Thursday, 31 October 2013

Poirot: Dead Man's Folly Review (S13.E3)



Dead Man's Folly was broadcast in the UK on 30th October 2013 and is the third of five films that make up the thirteenth and final series of Agatha Christie's Poirot. It was adapted by Nick Dear (Mrs McGinty's Dead, Elephants Can Remember), directed by Tom Vaughan and produced by David Boulter.


Poirot is called by his dear friend Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker) to Nasse House in Devon, where she is helping the owner of the house, George Stubbs (Sean Pertwee) to organise a murder hunt for his village fete. However, her instinct tells her that a real body will be found, and she is right... 

Thankfully, Nick Dear's script remains faithful to the original novel (one of my favourites). Only a number of changes are made. He moves the setting to the early 40's instead of late 50's to fit the rest of the series. He removes the character of Miss Lemon, although she only answers the telephone so she wasn't really needed. He changes the death of Mrs Folliat's son from 'killed in the war' to 'killed in a plane crash'. Marilyn Tucker becomes Gertie Tucker, and is thinner than in the book (in the novel she is described as 'the fat child') 

One more major change is the dramatic ending. Dear adds a moving scene where Mrs Folliat confronts her son. Poirot lets her go to her son against Inspector Bland's orders. However, it ends in tragedy, as we hear two gun shots, so both are presumably dead. A bitter Poirot says "Bon". (more on this later) 

All in all, a faithful retelling of a brilliant book. 

Direction, locations, soundtrack 

Tom Vaughan's direction really makes use of the beautiful scenery (more on this later), but in contrast to the other later episodes it's not as dark. Yes, there are lots of lovely shots of the area but there's not many dark shots, not even when a child is murdered. 

The main location, and star of the show, has to be Greenway House, Agatha Christie's holiday home now owned by The National Trust. It looks so beautiful and there are lots of wonderful shots of it throughout the episode, as well a parts like the boathouse, gardens and steam railway. The denouement at the end is shot almost entirely in the boathouse, which is great to see. There are lots of fantastic scenes where Poirot wanders through the gardens and around the house. It was wonderful to see Greenway in a Poirot, even more so having visited there myself only a month ago. 

As usual, Christian Henson's soundtrack is perfect for this memorable episode. Notably, his version of the Poirot theme featured on the end credits. 

Cast and characters

This episode is a very challenging one in terms of character, at least for Poirot. Dear adds a scene where Mrs Folliat confronts her son, ending in two gun shots. When heard, Poirot says "Bon.". This is very unusual for Poirot to take the law into his own hands, and reminds me somewhat of the endings to Orient Express and Death on the Nile. Poirot is happy that a 'justice' has occurred and the Folliats are now at rest. This is very fitting for the last series and I'm pleased it was added. 
Another funny scene for Poirot is when Mr Legg says he will strangle Mr Weymen with his tie and Poirot says "Bon" and walks off. Then he returns and says "Do not actually kill him.". 

Notably, this is the last episode to star Zoe Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver. Wanamaker is the perfect Mrs Oliver, she is so funny, she has the character perfectly. Suchet and Wanamaker have such a believable and great chemistry that really makes the relationship perfect. Poirot is a man of order and method; she is scatty. He likes fact; she has intuition. I noticed she's gone back to eating apples so the events of Hallowe'en Party must have been forgotten. The opening scene with Mrs Oliver is brilliant especilally when in contrast with the scene when Poirot calls her to Nasse later on. 

Of the guest cast, Sinead Cusack stand out as Amy Folliat, one of Christie's most interesting characters, in my humble opinion. She gives a powerful performance, especially in the ending climax in the boathouse and when confronting 'George Stubbs'. 
Sean Pertwee is also very good as Sir George Stubbs, Steph Leonidas plays a suitably subnormal Hattie Stubbs and Tom Ellis is great as the slow Inspector Bland.

A very good episode, but perhaps not perfect. 

