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Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Marple Julia McKenzie

Agatha Christie’s Marple: Season 6, episode 3. Endless Night (2013) starts with an unfortunate accident on the ice in 1948 where Mike Rogers (Tom Hughes) tries unsuccessfully to save the brother of Robbie Hayman (Aneurin Barnard). They were skating on thin ice as Robbie looked on from the bank reading a book. Ah, such memories can haunt a man. So nearly the hero. . . Then we wind forward to 1956 where Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) is staying with a recently widowed friend Marjorie Phillpot (Wendy Craig). In the high street, she meets Mike Rogers, now earning a living as a chauffeur. They see a poster advertising Gypsy’s Acre for sale, but it seems no-one wants to buy it — it’s reputed to be cursed. When he goes to view the rundown ruin, Mike meets Esther Lee (Janet Henfrey) who, by way of fortune-telling, quotes William Blake in Auguries of Innocence: some are born to endless night (some gypsies know too much for their own good).

So here we go with familiar twin themes of unlikely romance and the supernatural, stolen kisses, curses and portentous dreams of death. And in the background, Robbie Hayman has been announcing he’s going to die so this gives him a licence to do whatever he wants including shooting people (hopefully no-one he knows). This plot is playing with the stereotype of the lower class chancer who meets and marries the rich American heiress Ellie Goodman (Joanna Vanderham). Since we’re invited to watch this story from his point of view and he’s not necessarily the most reliable of narrators, we’re invited to suspect he might marry for money and then find a way in which his wife might meet an accident and so make him rich — assuming the estate is set up to allow him to inherit (which it proves to be).

Joanna Venderham and Tom Hughes survey Gypsy's Acre

Joanna Venderham and Tom Hughes survey Gypsy’s Acre

Coincidentally, the couple meet up with Miss Marple and Marjorie while on their honeymoon in Italy. When the family of the heiress realise she’s married in secret, they go through outraged shock to bitter acceptance. Meanwhile, the house is being built on Gypsy’s Acre. They knock down the crumbling pile and erect a square glass monstrosity — no wonder local people want to kill them. On their first visit to their new home, a rock flies through one of the windows — someone has a great throwing arm to reach from a hidden position in the woods to an elevated window. The breaking glass cuts Ellie’s face — a gypsy’s warning, perhaps? There’s a folly in the woods. What a classic touch and plenty of opportunity for spookiness.

Ellie has a Swedish friend, Greta Anderson (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen). When she asserts the right to share the modern nest with the newly weds, Mike is outraged. He wants Ellie all to himself. Greta begins looking for a home nearby. It then appears the new wife may have a heart problem and then there’s the question of what pills she might be taking. Later a dead bird and threatening note appear on their doorstep. Lee is suspected but she’s not around. Miss Marple finds a large bankroll of cash in her cottage. And finally. . . a riding accident: Ellie lying next to a horse out in the countryside. The doctor says she’s been dead three or four hours. The doctor diagnoses heart failure brought on by the shock of falling. Of course, none of these stories work if such diagnoses are correct. To understand the problems with this adaptation, we need to go back to the beginning.

The original novel is a first-person narrative told by Mike Rogers and introducing Miss Marple into such a plot creates an unfortunate tension because she’s required to keep appearing in the most unexpected places in order to see the relevant key events. We even have her investigating the folly and speculatively kicking over the traces in the quarry so she can work out what must have happened. It seems she’s become a stalker and exercises a more or less free right of entry into the couple’s modern house. The less said about the melodrama of the ending, the better. Kevin Elyot, the scriptwriter, never resolves the dilemma. Either this is to be a slightly different version of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in which we see the story slowly reveal the reality of how Ellie comes to die, i.e. that’s why we have Mike’s voiceovers at strategic moments, or we have Miss Marple investigating a suspicious death.

