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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 December 2011
I had this on my wish list for a long time, I am not a huge fan of period settings shot on video and find that Poirot and Marple look so much better when shot on Film, so have stuck with those.

This collection which is based on the short stories of Agatha Christie has a very stagey feel to it, some of the pieces are brilliantly adapted some not so.

However, if you are a "buff" and like a solid adaptation I would suggest that this box set is a must for any collector of Agatha's work. It also is very well boxed and looks rather nice on the shelf.
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on 2 December 2017
Bought two of these fine for a gift, really enjoyed the stories, packaging and time was great.
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on 2 August 2010
Judging by the plethora of requests that relentlessly appeared on various Google sites, for lovers of Agatha Christie the release of this set could not come quickly enough. This BBC series from 1982 is comprised of ten, one hour dramas based upon a selection of Christie's lesser known short stories. Poirot and Miss Marple make way for a range of characters that appear in only a single story, the one exception being Parker Pyne, who features in two episodes here. Videotape was the film medium used throughout but, whilst this can often tend to cheapen a production, the quality is high.
A veritable who's who of television actors, many of whom have featured in other Christie presentations, will be all too familiar to viewers of British programs of this era and beyond - Maurice Denham, Peter Jones, Linda Robson (Birds of a Feather), John Nettles (Midsomer Murders), William Gaunt (The Champions), Amanda Redman (New Tricks), Stephanie Cole (Waiting for God, Doc Martin) - the list goes on, ensuring a presentation of consistent, quality acting and enjoyable performances.
One minor criticism from a purely personal point of view would be the lack of the heavier, more dramatic stories that Christie wrote, which in this presentation are rather outnumbered by the more lightweight, sometimes frivolous offerings - think Tommy & Tuppence as a close analogy. Whilst these are undoubtedly highly entertaining, there are enough of the grittier episodes to leave this viewer, at least, wishing for more. That aside, there is no doubt that any Christie fan would be delighted to add this set to their collection. Such a pity that only one series was made...Would it be asking too much for the BBC to consider delving into other Christie material that has yet to make it to our screens? Hopefully not.
For the record the titles are: The Case of the Middle Aged Wife, In a Glass Darkly, The Girl in a Train, The Fourth Man, Magnolia Blossom, The Case of the Discontented Soldier, The Mystery of the Blue Jar, The Red Signal, Jane in Search of a Job and The Manhood of Edward Robinson.
Stephen Wright
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on 11 April 2013
These are taken from short stories or plays. They are rather dated now, but interesting to watch, particularly if you are familiar with Christie's tales. Great costumes and props.
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on 16 May 2017
Ten lovingly dramatised Christie short stories, put together with great attention to period detail and featuring a host of familiar British actors.

Shot on videotape rather than film, the picture quality sadly isn't great. Having said that I have to chuckle at people complaining that "it's all a bit dated" - yes, these were aired in the autumn of 1982 but the stories are all set in high society circles of the 1920s and 30s. I find the occasionally clunky moments rather endearing. And make no mistake, these are excellent productions by Thames Television with lavish sets.

These are not Christie whodunnits, although all have an element of suspense and the odd clever twist - some have the feel of a period version of Tales of the Unexpected. Some have an unexpectedly semi-paranormal flavour featuring mediums and predictive visions; others are charming romances with a swirl of villainy and drama. They are all lesser known Christie tales and it's a crying shame that no more series were commissioned.

If you're a Christie fan or enjoyed Tales of the Unexpected, you'll lap these up. Certainly there are moments when the editing could have been a lot tighter or the scripting could have been tweaked, but most are faithful re-workings of classic tales and are great fun to watch even 35 years after they were originally aired. Some are certainly better than others but all have been put together with much love and charm. Recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 April 2014
I really loved these dramatisations of Agatha Christie short stories when they came out in 1982 but I expected to be disappointed when they were reissued on DVD. I thought they might have dated badly and of course, they have dated a bit, but they are still thoroughly enjoyable. They star some first class actors and I still remember the impact William Gaunt's performance had on me, when I watched him in the early eighties. The production values are excellent and the series was clearly not made on the cheap. The episodes are quite lightweight and engaging, good escapist entertainment to lose oneself in. Most enjoyable!
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on 13 May 2010
I find this DVD set to be of good quality in every respect. I don't have any problem with the picture or sound quality like the other reviewer has unfortunately had. It is videotaped (like many other UK tv series of the time) but the picture and sound quality are fine for the period in which it was made. In fact some of the episodes look very fresh and clear indeed (if you don't mind the old fashioned 'look' of videotape which is very different to film).

The production values in the episodes themselves are amazing. For example in the first episode (Magnolia Blossom) some of the action is set in a large inner city 'mansion'. This home is created entirely in the studio including a garden and gazebo and office and dining room and large multi-levelled hall. The set created for this house is really very beautifully detailed and seems to have been built so that it can be filmed from any angle. It is also beautifully lit and has scenes set in the daytime and night time. Part of the pleasure of this leisurely series is noticing this kind of great attention to period detail, as well as the props, costumes and music etc. I find that this quality extends over the entire series.

There are also some very recognisable and talented actors appearing in this series giving performances that indicate that they are enjoying what they are doing and taking it seriously (i.e. not hamming it up like it could be tempting to do with material that is at times a little 'melodramatic'). It is wonderful to get to see adaptations of some of Agatha Christie's short stories that do not feature her more well known characters, but that fans of her writing may have enjoyed reading over the years.

Despite the episodes being adapted from stories that may seem quaint and seemingly old fashioned at times to some people, there is a good variety of the types of short stories that Agatha Christie wrote and in my memory of the original source material they seem to try and be pretty accurate. To me the fact that it can be a bit old-fashioned is not to it's detriment anyway - in fact it is part of why I like it!

The variety in genres in this anthology series extends from 'mystery' to 'romance' to 'semi-paranormal', but the 'sting in the tail' that is one of the delights of Agatha Christie's writing (i.e. sharp social comment and cunningly clever twists and turns in the plots) is evident in all of these stories. I hope that other viewers who like Agatha Christie's writing enjoy this series as much as I am doing viewing this DVD set after remembering it from so many years ago.
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on 16 July 2011
This is a good addition to any collection of short stories of the period, although some people may find them 'a bit dated'. It provides an interesting mix of styles, with performances by a number of well known actors of the time, together with numerous supporting actors playing cameo roles that will have you saying 'I know that face' and 'what was he/she in?' In particular, I enjoyed the performance by Gwen Watford in 'The Middle Aged Wife'. As with any set of short stories, you will enjoy some more than others but even allowing for personal preferences there is something for everybody here. I was delighted to find that I liked about 70% of the stories in this collection. I am a contented purchaser and shall watch the collection again in due course.
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on 29 July 2012
Slightly disappointing because the storylines are a bit weak. Entertaining enough, in the same vein as "Tales of the Unexpected". At least there aren't any shock/horror themes with rape/incest/necrophilia/violence so common in what passes for todays entertainment. The stories are fit for family viewing, in my opinion.
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on 2 November 2017
Good fun.
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