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on 16 April 2006
This set contains the four most recent (shown in 2006) tv movies of Poirot adaptations starring David Suchet. They are as follows:

*Taken At the Flood

*After The Funeral

*Cards On The Table

*The Mystery Of The Blue Train

They are stories which are set during Poirots' more advanced years and this suits the stature of David Suchet as he grows with the role and allows it to mature in the way that Agatha Christie wrote it.

Speaking of which, there are a few changes to the plots from the novels, but this has been done many times before in this ongoing series of Poirot - as well as other adaptations of Christies' works over the decades. Some people might find this irritating, but these are really very good pieces of entertainment in my opinion, even with those changes.
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This collection comprises four feature length mysteries, taken from four fine novels spanning the great Poirot period of Christie's career. The Blue Train (1928), Cards on the Table (1936), Taken at the Flood (1948) and After the Funeral (1953), despite this they are presented as taking place during Poirot's later years.

The season as a whole seems to mark a shift from the quintessential "Who (or how) dunnit" to deeper novels in which Poirot participates rather than dominates. The viewer needs to adapt a little, Suchet has now completed fifty seven stories, therefore the shift is welcome to ensure ongoing freshness to the series.

Suchet is superb as usual, but the great treat is Zoe Wanamaker who in "Cards on the Table" totally assumes the personality of Ariadne Oliver, the eccentric novelist friend of Poirot, there are nine novels featuring Ariadne, so please, please let us see Zoe in some more of them soon.

The surprise for me was "Taken at the Flood", this is a much deeper novel that usually associated with Christie, it is not solely a vehicle for Poirot, it would stand up on it's own without him. A fine study of a ghastly dysfunctional family, and in David Hunter (excellent performance by Eliot Cowan) one of the most cold blooded villains we have met so far in the series.

All the superlatives apply, the never ending rosta of fine performances from great actors and actresses, long may this series continue.
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on 26 May 2015
Fantastic. I was disappointed by the films in Collection 5, but this is almost a return to form (though it is not the same without Hastings, Japp and Lemon). The Blue Train is the best Poirot since Evil Under the Sun.

The quality of the DVD image is better than it has been before and there are some mildly diverting bonus materials. I always enjoy watching Suchet talking about the role.

BUT, as with all of these boxed sets, there's the utterly irritating unskippable anti-piracy message at the beginning. I might not steal a handbag, but I didn't steal this either, I don't understand why those of us who clearly bought the dvds have to be lectured at. What, you think there's a roaring trade in buying Poirot dvds then pirating them, even though you already own them? Bonkers!
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on 9 July 2012
ITV have financed a digital restoration of at LEAST the first SIX SERIES (1989-1996) from the original negatives and the results are outstanding. In Region 1 Acorn Media have already released series 1-5 and will be following them up with series 6 in August. All restored series are available on DVD AND BLU-RAY. I have compared before-and-after-restoration shots on several episodes and it's incredible the amount of information that had been lost over the years and which is now visible again.

Sadly all of them are region locked to 1/A. As not everyone has multi-region BD players, the UK in general must now wait for ITV to release these new DVDs and BDs over here. So what do we get in the grand-sounding Feature Length Collection? 3 paltry episodes, 1 from 1992, 1 from 2004, 1 from 2010. Not even 1 whole series. Only 1 of these stories comes from the first 6 series that Acorn have released - The ABC Murders. So that just leaves another 45 episodes from those early series, all of which have been restored and blow the old DVDs out the water.

And to rub salt in to the wound - this appears to be DVD ONLY. Where's the Blu-ray?

Lame, lacklustre and pathetic. Seriously, if you are a fan of Poirot and are looking for restored episodes to upgrade to, and can play region 1 DVDs (or even better, region A BDs) PLEASE invest in the new Acorn releases and show ITV what you think of their sad little attempt. TWELVE out of thirteen series/seasons are now available in the US and the final season will be released nearer the end of 2014. Do the right thing - import! :-)
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on 17 April 2014
Amazon UK doesn't tell us the aspect ratios of these films.

