Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 1 (All)   Books Included 
February 8, 2017 10:11 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot matches his little gray cells against the most puzzling crimes England has to offer, with the faithful Captain Hastings and Miss Lemon, and his friendly rival Inspector Japp.

Season 1 includes The Adventure of the Clapham Cook, Murder in the Mews, The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, The Third Floor Flat, Triangle at Rhodes, Problem at Sea, The Incredible Theft, The King of Clubs, and The Dream.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this. I've been working my way through the series but I think this is a great opportunity to go back and start over. I've missed Lemon, Hastings, and Japp, so excited to come back to them in the series.
posted by Carillon at 9:24 AM on February 9, 2017

I too have recently started working my way through these series. Suchet, of course, is the best Poirot ever (though I will be interested to see what Kenneth Branagh does with the part later this year), and Pauline Moran's Miss Lemon is perfect, but the show also does a good job in making Japp seem competent. Nothing, I'm afraid can be done with Hastings, who never escaped his role as a parody assistant, but Hugh Fraser is at least engaging in the role. In general I find the "solutions" a little obvious, even when I haven't read the original, but that doesn't take away from the charm of the presentation.
posted by ubiquity at 12:33 PM on February 9, 2017

I loved Murder in the Mews -- a nice twisty plot if there ever was one, and while it is a whodunnit, I considered this one more of a whydunnit.

Thanks for this discussion!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:09 PM on February 9, 2017

Clapham Cook: OMG look at the Reuters ticker in the bank! Plus of course the set-up of Poirot's apartments, and his inevitable tussy-mussy, and the first appearance of his stylish bathrobes, and his phone!

"But this is not the country, my friend! The country is full of trees, and flowers, and public houses! This is a desert!"

I love Poirot in the countryside freaking out.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Murder in the Mews: "That laundry is in the pay of my enemies!" "You think Poirot concerns himself with mere Thing-ness?"

No comments on the mystery, I was distracted by the fashion. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:03 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

No comments on the mystery, I was distracted by the fashion.

The high point of these mysteries. Very chic and believable. I want to comment on Murder on the Orient Express, but it's not from this season, so I will refrain...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:49 AM on February 19, 2017

We just started watching this, and we're only two episodes in, but this seems like a keeper. That laundry-in-the-pay-of-my-enemies line was pure gold.

I haven't actually read any Agatha Christie for probably thirty years, so I'm coming to this almost entirely ignorant of the source material. Based on the first episode, I was prepared for the relationship between Poirot and the police inspector to be more adversarial than it turned out to be in the second episode.

As often happens when one first approaches something that's been popular for a very long time, it's enlightening to watch these adaptations and be able to spot the elements of the stories that have been influential on other works. In particular, it was sort of startling to realize how much in debt to Christie the series "Monk" was. I'm sure that there are other examples too, but that one really leaped out at me.

How are the Miss Marple adaptations?
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:28 AM on February 20, 2017

How are the Miss Marple adaptations?

The ITV Marple adaptations are, unfortunately, all over the map. Geraldine McEwan was fantastic in the role, she could switch from Nice Auntie to Stone Cold Agent of Justice in an instant, and it was amazing. Julia McKenzie played it far more conventionally.

But there was far less Marple material to work with than Poirot, so a large percentage of the shows were adaptations of non-Marple Christie, with Miss Marple incongruously inserted into the story. Even the adaptations of actual Marple stories tended to veer away from the text, sometimes significantly.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:31 AM on February 23, 2017

I've always kinda felt that Murder She Wrote was a better take on Marple than any of the actual shows featuring the character, honestly.
posted by flatluigi at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2017

I've always kinda felt that Murder She Wrote was a better take on Marple than any of the actual shows featuring the character, honestly.

Well, MSW was far more subversive. Jessica Fletcher was a de facto advocate for the wrongly accused and stood up to The Man, always questioning authority. Miss Marple was none of that, though the mysteries were exciting enough. Jessica was Marple with edge.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:05 PM on February 27, 2017

I might be the only one, but I can't stand the earlier seasons. The sets look like someone read a little bit about the era and decided to put ALL THE ART DECO in one place at one time. The sets look worse than what my daughter's high school theatre department can do. And the acting (minus Suchet, of COURSE) is pretty consistently scenery-chewing and awful.
posted by cooker girl at 9:57 AM on March 1, 2017

And the acting (minus Suchet, of COURSE) is pretty consistently scenery-chewing and awful.

To me, it worked. Poirot was dealing with self-absorbed and selfish twits who were conniving, deceitful, and thought they were smarter and better than anyone else. He is eccentric, yet still the only sane man. He's stuck in this over-the-top vortex where people think they are sophisticated and refined, but are essentially oblivious pigs. The cheesy sets and the ham acting, to me, at least, are subversive and the silent snark that makes it a lot of fun to watch.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:33 PM on March 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Adventure of Johnny Waverly: Everyone in this episode sucks enormous balls for running out of the room where the little boy is when the clock chimes, HAS NOBODY EVER READ A MYSTERY NOVEL BEFORE?

The key point to being a British detectives assistant is being able to drive a car.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds: This one I remember super-vividly from reading as a child in the books, which makes it hard to judge the adaptation because I know every beat before it occurs. For me it is the utter essence of a Christie mystery story, where Poirot's careful observation of someone's entrenched habits leads to the discovery.

The Third Floor Flat: The play at the beginning is referencing The Mousetrap on the West End, no?

Once I worked for a chemical company and accidentally chloroformed myself, that is my deepest thought here.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:30 PM on March 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Triangle at Rhodes: Slow, and old-fashioned enough story that I had trouble explaining it to my sick kid watching with me. I do always love an "Englishmen abroad" theme, though.

Problem at Sea: A classic, but also classically convoluted! Does it seem like a Tardis boat to anyone else, bigger on the inside than the outside? Certainly in terms of the story, a classic version of the locked room mystery. Lots of great acting and scenery-chewing from the various English socialites and gents. Glad to see Captain Hastings back; I missed him last episode! I prefer Poirot bouncing off him.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:14 PM on March 4, 2017

(Also I mean to quote: Poirot: "What about Madame Henderson?" Hastings: "But she's a lady!" Poirot: "Ah, do you think a lady does not commit murder, mon ami?" Hastings, with sass: "No -- a lady doesn't get caught!")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:39 PM on March 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

Seasons 1–6 were just removed from Netflix in the US. Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:34 AM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is it my imagination, or are Poirot's villains plans more convoluted than in many series? Like, they're always using disguises or fake clues or ventriloquism or something in order to throw people off the trail, and then it ends up backfiring because that provides the clue that Poirot needs to solve the case.
posted by RobotHero at 12:47 PM on May 14, 2017

AGH I was watching out of order and now don't know which glorious cases I've missed! Damn you, Netflix!
posted by corb at 11:12 PM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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