NEXT WEEK: Orla Brady plays Countess Rossakoff in David Suchet's penultimate Poirot film.
Wednesday 6th November 2013, 8pm ITV.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

David Suchet: "I would have walked at some points"


Today, Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet reveals he almost walked out of the show before any episode aired, 25 years ago. The reason was a disagreement with the director of The Clapham Cook, Ed Bennett. Suchet wanted to do a scene where Poirot placed his handkerchief on a bench before sitting down, an act Bennett described as "ridiculous". However, Suchet argued that this is the way Agatha Christie wrote him, and if he didn't like it he would leave. Au revoir.
Suchet said “If I lost the argument, it would mean that my custodianship of Poirot’s character was in severe jeopardy – so much so that I really thought that I might not be able to go on playing him,” says the actor in the book. “I had to play the character she created, I was certain of that. I would not compromise.”
In the end, producer Brian Eastmen decided David Suchet was right, and now one of Poirot's main characteristics could be portrayed. 
I think that one of the best things about David Suchet's iconic portrayal of Poirot is the subtle character traits. He rarely gets powerful moments (although Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile do), his skill is through all the little eccentricities, like the handkerchief and others. 

In other news, Suchet has revealed he would like to play Poirot on the big screen, his favourite to remake would be The ABC Murders. This would be fantastic, but they did a tremendous job on the TV adaption.

Dead Man's Folly airs tonight at 8pm on ITV

Monday, 28 October 2013

Agatha Christie Autumn Update - News Round Up


So, this autumn is going to be heaven for Agatha Christie fans, with new episodes of Poirot and Marple and various other little treats. Here's the latest...

The Final Four Poirot Films

We've already had The Big Four last week, which received high viewing figures, on Wednesday (30th), Dead Man's Folly will be broadcast on ITV in the UK, which was filmed at Greenway House and stars Zoe Wanamaker in her final appearance as Ariadne Oliver. The Labours of Hercules will be broadcast on 6th November and Curtain, the 70th and final episode, will air on 13th November! This is truly fantastic news, but so sad to see the end of such a marvelous series. 

Dead Man's Folly Game and The Greenshore Folly 
To coincide with the release of Dead Man's Folly, the Agatha Christie Estate are releasing a game for Apple and Android devices. The game is a puzzle and clue solving game and will be available to download on the Apple and Google Play stores on 31st October. The first two levels are free, but to continue playing you will have to pay. Also, they are releasing an EBook of Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly, a previously unseen novella which was expanded into two stories, Dead Man's Folly and Greenshaw's Folly. This is available to download on 31st October as well.


Being Poirot and Poirot And Me

Again, to coincide with the final series, David Suchet's tv documentary Being Poirot will be broadcast at 10.35 on 13th November 2013, after Curtain. Also, Suchet's book Poirot and Me will be released on 7th November 2013. This is truly exciting news and a great Christmas present.

Marple: Endless Night

So far, the first two episodes of Marple Series 6 have aired, A Caribbean Mystery and Greenshaw's Folly, but there is no word yet on when the final episode, Endless Night, will be broadcast. I imagine that it will be either a) Wednesday 20th November, a week after Poirot: Curtain, b) Christmas Day or around that period or c) The New Year. I would imagine that the most likely air date is the 20th November, but this is not confirmed, just mere speculation! Also, it isn't known whether this will be the last series or whether ITV have plans for more. Endless Night is based on the final Miss Marple story, The Case of the Caretaker's Wife, as well as the novel Endless Night, so maybe this will be the end? Who knows!


So fans, it looks like we are in for one hell of a treat this autumn! Read my review of The Big Four here

Follow me on twitter: @AChristieWeb

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Poirot Series 13: Dead Man's Folly Preview

"Having the opportunity to film there was truly wonderful" David Suchet


Dead Man's Folly is the third episode in the thirteenth and final series and will be broadcast of ITV on Wednesday 30th October at 8pm. Not only does this episode feature Zoe Wanamaker in her final appearance as crime novelist Ariadne Oliver but it was filmed at Agatha Christie's home Greenway House! This is certainly going to be an episode to remember. It was adapted by Nick Dear (Elephants Can Remember, Mrs McGinty's Dead), directed by Tom Vaughan (Endeavour) and produced by David Boulter (Elephants Can Remember, The Big Four). It was filmed on location at Greenway House in June 2013 and was the final episode to be filmed.
Here is ITV's description: 

