Customer Review

80 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not yet shown on British television - it's criminal!, 16 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Poirot - Complete Season 12 [ 2009 ] (DVD)
There can be few things more British than a fine murder mystery - even if the detective is Belgian. It is frankly shocking, then, that Americans and various Europeans get to see episodes of Poirot long before we do. At the time of writing, the three best episodes from this series of four had not yet aired on British television. This sorry state of affairs has existed for some time, while ITV rather lamely pretends that the episodes are still being made.

In a welcome two fingers to ITV, then, it was a delight to buy these episodes ahead of UK transmission - and from Benelux, too! Hercule would be proud.

As for the adventures themselves, The Clocks is very well constructed and I enjoyed it all the more because I was unfamiliar with the book so didn't know whodunit. I have to say I replayed Poirot's summary - the solution is more complicated than usual (for reasons which become clear) but actually fits together superbly.

Murder on the Orient Express is the one most of us are already familiar with so it is intriguing to see a new slant put on it as the good detective wrestles with his conscience to decide what is the right thing to do. In an age where Catholic dogma (in fact, religion and morality generally) is increasingly under the spotlight, this version resonates and haunts rather more than 1974's lavish parade of stars and costumes ever did, David Suchet playing a more troubled, less perky Poirot than Albert Finney, which befits the dark subject matter.

The star turn here is Halloween Party, again one of the darker Poirot adventures, concerning (like Murder on the Orient Express) the killing of a child. Writer Mark Gatiss invests it with just the right balance of seriousness and scary thrills. It is superbly atmospheric and authentically unsettling.

And the fourth one you've already seen but I won't spoil it for you if you missed it.

All credit must go to the Dutch for letting me see these early and it's high time the schedulers at ITV started using their little grey cells a bit more.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (59 customer reviews)
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