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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A good start to the series

8/10
Author: pawebster from England
24 September 2007

It is interesting to see this, the very first episode, of the Poirot series. All the regular characters are introduced, but they are still finding their way, which is understandable. This applies especially to Suchet, who, particularly at the beginning of the episode, is not quite the Poirot of later stories. Japp is grimmer and gruffer than he otherwise will be.

The period settings are very good, but one of the costumes -- that of Mrs Todd -- is like something from amateur dramatics and doesn't quite match the rest.

The story is an interesting, if preposterous, one and is well presented.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Perfect on-screen short story

10/10
Author: Anastasia Kharlamova from Saint-Petersburg, Russia
28 August 2012

A very nice little movie, quite faithful to the book.

Mrs. Todd, though, is a bit vulgar-looking, she wears too much makeup and too bright clothes - it's not like the strict plain housewife I imagined when I read the story. But this portrayal of her doesn't spoil the overall impression.

The mystery here is as twisted as in Christie's larger works. I liked it that the director didn't try to prolong it by adding a whole set of new characters and details. Almost everything is just as it was in the story.

I highly recommend the movie to everyone who likes the true Agatha Christie stories, her ideas and her characters, preserved on screen. Watching The Adventure of the Clapham Cook is literally like seeing that mysterious but also quite funny short story coming alive.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great start to a great series

8/10
Author: Paularoc from United States
8 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From the opening art deco-like credits and opening music, I knew I was going to like this series - and I still do after 20 years, but especially the early shows. The original producers made some really good decisions: 1) casting David Suchet as Poirot, 2) having all the shows set in the 1930s and 3) having the shows include Hastings, Miss Lemon and/or Japp. The shows with them are much more entertaining and engaging than the later feature length shows without them. This show has the usual high production values although the plot line is a bit unnecessarily convoluted. My favorite scenes were those with Poirot and the young, naive and not terrible bright housemaid. Poirot was kind to her and did not appear to be looking down her - he displayed no signs of snobbishness. The second thing that struck me was how sad a situation the missing cook was in. After a lifetime of toil, her ship finally comes in (she thinks) and she inherits a very small and modest house in the country. She is so happy and proud of her little, rather shabby house. And, of course, it's not really hers and her dream world will soon come to an end. Poirot knows this and shows a bit of sadness about it - he's not yet a complete cynic.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The one that started it all...

8/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
6 May 2012

I have always been an Agatha Christie and Poirot fan, and this was an interesting starting point to one of my favourites of all time on television. Better was still to come, with everybody finding their feet, but this is a most promising start, though while still clever the story isn't the most plausible of Poirot mysteries. Also Mrs Todd's clothing is not entirely accurate in comparison to the rest. However, as to expect from this series, it is a classy and elegant looking adaptation, with the music haunting and beautiful and the writing intelligent. David Suchet would give better performances later on in this same role in other episodes, but he still disappears behind the character and is always never less than convincing, often outstanding. The same can be said for Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran too and Brigit Forsyth and Dermot Crowley are solid in their support roles of Mrs Todd and Simpson. All in all, a promising start that opened the door to even better episodes to the series. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

David Suchet starts his long run as Poirot

8/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
11 December 2013

I have to say, to me, David Suchet is most faithful to the Agatha Christie Poirot in the books. He is fastidious, vain, brilliant, and somewhat superior, and altogether perfect. Peter Ustinov was fantastic. He, like Margaret Rutherford, created his own character and was marvelous, bringing much more humor to the role.

This is the first in the series, The Adventures of the Clapham Cook, made in 1989. Poirot is consulted about a woman's missing cook, Eliza Dunn. She went to the market one day and never came back. This isn't Hercule's kind of case. It's not lofty enough, but there's something about it....he takes it.

A strange tale of inheritance follows, and Poirot soon finds himself dealing with a bank employee, which takes him far afield of what started out as a simple missing persons case.