"In an effort to beguile their Devonshire neighbours, wealthy financier Sir George Stubbs (Sean Pertwee) and his ‘subnormal’ wife Hattie (Stephanie Leonidas) prepare to stage a grand summer fête in the grounds of their new acquisition, Nasse House. 
No expense is spared, and the lawn is soon bustling with visitors keen to have their fortune told, to compete in the fancy dress and to try their hand at the coconut shy. And then there is the ultimate challenge: a fiendishly complicated ‘murder hunt’ prepared by the famous mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker).
But Ariadne is perturbed. Convinced that someone is ‘jockeying her along’, she insists on the presence of her old friend Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), who reluctantly agrees to apply his uniquely analytical mind to a crime that, as yet, only exists in Ariadne’s imagination.
The denizens and friends of Nasse are certainly an awkward and pernicious bunch: Poirot soon encounters the local Member of Parliament Captain Warburton (Martin Jarvis) and his imperious wife Mrs Warburton (Rosalind Ayres), squabbling holidaymakers Alec and Sally Legge (Daniel Weyman and Emma Hamilton), lecherous architect Michael Weyman (James Anderson), rambling ferryman John Merdell (Sam Kelly) and the fête’s uninvited guest, urbane foreigner Etienne De Souza (Elliot Barnes-Worrell). And then there is Amy Folliat (Sinead Cusack), once the proud owner of Nasse, and now Sir George’s pauperised lodger. 
Any one of them could be the killer; any one of them could be the victim.
But what actually happens is utterly bewildering. Girl guide Marlene Tucker, volunteer actor in Ariadne’s murder hunt, is found strangled to death in the secluded boathouse. It seems like a motiveless act; but of course it is not. 
As Poirot and Ariadne try to pick their way through Nasse’s web of secrets and lies, another mystery presents itself – the vanishing of vulnerable Hattie Stubbs.
Where is Hattie? Who killed Marlene? Who really authored Ariadne’s murder hunt? What is the significance of Sir George’s ghastly folly? And can it be true that this is a mystery the great Hercule Poirot cannot solve?" 

"Everyday is a highlight, the character is so much fun to play." Zoe Wanamaker


David Suchet said in an ITV interview: "Having the opportunity to film there [Greenway] was truly wonderful and a memory I will cherish." 
Zoe Wanamaker said "Everyday is a highlight, the character is so much fun to play... I've enjoyed reading the books, going through each story and finding out new clues about her [Ariadne], she's been a joy to play." 
Tom Ellis (Miranda), who plays D.I.Bland said "It din't feel like the end of filming, it felt like an end of an era."  
This is based on a wonderful book, so I am sure it will be another sublime adaption. 
There is news that Dead Man's Folly: The Game will be released as an app on Apple and Android devices. I  will write a separate post on this news tomorrow
Cast list:
Hercule Poirot - David Suchet  
Ariadne Oliver - Zoë Wanamaker
Hattie Stubbs - Stephanie Leonidas
Bickford - Chris Gordon
Sir George Stubbs - Sean Pertwee
D.I. Bland - Tom Ellis
Henden - Richard Dixon
Amy Folliat - Sinead Cusack
Miss Brewis - Rebecca Front
Captain Warburton - Martin Jarvis
Michael Weyman - James Anderson
John Merdell - Sam Kelly
Mrs Warburton - Rosalind Ayres
Alec Legge - Daniel Weyman
Sally Legge - Emma Hamilton
Marlene Tucker - Ella Geraghty
Etienne De Souza - Elliot Barnes-Worrell
Sergeant Hoskins - Nicholas Woodeson
Gertie - Angel Witney
Dutch Hiker - Francesca Zoutewelle
Tune into twitter at 7.45 on Wednesday for my live feed on Dead Man's Folly. Feel free to join in, use the the hashtag # 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Poirot: The Big Four Review (S13.E2)

The Big Four is the second of the five final Poirot films (series 13) and aired on 23rd October 2013. It was adapted by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard, directed by Peter Lyndon and produced by David Boulter. 


Hercule Poirot is reunited with sidekick Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), secretary Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Assistant Commissioner Japp (Philip Jackson) in a case that plunges him into the world of global espionage as the Second World War looms. The public are in panic after the shocking death of Russian grandmaster Ivan Savaranoff during a game of chess. Poirot must try to determine the good guys from the bad, as a complex plot by a gang of dangerous dissidents sees a host of international figures used like pawns.


Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard's script is both exciting and tense,with some very witty moments as well. In terms of faithfulness to the orginal novel, I haven't read it (how shameful!) but I do know that the adaption excludes the recurring character of Countess Vera Rossakoff. However, she isn't really missed here, and to be honest, it would be a bit too much with Vera, Miss Lemon, Hastings, Japp and George. However, she will return in The Labours of Hercules later this series. 
The script works really well, and credit must go to Gatiss and Hallard for adapting this monster of a novel. They said it would be impossible to adapt, but they did it with style and made a masterpiece out of it. 


Direction, locations and soundtrack 

Peter Lyndon's direction goes perfectly with the script in this adaption, his use of the dark red colours in the 'Big Four's lair' are particularly affective. These scenes that show hooded figures cackling uncontrollably makes the episode very dark, as well as the macabre, grizzly deaths. Also, as a nice contrast, at the end celebration at Poirot's flat, the red colours are again present, but more pleasant this time, although they remind you of the horrors that just occurred. Poirot's 'funeral' was expertly directed as well, and Christian Henson's soundtrack is outstanding here. His music doesn't draw as much attention to itself as other composers in the series, it's more subtle, but incredibly effective. It was filmed at Longcross Manor House, HDS Studios, Nuffield Place, Kensal Green Cemetery and Hackney Empire.

 Cast and characters

Let's start with our old friends. Out of our 'Big Three', Japp has the most screen time here. Philip  Jackson steps back into the role as if he never left it, it doesn't seem like he hasn't played the part for twelve and a half years. His gags about Mrs Japp are funny "Mrs Japp got one of those cards from Gypsy Meg, 3 months later, the cat died" Also, as a nice piece of character development, he has been promoted to the role of Assistant Commissioner. The denouement at the end with Japp and a gun are good, although he's hopeless at fending off Claude Darrell. 
 Pauline Moran is equally as good in her return as Miss Lemon. We get a glimpse of her house and her cat (named Marina!!). There's a touching scene where she, after Poirot's funeral, straightens some objects on her friend's desk "He always liked everything to be just so." Also, when she discovers her former employer is alive, she gives him an icy look: "It was for the best, I suppose"
Although Hugh Fraser makes a very good appearance as Captain Hastings, he doesn't have very much to do in this episode at all. We do get to see his home in Argentina though (green screened I presume?). After Poirot is 'killed' by The Big Four, faithful Hastings is outraged that Japp and Miss Lemon have given up, he wants to make sure Poirot didn't die in vain by hunting down his killers. But hopless Hastings never stood a chance "Now what do I do, old chap?" Hugh Fraser will return in Curtain, but Pauline Moran and Philip Jackson won't be retuning again. 

Of the guest cast, Simon Lowe (Game of Thrones) is outstanding as Dr Quentin/Claude Darrel. He gives a spine chilling performance. Sarah Parish (Atlantis) is wonderful as the actress Flossie Monroe. Patricia Hodge (what I call Miranda's mother) surprises us all with a perfect French accent and Nicholas Burns' character of Inspector Meadows makes Japp look intelligent! A superb cast. 

Another perfect episode!

NEXT WEEK: Zoe Wanamaker puts in her final appearance as Ariadne Oliver in Dead Man's Folly, filmed at Greenway House, Agatha's home! 
Wednesday 30th October, 8pm ITV (9pm ITV+1)


Monday, 21 October 2013

Poirot Series 13: The Big Four Preview

The second of the final five Poirot films, The Big Four, will be broadcast on ITV on 23rd October at 8pm. This highly anticipated episode reunites David Suchet with his co-stars Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran, who will reprise their iconic roles that  they haven't played since 2001's Evil Under The Sun. The episode is scripted by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard, so the episode has promise (Gatiss is the co-creater of Sherlock and adapted Poirot Hallowe'en Party and Cat Among the Pigeons). 

