When the middle-Eastern country of Ramat is over-run by anti-monarchist revolutionaries, the surviving heir to the throne, Princess Shaista, is spirited away to safety in a small girls' school, Meadowbank, which is run by the progressive Miss Bulstrode. However, when the bullying games mistress Miss Springer is found stabbed through the chest with a javelin, it appears that Meadowbank may not be the haven it promised to be. As Poirot assists Inspector Kelsey, they begin to find that some of the staff may not be quite what they appear, a situation which is compounded when another teacher, Mademoiselle Blanche is found dead and Princess Shaista is kidnapped from the school. With the princess' life in peril, and the prized rubies of Ramat missing, it is up to Poirot to discover who is the cat among the pigeons. Written by
Surprisingly well done adaptation of one of Christie's middling books
I was fully expecting Cat Among the Pigeons to be dreadful, given that the source material is not one of Christie's stronger novels. Imagine my surprise when I watched this stylish, fun adaptation, done with tongue firmly in cheek. For some reason, the campy parts of the book actually translated well to screen (even the "orientalist" flashbacks to the Middle East), and the novel's plot was already so far-fetched that for once the screenwriters didn't change very much (the deletion of one minor character changes very little). Harriet Walter is a delight to watch, as always, and the rest of the casting was also spot on. The ending, which sees Poirot trying to find a way to thank one of the students for her assistance, was actually rather touching, and was a distinct improvement on the novel's.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best of the recent Poirot adaptations, and featuring more humor and wit than many of the others, which have become quite a lot darker than was the original television series.
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