Not that it really matters, but I’ve no idea where the Hamburg newspaper clipping came from. So this leaves us with a plot which has a suspicion of interest and an overwhelming flood of bad judgement. The faint interest lies in the decision to leave Mike’s point of view more or less in place. The Marple and Poirot formula of stumbling across a body and then working out whodunnit does grow slightly wearisome over time. This format avoids the cast of likely suspects and the strewing of herrings, red or otherwise. As a piece of television, this actually starts quite well until we get these endless coincidences to insert Miss Marple into the plot. The ending with her running around like a world-class sprinter and the dramatic fire does nothing to explain the psychology of the killer. Consequently, Endless Night proves to be a rather linear version of the plot, lacking any real twists and turns, or grand reveal at the end. The set-up is good enough, but then there’s no real mystery and absolutely no suspense. This leave us disappointed to say the least.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Marple Julia McKenzie

Agatha Christie’s Marple: Season 6, episode 2. Greenshaw’s Folly (2013) is a shotgun marriage of two short stories titled “Greenshaw’s Folly” (collected in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding) and “The Thumb Mark of St Peter” (collected in The Thirteen Problems). So the first question is whether the story is coherent. The answer is a qualified yes. We have relocated the action to a different village. Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) is a member of the local knitting circle and as embedded in this community as she was in St Mary Mead which creates a slightly uncomfortable feeling. Anyway, we have our protective heroine offering help to a battered wife, Louisa Oxley (Kimberley Nixon) and little Archie (Bobby Smalldridge). Miss Marple has spoken with Miss Katherine Greenshaw (Fiona Shaw) who occupies the nearby country pile (it seems it’s not far because Miss Marple can apparently walk home without breaking sweat). This feisty middle-aged lady needs a secretary which creates a convenient hiding place for the desperate young lady and her gullible sprog who can be convinced there are ghosts to be seen. Despite her home-grown remedy, Katherine Greenshaw’s eyesight is failing and she still has research to be done. Lots of copy typing follows. Yet, assuming this wife and son abuser has any intelligence (he is a doctor after all), he should know of the friendship between his wife and Miss Marple, and therefore have little difficulty in tracking her down. And, indeed, so it proves as the bully is soon giving evidence of his presence.

Meanwhile, back at the Folly, we have the usual cast of likely suspects. Nat Fletcher (Sam Reid) is the good-looking actor due to take a role in the local production of A Tangled Web. Then there’s Horace Bindler (Rufus Jones), the creepy guy determined to get into the laboratory run by the now-deceased Folly owner who was a doctor. He claims he’s there to complete his investigation into the architecture of the ancestral pile but, when challenged by Miss Marple, doesn’t know wildebeest don’t have grommets on their east wings. The grounds of the Folly, yet again played by Hatfield House, are kept trim by Alfred Pollock (Martin Compston) and Father Brophy (Robert Glenister) keeps the orphans in order in the local home. Completing the lineup, Mrs Cresswell (Julia Sawalha) is the housekeeper aided by Cracken (Vic Reeves) the butler. All we need now is a crime.

The cast pose before entering battle

The cast pose before entering battle

And this comes quite quickly as Cracken is pushed off a ladder and fatally cracks his head on the marble floor in the hall. With the whisky bottle suspiciously missing amber liquid, it’s an open-and-shut case of accidental death, and so life goes on with barely a ripple, no-one remembering the butler had not touched a drop in ten years — awfully convenient mass amnesia. Then the architectural snoop also disappears. What makes this really strange is the complete absence of smell. Obviously one of the virtues of a Folly is its ability to produce instant mummification without any annoying bodily fluid dripping or flies buzzing around a few days later. Then there’s the most curious failure of the village to know Father Brophy is a hopeless drunk and heavily into gambling. Quite what he bets on to lose all the money given to the orphanage is not explained, except it seems he does take odds on whether candlesticks rattle in a carrying bag. You would also expect the village to be encyclopaedic on its own history including the remarkable number of orphans who died during the polio epidemic that swept the country — the local cemeteries must be overflowing with young occupants. And I must have switched off my mind at one point because I missed the explanation of how Alfred Pollock acquired a Scottish accent.

We then come to the core murder of Katherine Greenshaw which has the “pile of fish” and other clues from the source stories. This killing has much of the hallmark Christie ingenuity about it to change the time of death so that it does not appear anyone has the opportunity to do the dirty deed. Given the importance of time, the fact of the telephone call to Miss Marple does represent a pleasing problem to be resolved. Unfortunately, the abusive husband and mechanisms for revealing the doctor’s attempts to produce a polio vaccine are padding with the now mandatory requirement for someone to “see a ghost” — it seems almost every Miss Marple adaptation of late must have some attempt at something supernatural with voodoo in the last episode and spectral spirits in this. So putting this altogether, Greenshaw’s Folly has one or two good moments, but is ultimately rather silly with a batty local women “protecting” Archie, and the usual unlikely romantic ending.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)

January 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Marple Julia McKenzie