"In The Big Four, the world stands on the edge of an abyss as the outbreak of World War II grows ever closer…  
In an effort to demonstrate international unity, the Peace Party hosts a grand reception, which re-unites Poirot (David Suchet) with his good friend Japp (Philip Jackson), now Assistant Commissioner of the Met. The illustrious crowd also includes English diplomat Stephen Paynter (Steven Pacey), and the French scientist and Peace Party stalwart, Madame Olivier (Patricia Hodge). The American tycoon, and hearty backer of the Party, Abe Ryland (James Carroll Jordan), fronts the event, which climaxes in an exciting game 
of chess, where he takes on the reclusive Russian Grandmaster, Dr Ivan Savaranoff (Michael Culkin). 
But the match has barely begun, when suddenly Savaranoff collapses - dead! Panic quickly spreads when Ryland suspiciously disappears. Daily Comet journalist, Tysoe (Tom Brooke), covers every development in great, sensational detail, claiming the murder to be the work of a group of ruthless political agitators, tagged as the ‘The Big Four’.  
Then when Jonathan Whalley (Peter Symonds), the biographer of the Peace Party’s Chinese leader, is also strangely and brutally murdered, the Big Four have the attention of Hercule Poirot and the world.
Tysoe is keen to join forces with Poirot, an anonymous source has been feeding the journalist information on the Big Four, apparently a mole from within.  Poirot and Japp decide to pool resources with him when it appears that his informer is murdered – leaving behind evidence, which suggests this dissident and dangerous group is in fact none other than the Peace Party!  A theory only reinforced by the disappearances of Ryland, and then Madame Olivier, shortly after the murder of unassuming conciliator Paynter.
Poirot realises that each of these crimes is so dramatic and expertly stage-managed as to be almost theatrical… and the murderer must indeed be a master of disguise in order to pull off such varied and ingenious plans.  Through a scrapbook found at Whalley’s house, he tracks down failing actress Flossie Monro (Sarah Parish), whom he believes may unwittingly be at the root of all this bloodshed.  However, before he can pursue his theories, Poirot himself is also killed! Or is he?  
Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) return for the funeral of their old friend, but of course things are never as they seem, and soon the theatrics of the Big Four climax with a deadly final act – but on whom will the curtain fall this time?" ITV description
Here is the fantastic cast list.... 
Hercule Poirot - David Suchet
Captain Hastings - Hugh Fraser
Assistant Commissioner Japp - Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon - Pauline Moran
Madame Olivier - Patricia Hodge 
Flossie Monro - Sarah Parish
Inspector Meadows - Nicholas Burns
Tysoe - Tom Brooke
Dr Quentin - Simon Lowe
Abe Ryland - James Carroll Jordan
Stephen Paynter - Steven Pacey
Diana Paynter - Teresa Banham
Gerald Paynter - Jack Farthing
Dr Ivan Savaranoff - Michael Culkin
Ingles - Nick Day
George - David Yelland
Mabel - Lou Broadbent
Mrs Andrews - Barbara Kirby                                              
Robert Grant - Alex Palmer
Jonathan Whalley - Peter Symonds
Mercutio - Ian Hallard
As usual, I will be writing a live commentary of the episode via twitter, so tune in at 7.45 for the full feed.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

BBC Miss Marple Review: The Body in the Library


The first episode to star Joan Hickson as the title sleuth, The Body in the Library, was broadcast in three parts from 23rd - 26th December 1984. 


A body is found in the library of Gossington Hall, St Mary Mead, home of Colonel Bantry (Moray Watson) and his wife Dolly (Gwen Watford). Miss Jane Marple (Joan Hickson), an old friend of Dolly, is called upon to investigate. However, although the Chief Contable Colonel Melchett (Frederick Jaeger) doesn't appear to mind, Chief Inspector Slack (David Horovitch) is less keen. Miss Marple and Dolly travel to the Majestic Hotel, Danemouth to investigate, leading them on a trail involving nail clippings and Mozart.

T.R.Bowen's script remains faithful to the original novel but makes some minor changes. Firstly, he moves the 1942 setting to 1953. Also, Ruby Keene's inheritance increases and the plot to kill Conway Jefferson is changed. However, it's a faithful and thoroughly entertaining script.

Direction, locations and soundtrack 

Silvio Narizzano's direction is very good, especially the village scenes; he captures the closure of an Elglish coiuntry village perfectly. Locations include the village of Nether Wallop, Hampshire as St Mary Mead (which features in all the episodes) and Bournemouth bills as Danemouth.

