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17 out of 23 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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10 out of 10 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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8 out of 8 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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9 out of 10 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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9 out of 10 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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5 out of 5 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good start for a great series

7/10
Author: gridoon2016
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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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"No no no, I am not some French gent, I am some Belgian gent."

7/10
Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
30 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Poirot agrees to take the case of a missing cook - a case he feels beneath him. But Poirot soon realizes there's more going on than he initially suspected. The case of the missing cook soon turns into a case of murder.

I suppose that The Adventure of the Clapham Cook is as good a place as any to begin the long running Poirot series. There's a lot here to enjoy. Somehow, Suchet nails Poirot and his many mannerisms and eccentricities from the start. Suchet is simply brilliant. In this episode, I especially enjoyed some of he little moments like Poirot's interaction with the housemaid, Annie. Instead of looking down on her, with a nod and a word, he makes her feel more important than she has in her entire life. The first episode does a decent job of introducing the other major characters - Hastings, Lemon, and Japp. While the characters are all fleshed-out more fully in later episodes, it's nice that they're here from the start. Poirot's scenes with Hastings, in particular, are excellent. One small example - the scene on the train when Hastings starts to put together the clues plays out exactly the way Christie wrote these moments in her books. You can almost see a light bulb being turned on over Hastings' head. Very well done. I also think these early episodes did a better job of paying attention to period detail than later episodes. This is especially true of the number of exterior shots.

However, while I've been a fan of Agatha Christie's books as long as I can remember, I run hot and cold on her short stories. The Adventure of the Clapham Cook has a number of weaknesses. First, the mystery is too easy to figure out. There aren't enough red herrings to make things really fun. It's all fairly straightforward. Second, the disguise used by the murderer (complete with fake beard) doesn't translate well to the screen. It's too easy to see through.

Still, it's a good episode that I rate a 7/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A good start to the series

8/10
Author: grantss from Sydney, Australia
14 July 2016

Hercule Poirot is approached by Mrs Todd with a case. She wants Poirot to investigate the disappearance of her cook, Eliza Dunn. To Poirot it looks like nothing more than a domestic leaving her employer but he reluctantly takes the case. He and Captain Hastings set out to the Todd household in Clapham, where nothing significant turns up. Through advertisements in newspapers they track down Eliza Dunn. The story behind her departure piques Poirot's interest and he starts to think that something far more sinister may be afoot.

The first episode of the wonderful Poirot series, and it's a good one. Quite short by comparison with most of the later episodes but it crams a lot in. Intriguing, especially as the story develops from searching for a domestic who likely just changed employers to something much more interesting, and illegal.

As a bonus, we have the entire gang present - Poirot, Japp, Hastings and Lemon - and the more of them there are in an episode, generally the better it is,

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More engaging and entangled then would first appear.

8/10
Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
26 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A lady visits Poirot seeking his help in finding her missing cook. Not used to such trivialities Poirot is initially unsympathetic, wishing only for cases of National importance. Poirot eventually sympathises and takes the case on, he soon discovers that bigger things are at stake then just a missing cook.

Way back to 1989 to where it all started, it is an utterly charming episode, I love how it switches from humorous to serious, it's truly well realised. On the surface it seems like a simple little mystery, but underneath it's very interesting.

Quite incredible how quickly Suchet got into the role of Poirot, I wonder how much work and research was put into the part. You'd be forgiven for not knowing this was his first outing, his performance is that good. Hugh Fraser and Pauline Moran also seem as if they've been in their roles for years.

The supporting cast are excellent, Brigit Forsyth is a lot of fun as Mrs Todd, I loved how she put him down in the initial meeting. Freda Dowie has been a delightful actress, she was great in this, soft and sympathetic. Soon after this she would give an exceptional performance in Oranges are not the only fruit. Dermot Crowley is excellent too, such an understated performance.

A great short story that showcased the lack of constraints on Agatha Christie's imagination. Everyone getting used to their parts, a very good, solid start, brilliance lay ahead.

8/10

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