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.
An infamous 'psychic' abandons his public persona, outing himself as a fake, to focus on his work as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation in order to find "Red John," the madman who killed his wife and daughter.
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.
S. Epatha Merkerson,
Jesse L. Martin
En route to the train station to attend a disarmament conference in Paris, the Prime Minister's car is attacked by what the press describe as ruffians. The PM is slightly injured and does make it across the Channel to French soil, but never arrives in Paris. Poirot is called in by senior government officials as it appears the Prime Minister has been kidnapped. He soon comes to the conclusion however that the evidence from the first attack doesn't quite add up and all is not what it seems. Written by
As a fan of this series, I did like this episode. Some of the clues are on the obvious side and Commander Daniels is not as well-written as he is in the short story, in fact his wife was much more interesting than he was here. However, the story still manages to be engrossing right up to the nail-biting conclusion, and along with strong writing with a good balance of the tense and the humorous if leaning more on the former, an evocative in detail and suspenseful in tone atmosphere and a hauntingly beautiful music score, The Kidnapped Prime Minister is very well made with the details both gorgeous and authentic. The acting is very good, David Suchet always plays Hercule Poirot as if born to play him and here is no exception, and Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran are as solid and as amusing as ever. Of the supporting turns, I found Lisa Harrow's the most memorable, looking I agree 10 years younger than she actually was she is wonderfully conniving. Overall, a good mystery and well made, even there are less obviously written episodes in the series, all of which range from fairly decent to outstanding. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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