Agatha Christie’s Marple: Season 6, episode 1. A Caribbean Mystery (2013) demonstrates an old truism about amateur sleuths who infest villages. At some point in their careers of solving crimes in these self-contained communities, the authors run out of people who have motives to kill people. Or, to put it another way, there’s no-one left alive. The desperate authors must therefore send their sleuths away on holiday. At this point, estate agents (or realtors for my American readers) become relevant because the substitute for a gripping plot is location, location, location. In this case, as the title suggests, Agatha Christie sends Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) off to the West Indies where, somewhat improbably, she meets up with Ian Fleming looking for inspiration for his first spy novel. If ever there was a clear signal Charlie Higson, the scriptwriter, thought he was in trouble, this is it. Trying to distract us with jokes about eccentric twitters who announce themselves to the world as Bond, James Bond is the ultimate act of desperation.

Anyway, throughout this ninety minute extravaganza, we’re treated to shots of palm trees in daylight, palm trees as the sun goes down in a dramatic sunset, and palm trees in contrived jungle conditions. And then there’s the beach, and two dramatic and big rocks overlooking a dangerous cliff top, and the shanty town replicating the West Indies of the 1950s. And all those marvellous old cars. . . As always with these productions, everything looks right. Even the clothing is almost entirely unsuitable for a hot climate and very much in fashion for middle class holiday getaways. So where are we? Tim (Robert Webb) and Molly Kendall (Charity Wakefield) run a quaint little hotel called the Golden Palms on the fictitious island of St. Honoré — and just to prove how fictitious the entire exercise, the locations for whole episode were apparently in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Not that there’s ever any obligation to use the real setting for “foreign” locations but it seems a long way to fly to get the result.

Nice looking beach

Nice looking beach

As is required for these Golden Age murder mysteries, a group of eccentric white guests huddle in their hotel oasis surrounded by all these foreigners. For the most part, they are afraid to leave and this creates the necessary ring fence more usually engineered by snow fall, bridges being washed away in sudden storms, and so on. Culture can trap people just as effectively as geography and extreme weather events. Leading the pack is a slightly over-the-top Antony Sher as Jason Rafiel who later triggers the events described in Nemesis. He’s accompanied by Warren Brown taking a rest from Luther, and avoiding Oliver Ford Davies as the delightfully boring Major Palgrave who has pictures of all his favorite murderers with which to regale the other guests. Then there’s the usual cast of “characters” from the slightly loopy clergyman to the loud American couple.

I suppose the virtue of plots like this is that, the more nonsensical they are, the more clever we’re supposed to think them. If only we were brighter, we could have picked up that “clue” earlier. Yes, well, pigs will fly one day. So for inspection by Miss Marple and Jason Rafiel, we have a group of people who, for one reason or another, all know each other. Imagine how this works. Here’s this hotel on an island and, having travelled the world, here comes Major Palgrave with his photographs. This is not his first visit, you understand. So it never occurred to him that he might have met one or more of these people “somewhere else”. He’s old. He only has one eye. And he’s old, so he has never noticed until sitting beside Miss Marple, that one of the people in his line of sight is that well-known murderer. . . Well, he’s old and so he gives a great start of surprise and alerts said murderer that the Major’s one eye and two little grey cells have finally identified the fiend. Naturally, said murderer cannot permit the Major to live another day. He might tell the same story again to someone who might actually believe him and that would never do. Now let’s switch the point of view. All the guests have had the chance to see the Major over their visits so, to avoid any embarrassment of the old guy suddenly pulling out his photographs and remembering, the killer simply needs to stay away, or leave early if it’s the first visit. Or if the fiend is one of the hotel owners or staff, it’s a simple matter to reject the Major’s request to stay — sadly the hotel is fully booked this year. The entire premise of this story makes even less sense than usual for a Christie.