The "ABC Murders" was filmed by LWT in 1991 with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Although this disc will automatically play to fill a 16:9 screen the image is distorted and needs to be adjusted to the Normal mode.

"Death on the Nile" (© 2004) and "Murder on the Orient Express" (© 2010) were filmed by Granada with an aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and that's how they appear in this PAL version. The documentary "David Suchet on the Orient Express" also has an aspect ratio of 1.77:1.

These "digitally remastered" DVDs appear perfect to me. I haven't seen the Blu-ray versions so I'm unable to make a comparison.

Postscript (17 June 2014):

I've recently seen "Death on the Nile" on digital TV (in Australia) which appeared to me to be just a little bit sharper than the DVD. Compared to the TV broadcast the actors' faces on the DVD seem somewhat blander. This may be due to too much "Digital Noise Reduction" in the digital remastering.

I bought this collection from Amazon UK when it was offered for just £6.25. It's still a bargain at £8.50.

Postscript (6 July 2014):

An online retailer in Australia is offering the DVDs "Death on the Nile" for AUS$14.95 and "David Suchet on the Orient Express" for AUS$18.95!
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on 18 November 2007
These new Poirots are so well and beautifully done (5+ stars!!!). Yes, they are darker and more emotional (sader) than the short stories, mostly due to the soundtrack and the much deeper story. Murder, greed, jealousy or rage are sad things anyway. Poirot himself says in "After the Funeral" that he is interested in psychology: why and how do people things. But this enriches the whole series.

David Suchet still dominates every scene he is in, and the supporting cast is simply perfect as well (and as always). No miscasted actor, no bad or exaggerated acting.

The video quality is very good, the aspect ratio is 16:9 (the first 8 seasons or so were 4:3). The sound Dolby Surround (not 5.1).

There is a "Behind the Scenes" feature on every of the four disks. But this is done not very well (3 stars): Granada obviously made ONE feature of one hour length and cut it into FOUR pieces. So in the "making of" on "After the Funeral" we get also information (spoilers!) about "Cards on the Table", the same with the other ones. Still, there ARE some features and we get to know from David Suchet how he approaches the Poirot figure.

Packaging is a REAL SHAME (1 star): No information about the films (length, aspect ratio, sound, date of broadcast), no summary of the stories. To save space in your DVD shelf they let two of the discs overlap each other so you have to take out disc 2 to get disc 1. But after all it's the wonderful content that counts and not the inferior packaging box!
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on 13 December 2013
Murder on the Orient Express,do not compare with the film version. This is a clever and subtle rendition of the classic tale.
David Suchet acting is beyond question as Poirot. Just relax and enjoy both tales
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on 23 March 2016
David Suchet masterful as ever in his role as Poirot. Never saw any when they were originally broadcast so my husband and I are enjoying working our way through the DVD's. Found the selection confusing at first, but we finally settled on collecting the "collections" rather than the series.
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on 3 June 2009
Generally excellent, but WHY did they have to mess about with Cards on the Table so much? Shaitana did NOT commit suicide and even at the end, the murderer was the wrong one. I have read all of Agatha Christie's novels and was horrified to see that in Cards on the Table that so-called 'artistic' licence was more important than authenticity. I just cannot believe the sheer arrogance of the producer and script writer to assume that they can improve upon our Queen of Crime.

It is almost as bad as the ITV 'Marple' series where the wonderful Geraldine Mc Ewan is forced to be Tommy & Tuppence and Poirot, plus play Miss Marple in s story which had no particular Christie detective to solve the murder.
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on 17 August 2012
I completely agree with the previous review. Previous Poirot Episodes have been remastered and released on Blu-ray in the United States in meticulously put together sets in their original broadcast order. And what do ITV give us over here (the home of Agatha Christie)? This lazy collection of three random episodes. And only on standard definition DVD. Come on ITV - give this fabulous series the service it deserves: Full high definition transfers on blu-ray.
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