Cast and Characters 

Joan Hickson gives a powerful and spectacular debut performance as Miss Jane Marple. It's also great to see the recurring character of Chief Inspector Slack for the first time. Over the next few years Hickson and Horovitch's on - screen relationship would develop, in the first episode they are rivals, although only from Slack's perspective. Also, Gwen Watford makes her first appearance as Miss Marple's friend Dolly Bantry, as does Ian Brimble, who plays Lake. Of the guest stars, Raymond Francis stands out as Sir Henry Clithering. 

The Body In The Library Part 3 is available to watch on BBC Iplayer.

BBC to rebroadcast Miss Marple

It seems the BBC have a trick up their sleeve as they are beginning to rebroadcast their highly popular series Miss Marple starring Joan Hickson as the spinster sleuth.  The series is currently being showed on BBC2, The Body in the Library (1984) has already aired. This is excellent news as Joan Hickson is Miss Marple; however good Julia McKenzie and Geraldine McEwan may be, they are let down by poor scripts. The BBC series sticks very closely to the original novels but not in a monotonous way. Joan Hickson filmed all 12 Miss Marple novels and read all 20 of the short stories in audiobook form.

Miss Marple Coming Soon to BBC2


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Poirot: Elephants Can Remember Review (S13.E1)

With the release of the rest of the final series, starting with The Big Four, next Wednesday, I thought I'd post a review on the first episode of the final series of Agatha Christie's Poirot! (So far we know The Big Four will air on Wednesday 23rd October and Dead Man's Folly on the 30th)


 Eccentric crime novelist Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker) is pressed by the scandal-fearing Mrs Burton-Cox (Greta Scacchi) to uncover the secrets of a cold case that involved the deaths of General and Mrs Ravenscroft. Mrs Burton-Cox claims to be concerned because her son Desmond (Ferdinand Kingsley) is about to marry the dead couple's daughter, and Mrs Oliver's Goddaughter, Celia Ravenscroft (Vanessa Kirby) 
Meanwhile, Hercule Poirot is too busy to help his friend, he's preoccupied with the murder of Professor Willoughby. 
However, after investigation, Poirot realises the cases are connected and they must join forces to stop a present day killer from seeking vengeance...

Nick Dear's script stays relatively close to the original novel, except for one major point. He adds the present day murder of Professor Willoughby and makes the two cases intertwined. This is a sensible change as it allows for more tension, for with a cold case, nobody else is likely to die (like Five Little Pigs, for example). Now, we have a more likely reason to suppose Poirot can't help Madame Oliver as well.

Direction, locations and soundtrack 

As usual with the later episodes, Elephants Can Remember is very dark. John Strickland's direction adds to the foreboding atmosphere of the piece, as well as the series, as it shows that the end is near.  Equally as good is Christian Henson's soundtrack. Another dark,  tense piece of music adds to the atmosphere perfectly. Some of the locations uses are Grey's Court, Netherwylde Equestrian, Shepperton Film Studios, Pinewood Studios and The Park Lane Hotel, as well as new scenes shot a Florin Court (Whitehaven Mansions).

Cast and Characters 

It's great to see Ariadne Oliver and Poirot back together again in their penultimate case. David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker have an amazing chemistry and banter that is so believable. Greta Scacchi (Brideshead Revisited) is brilliant as the loathsome Mrs Burton-Cox, Caroline Blakison (Miss Marple) is fantastic as Julia Carstairs, one of Mrs Oliver's old friends and Ferdinand Kingsley and Vanessa Kirby play the young Desmond and Celia very well too.

All in all, as successful episode.   
NEXT WEEK: The Big Four sees the return of Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran
Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 8pm ITV (9pm ITV+1)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Poirot: The Big Four Airdate!


