This whodunit series based on Dame Agatha Christie's crime novels and short stories, was named after its star sleuth, Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), a famous former Belgian Policeman, who settled for good in London after the war, soon so famous as an infallible private detective that he becomes a society figure in his own right. In each episode, Poirot gets to solve a crime mystery, mostly murder(s), for a paying client or otherwise catching his attention, generally along with his faithful English sidekick Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) and/or his Scotland yard "friendly rival" Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson).Written by
The opening music and titles to Poirot together set the scene that these are tales from the 1930's. Towards the end of the titles, a stylised and complete Battersea Power Station is shown, which was built in two phases the second of which was not finished until the early 1950's. See more »
I literally grew up with Poirot, Sunday nights as a nine and ten year old were all about Poirot, Pistachio nuts, Terry's Pyramint.
The productions evolved over time, the early hour long format episodes were much lighter viewing, over time they became more gritty, more daring. One good example is Series 3's Plymouth Express, a much darker presentation they anything that had gone before. By the time you reach Elephants can remember in Series 13 there was something very dark about the production.
I would imagine it became more difficult for the producers over time, they were able to cherry pick adaptations during the early years, some books were much more suitable to the screen then others, The ABC murders and Death in the Clouds would have been so much easier to work with then say The Big Four or Cards on the Table.
The adaptations remained fairly faithful to the book, there was never a fear of them doing what they did with the Marple series, and transplant Poirot into novels he was never intended to be in, for a good reason each of her works had a certain flavour. A few times changes were made to the books, I can only imagine for good reason, too many characters, budget restraints etc. The Big Four and Appointment with death being altered more then some.
So good was David Suchet in the role, that now when you think of Poirot you see David in your mind. I think it will be a while before someone attempts to remake Poirot for the small screen. David had a lot to live up to, Poirot had hit the big screen, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile had both been huge adaptations, the remakes both compete favourably. Suchet is Poirot.
Characters were switched and added quite a lot, Hastings, Japp and Miss Lemon were often drafted in, but in later years that wasn't the case. It's hardly surprising as each is so enjoyable. Watching them all reunite in 'Lord Edgeware dies' was special.
Generally the productions were very good to excellent, for me at the top of the pile are The ABC Murders, Curtain and Sad Cypress, each are literally flawless. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Big Four are two of the relatively few lesser offerings, with the only true misfire being Murder in Mesopotamia.
For years I hoped for the productions to be completed, at times it seemed like they'd never get through them, I'm so glad they did, but I am missing him.
Who knows maybe one day The Monogram Murders will be made, not a Christie story I know, but it would be worth it to see Poirot anew once again. This truly was a fabulous series. 10/0
63 of 66 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this