Having killed off the second most interesting actor on display, we then get a story about people holidaying on an island and, every now and then, Miss Marple walks into shot. There’s an incredible amount of action and dialogue shown as filler to create atmosphere and suspicion until our sleuth can do her thing and overhear something or gossip to glean facts. I suppose the second murder is quite ingenious but, as is often the way with screen adaptations, the melodrama of the shooting at the end is laughable. And the screen romance which may be coming to fruition. . . Well let’s just say it’s one of these remarkably unlikely outcomes that Christie might have enjoyed. If there’s anything to like about this episode at all, it’s the performance of Antony Sher. It’s nicely judged and, for once, there’s real chemistry with Julia McKenzie. Put all this together and A Caribbean Mystery is nothing to mention in a postcard from a holiday destination that, at times, actually looks worth visiting — such great palm trees.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013) sees Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) called into action. He’s still mourning the death of his wife, Bella, but when Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) calls, who is he to refuse. When he arrives at Styles Court, he finds Poirot is now confined to a wheelchair. Fearing a murder is about to take place, our dying detective needs someone to be his eyes and ears. The fact that Hastings has nothing between his ears is not a factor to be weighed. When it comes to the last case, the old team must be back together. While he may not be able to prevent it, Poirot does at least hope to be able to catch the one responsible. To add extra emotional weight to the episode, we’re introduced to Judith Hastings (Alice Orr-Ewing), the daughter of the good Captain. She’s currently working for one of the long-term guests at Styles Court, now being used as a hotel. This is post-war England and Styles Court is well past its glory days. Whereas other mysteries in this series have been filmed in immaculate settings, both Poirot and this old house are approaching a melancholic and terminal state. Of course, the house could be repaired, given enough money. Those of us who long ago read the book know this restoration exercise cannot be applied to Poirot. With his heart playing up, he has only days left to live. The question, of course, is how he should spend these final days.

In this episode, it’s not surprising to see Poirot returning to his Catholic roots. In the television adaptations, it was featured in Murder on the Orient Express as the man wrestled with his conscience. There are times when the use of the little grey cells may produce results which are not quite as expected. For him, the problem is the considerable flexibility in the boundaries of sin and, as a thinking man, he cannot avoid the idea he may be guilty, if only of the sin of pride in his intellectual prowess. On the Orient Express, he’s returning from advising the army on a delicate matter in which a man died as a result of the investigation. Indeed, death has never been far from his preferred outcome. If you consider the ending of Dead Man’s Folly, he considers the death of the killer(s) by suicide an appropriate outcome. There was sufficient evidence for the killer(s) to have been tried but that would have been untidy. He feels it’s socially acceptable for killers to take personal responsibility for their actions and to save the state the need for a trial and potentially expensive life imprisonment. I suppose the classic examples of this are Death on the Nile which might be considered a more humane ending than that provided by the criminal justice system in Egypt, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. So when it comes to Curtain, it’s perhaps appropriate we should be continuing this exploration of suicide, encouraged or forced.

Curtain with Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) wheeling Poirot (David Suchet) into action

Curtain with Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) wheeling Poirot (David Suchet) into action

In Catholicism, suicide is considered a sin. Life is a gift from God and it’s not for us to breach the sanctity of life. So at the very least, Poirot is breaching his own credo by encouraging criminals to kill themselves. In criminal law terms, suicide was a crime in many jurisdictions at the time Agatha Christie was writing. In England, it would therefore have been an offence for Poirot to incite or aid, abet, counsel or procure a suicide, successful or otherwise. Of course, such secular concerns would never stop an author from producing the result her protagonist considered the most appropriate. Lack of accountability is necessary if her series character is to continue in business but, in the final case, he can be seen to consider whether St Peter is going to be waiting with welcoming arms. To get the best view of this final book in the Poirot saga, it’s convenient to assess Curtain and The Labours of Hercules together. In the latter, the narrative is triggered when Poirot gives his word and fails to protect a young woman being used as bait to trap a master criminal. When the thief not only steals the jewels but also kills the girl, Poirot feels intense guilt. In his pride, it did not occur to him that the criminal would evade capture. We should therefore see this episode as a quest for some level of personal redemption. Poirot must reach an accommodation with himself and the inevitable fallibility that lurks waiting to spring its trap.

Here we have a more existential issue. If The Labours of Hercules is personal, Curtain is repaying a form of debt to the abstract notion of justice. Whoever the detective, the imperative is the same. He or she must strive to bring the wrongdoer before a court for judgement. This provides the necessary social utility to justify the sometimes extralegal strategies employed by the detectives. The more the detective strays from the procedures mandated by the law, the greater the debt owed to justice. We can only forgive the detective his or her trespasses when the gains significantly outweigh the losses. Think of it as an application of utilitarianism. If we were being strict in our use of labels, the detective would step over the line and become a vigilante. Under normal circumstances, this would justify dismissal and probable prosecution for the breaches of the relevant laws. But a state might decide the ends justified the means. So if a major criminal network was disrupted and key organisers taken out of play, this might be taken as exculpation. When we get to the possibility of deaths being retrospectively decriminalised, the decisions are more difficult. If we treat the Christie canon as sufficiently “real” to be judged by actual laws, we might accept the state’s decision to ignore Poirot’s assisted suicide plans for identified murders as legitimate public policy.

