Poirot is thrilled to receive an invitation from renowned Belgian actress Marie Marvelle. She has been receiving anonymous notes about the Western Star, a valuable diamond purchased by her husband at a cut-rate price several years before. The notes speak to the mystical nature of the diamonds and that they should be returned to their rightful owners. The next day, Lady Yardly claims to have received similar notes about her own fabulous diamond, the Eastern Star. When Poirot and Hastings visit Lord and Lady Yardly the diamond is stolen in a daring robbery. Needless to say, none of this sits well with Poirot who finds he has a very tight knot to untie. Written by
Poirot is seen placing a card with the words "Mlle. Marie Marvelle." on top of the flowers he has brought with him to the apartment before putting final touches to the tea table.
When he gazes at the bouquet before he picks it up later on, the card is nowhere to be seen. See more »
Season 2: Continues in the vein of the first season to produce a roundly entertaining season
I'm not sure why I never watched Poirot when I was younger, particularly considering how I was basically brought up with Perry Mason and Columbo on Saturday afternoons in front of a good coal fire. Perhaps it was the day that ITV screened it originally, since in my house television on Sundays was generally frowned upon and not encouraged so while people were enjoying the show it just passed me by. The later "big deal" specials I generally found to be good but I only watched now and again as I did feel like I was walking in on the end of something. Watching the first season for the first time about 25 years after it was made was a real good experience and I was pleased to find that the second season continues in the same vein.
In terms of the plot I cannot comment on the faithfulness of the adaptations but I would say that the episodes are generally very engaging because they are accessible and take the viewer with them. My reluctance with some of the BBC Marple films, for example, always came from the feeling that the focus was to be as difficult as possible and just fill time with crisp Englishness before pulling out the conclusion from the hat. With Poirot I didn't have this feeling because the stories were engaging, developed well and most importantly kept the viewer with it OK Poirot himself may be ahead of us, but it was never a case of me not knowing what was going on and just waiting for Poirot to tell me. There were maybe a few moments where I wasn't sure how we came to certain conclusions or information, but mostly it was not the case.
That it does this is one thing but I also continue to love the extent to which the show is complimented by light comedy and entertainment. While the mysteries are the main thing, it doesn't take itself too seriously and has lots of nice asides and comic moments and they are often very well done. A simple flicker of confusion across Poirot's face when Japp said he was riding an invisible bike was typical of the very effective comic touches, but of course there is a lot of very funny and enjoyable material in there which is built in and around the mystery stories to make for a very strong package. The best example is the episode The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim which has plenty of great lines but is never better than the short scene starting with the line "I've got a parrot for Mr Poy-rot".
Suchet makes for a great lead again. His mannerisms and delivery of jumbled sentences is very good, as is his little impatience and arrogance but he is excellent the closer you look as he has lots of very fine detail in his delivery which adds to the production. His comic timing is also very good and he frequently made me laugh with the smallest touch. Fraser is forever the sidekick but his performance is also very good and he works very well alongside Suchet to produce a likable partnership. Jackson's Japp is also well pitched the police character can often be just made bumbling or inept in this type of show (Lestrade in most versions of Sherlock for example) but here he is a good character who again fits well into the dynamic. Support turns throughout the season are generally good. The choice of locations remains good and even though time has aged the look of the episodes, the creation of time and place is very good with excellent costumes and design locations are very well selected even if a couple of them get re-used as different places in different episodes.
The second season of this show continues the very high quality of the first; good mysteries which are told in an accessible and inclusive way, very good performances, material that is funny and entertaining and production design and detail which adds a feeling of quality and depth to each episode. Very enjoyable and very good viewing.
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