The second episode of the 'final five' Poirot films will air on ITV on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 at 8pm! This is wonderful news! 
The Big Four, set before the impending World War II, reunites famed Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) with his sidekicks Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran), who haven't appeared in the series since 2001's Evil Under The Sun
In this story, Poirot meets Japp, now promoted to Assistant Commissioner, at a chess match between two very important political figures. When one of them, a Russian Grandmaster, drops dead, Poirot and Japp must investigate but in doing so, they must do battle with a dangerous oraganisation called 'The Big Four'.  Also returning to help their friend are efficient secretary Miss Lemon and the trustworthy Captain Hastings. 
The guest cast include Sarah Parish (Merlin) and Patricia Hodge (Miranda). It was written by Mark Gattis (Sherlock) and actor Ian Hallard. Gatiss previously wrote Cat Among The Pigeons and Hallowe'en Party, and appeared in Appointment With Death.
Also in the news, it appears that (due to speculation and hints from ITV) the other three films will be released soon as well. If this is true, Dead Man's Folly could air on 30th October, The Labours Of Hercules on 6th November and Curtain on 13th November. I really hope this is true, although it will be so sad to say goodbye to a 25 year spanning series for good. Still, it would be nice to get the complete box set (1-13) for Christmas!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Agatha Christie's Poirot Series 13 - News

Yes, we have our first photo of The Big Four back together again after 10 years! David Suchet will star alongside Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran, as well as David Yelland again in The Big Four, which will be released later this year.
In the meantime, according to twitter, the second episode to air in the UK will be Dead Man's Folly, which sees the return of Zoe Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver. Wikipedia claim that the episode will air in October. The other episodes, The Big Four, The Labours of Hercules and Curtain will air later on in the year (with Curtain airing on 12th January 2014).
The Big Four aired in Poland yesterday, and they have also given us release dates for the rest of the series too. I literally can't wait for these new episodes, especially The Big Four as I am eager to see the return of Captain Hastings, Japp and Miss Lemon. The sooner they are released the better.
Thanks to Investigating Agatha Christie's Poirot for the updates!!


The Agatha Christie Festival 2013


Recently, I attended the Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay and had an amazing time. As well as going to special festival events, I also got a chance to see Greenway House and other important landmarks in Chritie's life, like the location of her honeymoon, The Grand Hotel Torquay. 


The Grand Hotel acted as the festival's 'hub' and provided information, competition entry forms and more importantly, cake! 
The Torquay Museum was the host of a marvelous reconstruction of Poirot's flat 203b Whitehaven Mansions from the TV series. It featured Poirot's desk, bookshelves complete with his collection of Ariadne Oliver's books, fireplaces and armchairs. It also featured David Suchet's Poirot costume and cane and Joan Hickson's iconic Miss Marple attire from the popular BBC series. Sadly, due to restictions, I wasn't allowed to take photos of this amazing exhibition, but it was a fantastic homage to Agatha Christie's work and helped to celebrate 25 years of Agatha Christie's Poirot. 

We also saw a play: Go Back For Murder, which is a version of Agatha's popular Poirot novel Five Little Pigs. It had a talented cast including Morag Sims, Lysette Anthony and Liza Goddard. A highly recommended play. 

For me one of the festival highlights, the Evening Vintage Bus trip took you on a tour of the Agatha Christie Mile. 'Barnaby' the Bus gave us an unforgettable experience which included a visit to Greenway House, traveling around in style and comfort and some fantastic fish and chips from Brixham. The trip reminded me somewhat of the Miss Marple novel Nemesis, where her recently deceased friend Jason Rafiel posthumously sends her off on a bus trip and to find the truth about the murder of Verity Hunt. However, nobody was murdered during the course of the trip! The bus will feature in Dead Man's Folly, part of the final series of Agatha Christie's Poirot. I will write a separate blog post on this trip.

I will write a post about Greenway House when I review locations used in Poirot. 

The Agatha Christie was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend you go down there next year.

Welcome Mes Amis!

Welcome! My aim through this blog is to convey all the latest Agatha Christie news, including filming updates, book updates and festival information. I will also review films and TV episodes of Christie's work. I thought I would start with a bit of background. I'm a 14 year old fan who has enjoyed Agatha Christie's book and television adaptions for around 3 years now. I've seen mostly all of the Poirot and Marple's and read quite a few novels as well. I have previously run a website but now I will only have the blog as it's easier for me to update with all the latest news. However, I will upload all of my previous reviews for the benefit of my readers.
I hope you enjoy my blog posts! 
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