In discussing this issue, I invite you not to be misdirected by David Suchet’s performance as the dying Poirot which was beautifully managed. You’re supposed to see him as a sympathetic character. That’s supposed to seduce you into approving his behaviour both in this and earlier episodes. Let me provoke you into thought. Is there any real difference in outcome between Poirot and Batman? One uses his little grey cells and the other his technology and fists to beat the opposition to a pulp. In theory, neither intentionally kills an opponent, but in self-defence or the pursuit of the greater good, criminals are injured and die. In this case, the real point of interest lies in the reason why it will be almost impossible ever to prove this person guilty of any crime. We’re actually given a practical demonstration of how malevolent he or she can be, but this is not behaviour easily prosecuted. The criminal law requires certainty of guilt and is better suited to simple murderous attacks with weapons to hand than this more subtle approach. Hence the need for Poirot to take more direct action, although not quite in classic Batman style despite the use of the Poirotmobile.

For those of you who like completeness, the cast features Elizabeth Cole (Helen Baxendale), Daisy Luttrell (Anne Reid), Major Allerton (Matthew McNulty), Dr Franklin (Shaun Dingwall), Stephen Norton (Aidan McArdle) and Sir William Boyd-Carrington (Philip Glenister). During the course of the episode, we have a death by poisoning, a suicide and Poirot’s death by natural causes. All is explained in a letter which Poirot leaves behind for Hastings. Without being oversentimental, Poirot’s death is handled well although it might have been more appropriate to have Miss Lemon and Japp show up for the funeral. If they could all make it for the fake funeral in The Big Four, it seems a little mean-spirited not to spare a few moments for his loyal friends to mourn his actual passing. I’m left feeling Curtain makes a fine swan song for the great detective and, more importantly, the production is one of the better efforts in this series. It’s always better to finish on a high.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment

In Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013) (Season 13, episode 4) we find Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) depressed. He laid a trap for Marrascaud, the notorious thief and murderer. When the dust settled, the painting was stolen and the young woman who was bait wearing the jewelled necklace, was murdered. With a reassuring smile, he had promised the nervous young woman she would be safe. Her death is on his conscience and produces psychosomatic symptoms. He’s therefore driven to part with ten guineas for medical advice which is uncompromising. “Either get another case which puts your life in danger or give up the profession. You’ve had a good run. Yes, you’ve paid the price of not having a wife and children, but you’ve more than compensated in the good you’ve done. Go away! Better still, go on a holiday.” or words to that effect.

Leaving the doctor’s expensive surroundings, the agency car is waiting to drive him home. When he leaves it to Williams to drive him wherever he wants, the man breaks down and tells him a story of lost love. Overcome with quixotic romanticism, Poirot says he will travel to Switzerland to recover the young maid who has been so cruelly whisked away by a thoughtless mistress. As he waits for the funicular to take the guests up to the Hotel Olympus, the police warn him that Marrascaud is thought to be on his way to the hotel. It’s rumored the thief has stashed the loot in this retreat. For this to be one of the true labours of Hercules, our great detective must confront the greatest criminal Europe has seen for years. Indeed, in psychological (and mythical) terms, he’s the only one who can defeat this thief and murderer. Perhaps a Freudian psychologist should name a complex after Hercule to describe a man who sacrifices family and friendship in pursuit of one goal after another. For these purposes, it would not matter what the nature of each goal. It’s simply an obsession never to be beaten at whatever is attempted, no matter what the price to be paid in social terms. Obviously there have to be some boundaries in this pursuit. There are laws to be obeyed, the dictates of conscience to be observed. That Poirot himself may end up looking vain and smug when he succeeds despite these limitations, is just one element of the price to be paid.

The cast assembles for dinner

The cast assembles for dinner

Looking at this episode with a dispassionate eye, I think the script by Guy Andrews bites off more than it can comfortably chew for a single episode. As a collection of twelve unconnected short stories, it’s clever to be able to rework three of them together, “The Erymanthian Boar”, “The Arcadian Deer” and “The Stymphalean Birds” with lesser elements from “The Girdle of Hippolyta” and “The Capture of Cerberus”. But what starts well, increasingly lacks coherence as we work through to the end. The problem is structural. All our initial attention is focused on the malevolent Marrascaud as “The Erymanthian Boar”. “The Arcadian Deer” is grafted on as an improbable motive for Poirot to travel to this particular resort. The fact our master criminal has picked the same resort is a horrendous coincidence compounded by the presence of Harold Waring (Rupert Evans) whom we also meet in the set-up. He’s an awfully nice young man who works for the Foreign Office. When his boss gets into a little bit of bother, our innocent agrees to take the heat. So simply because the script needs a victim, he falls prey to “The Stymphalean Birds” scam, i.e. this element feels like padding to fill in time while we wait for Poirot to identify Marrascaud and recover the loot.

