Four clocks surround an unidentified corpse in a blind woman's house, and a young typist is summoned to the crime scene. However, Poirot is convinced that the complicated setup is merely hiding a simpler solution.
Investigating a spy-ring, Lt. Colin Race comes to Wilbraham Crescent, where he literally bumps into agency typist Sheila Webb, as she comes flying out of number 19, the home of blind receptionist Millicent Pebmarsh. Sheila has discovered the body of a man whose identity proves hard to confirm, surrounded by four clocks, stopped at the same time. Miss Pebmarsh does not know the man and did not ask for the services of Sheila, who is the initial chief suspect. However, as Poirot is brought in to assist Inspector Hardcastle in the case, and the murderer strikes again, Poirot comes to realize that the man was killed elsewhere and brought to Miss Pebmarsh's house. The neighbors claim to have seen nothing but Poirot believes one of them may have had a secret which was worth killing for and sets out to unmask them, as well as explaining the significance, if any, of the clocks. At the same time, Colin solves his investigation with Poirot's help. Written by
don @ minifie-1
I am a big fan of the Poirot adaptations with David Suchet and of Agatha Christie's books, so of course I was going to see The Clocks. The series has had a few masterpieces(After the Funeral), a number of solid adaptations(Cat Among the Pigeons) and the odd disappointment(Taken at the Flood). I have to say I was very impressed with this adaptation of The Clocks, and put it between the masterpiece and solid categories.
My only real complaint of The Clocks was the spy subplot, which came across as rather old-fashioned and predictable. Other than that, it was very well done and highly entertaining right from the beautifully shot prologue to the intriguing final solution. The book wasn't my favourite of The Queen of Crime, but it was a very fun read with a good story and interesting characters.
I feel The Clocks is one of the better-directed recent episodes. There are times when the direction is taut when it needs to be, and there are other times when like in the prologue where it is quite elegant. The adaptation as is the case with all the Poirot episodes is very well made, the period recreation is sumptuous and the photography is consistently excellent. I feel often that music helps to enhance the mood in a film, TV adaptation or cartoon, and that's what the music does here. The music here is beautiful and haunting and never feels over-bearing or overly-grandiose.
The story is faithful and interesting and it is helped by the solid pacing and the wonderful array of characters, while the dialogue has the odd wry moment while maintaining its thoughtfulness. I was highly impressed by the atmosphere too, in some ways the adaptation is quite dark and suspenseful but there is always room for some humour without it jarring too much. The acting is excellent, David Suchet doesn't just play Poirot, he actually becomes Poirot. He is brilliantly supported by Phil Daniels, Anna Massey and especially Lesley Sharp, and it was nice to see the late John Thaw's daughter Abigail here too.
Overall, a solid adaptation and one of the better recent episodes. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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