|David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.|
Running Time: 60 minutes (37 episodes); 90-105 minutes (33 episodes).
Status: There were 13 seasons broadcast between 1989 and 2014. Agatha Christie’s Poirot is available on DVD in the U.S.
Production Notes: In a 2013 interview, David Suchet said: “In the books, as opposed to some of the films that have been made, he (Poirot) is not a comic character. I was told by Agatha Christie's daughter and her husband over lunch, 'If you're going to make him a joke, then you are not going to play him; people can smile with him, but never laugh at him'. That was a very strict order I was given, and when I started reading the novels, I realized exactly what they were saying, because he's not just a figure of fun. He could never be with that brain."
Our Review: David Suchet is superb as Poirot and his portrayal of Christie’s sleuth is the one constant throughout this long-running series. However, the quality of the mysteries varies from excellent (Lord Edgware Dies, Death in the Clouds) to mediocre (Cards on the Table, The Mystery of the Blue Train). The best episodes are generally those that adhere to the plots of Agatha Christie’s novels and stories. We prefer the cases that feature the amiable Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), who adds a dash of humor and also provides Poirot with a confidant (which helps when reviewing clues for the viewer). We also favor the longer episodes simply because they work better for the more complex mysteries with a surfeit of suspects. The bottom line is that Agatha Christie’s Poirot provides an opportunity to savor Suchet as Poirot—and to watch him use his “little gray cells.”
Our Grade: B+.