As to the Swiss resort, somewhat remarkably, the interiors and terrace scenes were shot in Halton House, Halton, Wendover, Buckinghamshire. Stock shots of the funicular at Saint Hilaire du Touvet were added where necessary with green screen work to create the illusion of snow-capped mountains in Switzerland. In the best Mousetrap tradition, all guests and staff are cut off from the outside world by an avalanche. This leave us with Katrina Samoushenka (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) under the care of Dr. Lutz (Simon Callow). Alice Cunningham (Eleanor Tomlinson) is revealed as the daughter of Countess Rossakoff (Orla Brady) which reignites old memories in our hero. Had they become lovers, Alice could have been Poirot’s child. Thematically we’re into the realm of redemption and the extent to which love should influence our decision-making. When he was young, Poirot let the young Countess Rossakoff go. He spared her not because he was her lover, but just because he was Poirot. It was the sense of what might have been had they not been set into their roles — there’s a nice touch with the cuff links at the end.

In this story, the unsophisticated and love-lorn driver stands in for the young Poirot. The driver’s naive loyalty and trust is rewarded once the couple overcomes the limitations of their social status and roles in life. We’ve seen an older overconfident Poirot fail to keep his promise to a young woman. Hence, even though he catches the villainous Marrascaud, it doesn’t make him feel any better. At its best, the arrest is nothing more than revenge. Fortunately, the world-weary Poirot finds a balm for his depression in the romantic love of these youngsters. This leaves us his final discussion with Countess Rossakoff. She asks him for one more favour. For a few seconds, he’s tempted. Had he chosen differently all those years ago, they might have shared a great love. Then his little grey cells reassert themselves. He sacrificed romantic love and the sentimentality that can go with it so he could become a better detective and, by his standards, a more honourable man. Once he might have redeemed her. Now she’s a career criminal and cannot avoid arrest this time. In a sense this makes a very appropriate penultimate story to Curtain. Here Poirot has all the evidence needed and let’s the law take its course. In Curtain, he confronts the limitation of his role if he’s forced to acquire sufficient evidence to gain a conviction in court. So what here begins with failure in brightly lit London opulence, explores options in a rather dark and sombre hotel, somewhat in need of refurbishment, and ends in bright sunshine back in London. There’s a different and altogether darker ending in Curtain.

Putting this together, The Labours of Hercules slowly runs out of steam as the plot limitations are exposed, but it succeeds rather admirably as a vehicle for exploring Hercule Poirot’s strengths and weaknesses as a human being. In metaphorical terms, the Swiss hotel that has seen better days captures the now fading grandeur of the detective whose pride went before his fall.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)

December 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013) (Season 13, episode 3) starts with a car driving through a storm to a country house deep in the heart of Devon. Thunder, lightning and torrential rain cannot prevent the arrival of Sir George Stubbs (Sean Pertwee) and Lady Hattie Stubbs (Stephanie Leonidas) even though the lights do go out as they arrive. A year later, Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker) has been tasked with arranging a murder, rather than the traditional treasure, hunt for the local fête at the same Devon country house. Alarmed by what her instincts tell her, she sends an urgent telegram to Hercule Poirot (David Suchet). It seems the Warburtons thought up the idea of this murder hunt, but no matter who’s responsible, she fears she’s being manipulated and that there will be a real murder. She gives Poirot a whistlestop tour of the grounds and introduces the players from central casting. The erratic Lady Hattie, Captain Warburton (Martin Jarvis) the downtrodden MP, the organising Mrs Warburton (Rosalind Ayres), Mrs Folliat (Sinéad Cusack) the lady forced to sell her home to Sir George when her husband died, and Alec Legge (Daniel Weyman), the chemist who wants to put eugenics into practice by killing all the stupid people, much to the despair of his wife, Sally Legge (Emma Hamilton) who not surprisingly runs off with another of the men at this unhappy event. Then there’s the loyal servant to Sir George, Miss Brewis (Rebecca Front), who always appears thoughtful in her service but is privately contemptuous of Lady Hattie and somewhat in love with Sir George. And don’t forget the drunken ferryman waiting to carry someone down the Styx, and the creepy folly in the woods, built where the tree fell in the great storm heralding the arrival of the Stubbs to their new home.

