranges from acceptable to rather uncharacteristic of Agatha Christie. Eva Birthistle as Rosaleen does well, she performs effectively in some scenes, but Rosaleen isn't quite the same as she is in the book in terms of looks. The pacing is not exactly fast paced, as a matter of fact this is an example of an adaptation that starts quite slowly, but it does pick up.

However, there were other things that didn't work at all. I for one, didn't like the portrayal of David Hunter. Instead of the cynical, calculating and lecherous jerk he is in the book, he is as one reviewer summed up a cold blooded lunatic and I for one found it obvious that he was a villain in some way. Plus Elliot Cowan overacts so wildly, I found it hard to relate to his character at all, it was like Robert Hardy in the Inspector Morse episode Twilight of the Gods all over again. Some of the plot changes were baffling and implausible too, Rosaleen's drug addiction was a head scratcher, and the German air raid idea was implausible. Don't get me started also on the suicide of Major Porter, whose idea was it for him to do it right next to someone, it made no sense. But the biggest flaw, and the weakest scene of the whole adaptation was the ending, what a let down. I can watch it for Suchet's denouncement speech, which is a revelation in terms of delivery, but the plot changes like Cards on the Table and Murder of Roger Ackroyd ruined it, and it misses the point of the book completely.

All in all, some good things, but there are things that just didn't work. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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