This whole series is excellent and was and at times still is a mainstay of public television. This particular story is excellent, and we get to meet the cast of characters -- Poirot, Hastings, Miss Lemon,and Inspector Japp (Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran, and Philip Jackson) all of whom are marvelous and just right for the period in which the story takes place. And who wouldn't want to live in that fabulous art deco building?

The first time I heard David Suchet's real speaking voice I was shocked. His Poirot accent is so brilliant. I had the privilege of seeing him on Broadway in Amadeus. What an actor.

Truly excellent series.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Show that Started Suchet's Poirot Ball Rolling

6/10
Author: aramis-112-804880 from United States
5 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode established David Suchet as a Poirot to be reckoned with.

The mystery itself is not much of a mystery. A cook has disappeared and the frantic family enlists Poirot's help to recover her as good cooks are hard to find.

Poirot is beside himself. The great Poirot, called upon to find a cook. Suchet's rages as Poirot were always comic, so they did not put viewers off the character.

What established Suchet best (besides the smile he flashes in the opening credits) was the manner he uses with the other domestics, putting them at their ease and giving them a grin. Suchet's Poirot is a seducer.

Other Poirots have had their adherents and detractors. In "Murder on the Orient Express" Albert Finney went to great lengths to be the best screen Poirot ever. Peter Ustinov has his fans, despite his ungainly appearance and his teetering Poirot on the verge of being a completely comic character.

Suchet is the first Poirot to try to find the character's humanity (whether Christie gave him much or not). And his shows get off to a good start, just like Jeremy Brett's "Sherlock Holmes." They did not stint on production values. As far as they shot into the depth of the scene they dressed it in period 1930s mode. At the outset of the series, the shows look scrumptious.

Perhaps they wanted a mystery that wasn't much of a mystery to acquaint viewers with the Poirot character, I don't know. I do know David Suchet, despite playing a balding Poirot, steps into the role and makes it enjoyable from the start.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good start for a great series

7/10
Author: gridoon2014
1 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hercule Poirot is looking for a matter of "national importance" to investigate, but he settles for the disappearance of a female cook because the case intrigues him, in the very first episode of the "Poirot" series (which, when all is said and done, will have lasted 25 years!). Sometimes a TV series needs a little time to "find its footing", but "Poirot" did not: mostly everything that fans of the series love about it (mystery, humor, casting, music, vintage props, clothes, hats, cars, etc.) is already here from the first episode. The producers have spared no expenses (or at least it looks that way) in their efforts to fully transport you to mid-1930s England. And David Suchet needs no time to settle into the role of Poirot, either; he inhabits it right from his first few seconds on screen. The story, however, is not among the most challenging in the series, with one key disguise in particular very easy to see through. Still, this is a good introduction into the world of Hercule Poirot. *** out of 4.

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Overture.

6/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
12 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's always interesting to see how a long and successful television series begins and compare the earlier with the later episodes.

The differences in this case aren't striking. Poirot's accent and general demeanor are the same. The mustache is more modest than that baroque thing under his nose in some later stories. But, all in all, he minces along and complains about a grease spot on his suit, just as he always will. Hastings is appreciably younger but firmly Hastings. Miss Lemon is as voluptuous as ever, and Inspector Japp is burdened with the same lugubrious features.

The story itself reminded me a little of some of Conan-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, at least some elements of it. The duping of a naif by a person is disguise turned up once in a while in the Holmes stories. There were echoes of "The Red Headed League." And all of these fictional detectives display an intuition that would stagger a fortune teller, not just Holmes and Poirot but, equally, Columbo.

Example: A murderer goes to great lengths to obtain a particular battered old trunk. He intends to hide a dead body in it. But what does he want an ordinary and weathered trunk? Because it's less likely to be opened by customs inspectors when he ships the body-containing trunk to Venezuela. He's going to take it with him to Caracas because he doesn't want to be bothered disposing of the body in England. Got that? Poirot got it. He figured it all out in no time.

Complete fun.

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