Poirot (David Suchet) and Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker)

Poirot (David Suchet) and Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker)

Come the day, comes the fête and, with a few jokes at the expense of local revellers, we duly find the dead body. It’s the young girl whom Ariadne Oliver had cast in the role of the murder victim. A nicely ironic twist from the murderer(s) that the right person died in the right place and with the murder weapon selected by Ms Oliver. D.I. Bland (Tom Ellis) appears and begins interviewing everyone he can find which does not include the lady of the house. Lady Hattie is nowhere to be found. The police search everywhere but she’s soon presumed dead. Her cousin, Etienne de Sousa (Elliot Barnes-Worrell) is arrested. The theory is that he killed his cousin and the girl in the boathouse saw him disposing of the body in the river.

One of the strengths and weaknesses of this episode is the decision to shoot mainly at Agatha Christie’s holiday home, Greenway Estate (now owned by the National Trust). It’s undoubtedly a beautiful place and it was the inspiration for this particular book. We’re therefore treated to a guided tour of the estate. Poirot stands on the manicured lawns. Cut to Poiot walking through the woods to the riverside. Back into the woods to see the folly. Back to the lawns for the planning of the fête. Then the tents are erected and we see the gardens full of people. Later we can revisit the empty lawns and see the magnificent rhododendrons. Then it’s time for more trips into and through the woods. It’s all beautifully shot and wastes a considerable amount of screen time since very little of what we see contributes to the solution of the murder(s). The quality of the show would have been enhanced had this time been devoted to building up the characters of the “people” who matter. This should have included the family of the deceased, particularly because her grandfather is also going to have a fatal accident later on. It’s a serious omission for Poirot not to find out more about the victim. How else is he going to establish the probable motive and so identify the killer(s)? As it is, we have one dimensional figures on the lawn, in the house and then wandering about the landscape. Perhaps intentionally, no-one really stands out. In particular, poor Zoë Wanamaker is given almost nothing to do as Ariadne Oliver except demonstrate the power of her intuition to raise the alarm.

Greenway House, Galmpton, near Brixham, Devon, holiday home of Agatha Christie

Greenway House, Galmpton, near Brixham, Devon, holiday home of Agatha Christie

This is not to deny the ingenuity of the plot. It’s fairly obvious how the thread featuring Hattie Stubbs is being driven. This includes her disappearance which is transparent. Nevertheless, the overall mechanism in play is quite pleasing, particularly when we’re reminded how people phrased their remarks which, when he engaged his brain, Poirot was able to connect to produce the right answer. The fact this would all have been even more obvious much earlier if only Poirot had visited the victim’s home is something we must perforce ignore. The episode must last eighty-nine minutes so Nick Dear spreads out the screenplay to fill time available (more shots of people in the woods are required). If this had been an hour-long episode, I would have been cheering loudly. As it is, Dead Man’s Folly gives us too much time to see all the padding and judge the material thin and unsatisfying.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013)

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Big Four (2013) (Season 13, episode 2) shows us in heavy-hitter territory with big guns coming together in circumstances we expect them to pull off genuinely bravura performances. Let’s start with the script by one of the most reliable hands in the business. Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard are credited. I make no comment how the latter came to get the job. I simply assume the relationship between them was not considered relevant and that he earned this sole writing job on merit. Appropriately given the title, we have Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Assistant Commissioner Japp (Philip Jackson) in a reunion episode to celebrate the final set of adaptations to more or less complete the Christie canon. Having brought them all together, it seems rather a shame not to give Hastings and Miss Lemon more screen time. Hastings in particular is made to look even more a sidekick adrift without a rudder than usual in this episode.

