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Poirot


Emma Hamilton as Sally Legge

Emma Hamilton as Sally Legge

Welcome back, mes amis, as we head to the beautiful surrounds of Agatha Christie’s real-life Greenway Estate for a new adaptation of her late novel, Dead Man’s Folly.

“It’s better to be rich, isn’t it?”

— Lady Hattie Stubbs

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Who are the big four?

Who are the big four?

Well, mes amis, we are getting ever closer to the end of David Suchet’s glorious run as Hercule Poirot. Here, we delve into one of this year’s more unusual entries: The Big Four.

“You attract mayhem. Always have done.”

— Assistant Commissioner James Japp, to Poirot

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Welcome back, dear readers.  David Suchet has returned for the final series of Poirot films, which will be released infrequently over the next several months. Let’s take a look at the first of the five, Elephants Can Remember.

“And love it may usually turn to hate. And it is easier to hate where you have once loved than to remain indifferent.”

— Hercule Poirot

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Thanks to the lovely Robert Ross (https://twitter.com/RobertWRossEsq), I stumbled across this picture from 1990, the year of Dame Agatha’s centenary. To celebrate, Joan Hickson and David Suchet attended celebrations in Torquay, dressed as Miss Jane Marple and Monsieur Hercule Poirot, respectively.

Dame Christie was against the characters ever meeting in her narrative (after all, even if they had reason to meet, there’s very little chance they would like each other!). However, they do have various connections, proving they exist in the same world – as this lovely website points out.

Still, we can all savour the one time when our Poirot and Marple did get to know each other. (Excepting the encounter between Tony Randall and Margaret Rutherford in The Alphabet Murders, but let’s not discuss that…)

Before he rejoins the cast and crew for the final five episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, star David Suchet took on the role of Hercule Poirot in a live performance of Christie’s play, Black Coffee, for the Agatha Christie Theatre Company. You can read a review of the performance here.

Although Christie adapted several Poirot novels into plays, she often excised the character entirely – for instance, in The Hollow – and Black Coffee is the only ‘canonical’ Poirot story to have been first and only theatre. (Well, under Christie’s pen at least: Charles Osborne has since novelised it.)

What a treat it must have been for the cast, audience, and Mr. Suchet himself – an expert now, after 25 years of playing the Belgian – particularly since Black Coffee is one of only two official Poirot stories that will not be part of the series when complete. (One short story, the Sherlock Holmes-inspired The Lemesurier Inheritance, wasn’t able to fit into the schedule either.) A shame we couldn’t all be there to watch!

(The final series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot begins filming in October.)

Murder on the Orient Express is – not unfairly – one of Christie’s most revered and famed novels. The story of the murder in the Calais Coach, and Hercule Poirot solving the case amidst the twelve suspects in a snowbound train was the source for 1974’s opening edition in the Poirot film series, a lavish and self-consciously nostalgic all-star film, and, more recently, David Suchet’s bleaker version which emphasised the moral trials that both the killer(s) and Poirot must undergo. In between came this little oddity, a modern take on the story with a more subdued Poirot and a somewhat cherry-picking approach to the story itself. Let’s take a look…

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Welcome back, folks, as we review Peter Ustinov‘s final two performances as Hercule Poirot. After two big-budget, all-star, location-based extraordinaires, Ustinov had returned to play the character in two, much lesser TV films. But while only one of the four movies – Evil Under the Sun – was really good, Ustinov’s performance is unquestionably delightful, particularly as he was allowed free reign of the character on the small screen. Today, we’ll look at his last two outings: the first a TV movie, and the second his return to the silver screen.

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