Ariadne Oliver is accosted by the unpleasant Mrs Burton-Cox, whose son Desmond has hopes of marrying Ariadne's beautiful goddaughter Celia Ravenscroft. But Mrs Burton-Cox will not give her blessings to the match until she learns the truth of the deaths of Celia's parents, who were found shot to death on the grounds of their estate a decade before. Were they murdered, or was it a suicide pact? If they were murdered, who shot whom? Despite being insulted by the woman's impertinence, Ariadne is nevertheless drawn to the cold case by curiosity, and resolves to find out the truth when she is persuaded by Celia herself. When she turns to Poirot for assistance, however, she finds him already preoccupied investigating the murder of an elderly psychiatrist who was the father of a personal friend. So Ariadne sets out to solve the Ravenscroft affair herself, with the mantra that 'elephants can remember' - no matter how much time has passed and how much people who were acquainted with the ... Written by
Poirot (David Suchet) is back for season 13 with "Elephants Can Remember," a good adaptation of the Agatha Christie book. The book, as the episode, prominently features Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker).
Poirot is called upon to investigate the death of a semi-retired psychiatrist who was murdered in a hydrotherapy bathtub in his institute.
Ariadne comes to him for help in the midst of his investigation. She has been asked to have a look at the death of her goddaughter Celia's parents 13 years ago. It was a big scandal at the time, and it seemed to have been a murder/suicide on a lonely cliff. No one could understand it, as the couple was a happy one. The woman asking, Mrs. Burton-Cox, has a son who wants to marry Celia. Mrs. B-C is concerned.
Poirot can't help due to his commitment. He advises her to interview anyone around at the time to jar their memories.
In time, Poirot's case and Ariadne's case intersects, and Poirot founds out a critical piece of information. The minute he learns this, he's on his way to figuring out the case.
Well, I figured it out before he did because of another piece of information, but I don't think Poirot got that one, either, until later. Also, even though I read the book probably 50 years ago, perhaps I subconsciously remembered it. But I don't think so.
Anyway, someone on the board was very critical of this episode, saying that they have cut Poirot's screen time, Suchet looks awful and doesn't want to be there, and it was a bad episode.
Well, David Suchet being the incredible actor he is may -- I say may -
have had another commitment, or in staying true to the book, they
threw a lot to Oliver. When I saw Suchet interviewed, he seemed very committed to Poirot, though I admit he looked tired in this episode. He was about 67 during the last season and it's possible he couldn't keep up the schedule. However, I saw him in The Importance of Being Earnest this summer on stage and he was amazing.
I actually thought the episode was quite good. When you have seen a lot of Christie stories, or read them, you realize that she used some plot devices more than once and yes, some stories are better than others. Her best book was The Murder of Roger Acroyd, which was an awful episode. So there you go. You can't win them all, but I think the producers and writers succeeded here.
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