I’m also obliged to characterise this play-dead ploy from Poirot as even more cruel than usual. We’ve grown used to his benign contempt for those inferior mortals around him, but allowing them to go through a funeral is pushing it a little. While thinking about that, we should also comment on the absurdity of the police not noticing the absence of a body at the site of the explosion. Even in those pre-CSI days, the amateur forensic team would have noted the absence of body parts and blood. The fact someone found his walking stick confirms a search. This means, at the very least, Japp must have been aware of the pretense and so in on the decision to abuse the emotional health of the two sidekicks. I was also disappointed not to use the device of Hercule reappearing as Achille. One of the problems of pretending death is where to hide when you have one of the most recognisable faces in London. Agatha Christie’s in plain sight solution might be a little silly, but it’s better than the embarrassed silence of this plot. Perhaps they did not want to sacrifice the mustache

We should not be surprised this potboiler melodrama, first published in 1927, has been left untouched until now. Structurally, the first book appeared as a fix-up, i.e. the elements in the book were published separately as short stories and then amalgamated into the “novel” we know today (or rather we avoid knowing today because it’s one of Christie’s worst books). That’s why some applause should ring out for Mark Gatiss. He has contrived to completely restructure the basics of the plot, changing the order of the deaths, and producing a coherent story with a rather remarkable ending in which everything but the kitchen sink appears to pad it out. This is not so much a condemnation as you might imagine. The unmasking of the villain may grow increasingly absurd, but there are elements of fun to make it watchable including the rather pleasing attack on Poirot’s vanity and his sense of theatricality in wanting a confrontation with all the suspects at the end.

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Assistant Commisioner Japp (Philip Jackson)

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Assistant Commisioner Japp (Philip Jackson)

So what’s this version of the story all about? Well, despite the advanced age of our primary characters, we’re set in the 1930s at a time when the world is beginning to fear there might be a second war. There are incidents in different countries which cause a certain loss of confidence. News media whisper the name of a new criminal organisation calling itself The Big Four which seems to ferment disorder with a view to profiting from arms sales. Led by a Chinese thinker, the Peace Party tries to right the balance, but an attempt to produce some degree of rapprochement with Russia comes unstuck when an old Russian chessmaster dies unexpectedly while playing an exhibition match. With suspicion falling on Abe Ryland (James Carroll Jordan), one of the people fronting the Peace Party, he disappears. This suggests he is one of The Big Four. Then one of the world’s experts on the Chinese leader is brutally murdered in his home. What is it that this leader is trying to hide? When a further murder implicates Madame Olivier (Patricia Hodge), the third leading member of the Peace Party, the press are convinced this Party has been playing a double game, terrorists masquerading as peace ambassadors.

So the first section of this adaptation plays the paranoia game with even the “respectable” newspapers stirring up anxiety. As the reputation of The Big Four rises, the attempts of the British government to calm the public with bland reassurances fail. Sadly the no-smoke-without-fire trope worked just as well in the 1930s as it does today. I’m slightly disappointed Tysoe (Tom Brooke), the pervasive journalist, was given such a lower middle class accent. Speaking like that, he would not have been allowed through the doors of the foreign office, let alone be permitted to speak to a senior civil servant. And talking of accents, we have the absurdity of a Belgian and French character talking to each other in French-tinged British accents instead of la belle langue with subtitles. I liked the character of Flossie (Sarah Parish) as the totally self-absorbed actress, but thought Simon Lowe played the part of the unmemorable Dr Quentin unmemorably.

So given the source material is so poor, the result on screen is quite pleasing. As always, the sense of period is done beautifully with every aspect of the production working to create the right look and feel. There are several gaping plot holes that I should mention. The first is the problem of time. Our chameleon killer can be everywhere being a clergyman, a delivery man, a chauffeur, etc. but also have a highly responsible role which should have required his presence on a full-time basis. And then there’s the question of how the drugged individuals were hidden and kept alive during such a long period. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for the killer to have fitted all this in. And did they really leave theatres in mothballs for fifteen years when rep and music hall were at their height? I don’t think so. And although the motive for one of the deaths fits, the overall point of all the press manipulation and murders is less than convincing. This leaves me thinking the result has one or two good moments but is, on balance, a failure. David Suchet is outstanding, genuinely coming alive in the confrontation at the end. But everything else collapses as a house of cards when the door of thought opens and you review what happened.

For reviews of other Agatha Christie stories and novels, see:

Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004) — the first three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2005) — the second set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2006) — the third set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple (2007) — the final set of three episodes
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Blue Geranium (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Endless Night (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Murder is Easy (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secret of Chimneys (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Case of the Missing Will (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Chocolate Box (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Clocks (2009)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain. Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Folly (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Dead Man’s Mirror (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Elephants Can Remember (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hallowe’en Party (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Labours of Hercules (2013)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (2011)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Underdog (1993)
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Yellow Iris (1993)

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