Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot is a classic detective of mystery literature on par with Charlie Chan, Sam Spade, and (depending on who you talk to) evenÂ Sherlock Holmes. While the other three detectives may be well known, detective Hercule Poirot became the most-watched detective in the history of the PBS Mystery! series and later when it was rerun on A&E. Now Acorn Media has released allÂ nine feature-length episodes in one box collection (the first collection contains all 36 hour-long episodes). Apparently all the episodes have been previously released in seperate smaller collections, but these two definitive collections have now been released either to allow for less shelf space to store them or just to cash in on the large Poirot fan base. Either way, they seem to be welcome releases.
Ranging from Season Two to Season Seven (1990-1996), these nine episodes display the famous Belgian detective in his element. In classic Agatha Christie style, each mystery slowly unravels clue by misdirected clue as Poirot uncovers murder after murder. With interesting locations (in Death in the Clouds, the murder takes place on a plane flying Poirot home to London) and clever setups (a fox terrier helps solve the case in Dumb Witness) all nine of these episodes have something to offer to mystery lovers and Poirot fans alike.
Each episode has its own unique story while the style of the series remains consistent, thanks in no small part to David Suchet’s masterful and consistentÂ portrayal of Monsieur Poirot, and a strong supporting cast, including Hugh Fraser’s Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson’s Inspector Japp, and Pauline Moran’s Miss Lemon. Each character appears in numerous episodesÂ and is always welcome to any audience member, but Suchet’s obsessive-compulsive, detail-oriented, self-important, and utterly genius detective Poirot is always a joy to witness (no pun intended) in action.
Although theÂ newestÂ episodeÂ originally aired over 10 years ago, and the oldest over 15, these nine episodes somehow manage to maintain a sense of vitality and life. As audiences watch Poirot solving mystery after mystery in his ownÂ individual style, it’s hard not to appreciate the quality of the presentation and the cleverness of the stories. Everyone knows that Agatha Christie’s novels were, are, and will continue to be a mystery phenomenom, but these films capture the essence of the novels and even manage to add a flair of their own. For those viewers uninterested in mystery, this collection of 16 and a half hours of Poirot could get a little tedious, but for the true Poirot fan, who this collection is obviously directed at, there’s probably not a better box set coming out this year. And with the addition of the hour-long documentary Agatha Christie’s Garden, which offers an intriguing view into the author’s garden and life, this collection is a surprisingly strong package.
For more information on Agatha Christie and Poirot, visit the official Agatha Christie home page.
To purchase Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Classic Collection 2, visit Acorn Media.
For a breakdown and description of each episode, check out this review.