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Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series 7 & 8

Release Year:         2013
Studio:         Acorn Media
Format:         Colour; Widescreen; NTSC
Rated:         Not Rated
# of Discs/Episodes:         2 / 4
Running Time:          412 minutes
DVD Release Date:         October 1, 2013
Screenwriters:         Clive Exton, Anthony Horowitz
Directors:         Andrew Grieve, Brian Farnham, Tom Clegg
Actors:         David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran
DVD Features:         SDH subtitles
E:Top Picks Rating:         10/10

Acorn Media Write-up:  
Agatha Christie’s beloved detective solves complex cases with flair and finesse in these four feature-length mysteries from the hit series. Set amid the unparalleled elegance of the Art Deco era, these beautifully remastered adaptations star David Suchet as Poirot, Hugh Fraser (Sharpe) as Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson (Little Voice) as Chief Inspector Japp, and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon. Guest stars include Russell Tovey (Little Dorrit) and Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica).

Jon Ted Wynne Review:    
For some twenty years, Hercule Poirot’s definitive interpreter has been faithfully, little step by little step, bringing the master detective to life. While he may not have achieved the status of cultural icon (and this is debatable) David Suchet has succeeded in epitomizing Poirot, becoming the Belgian’s brand face. This is no simple achievement when other great actors have also lent their talents to inhabiting Poirot. I speak of Albert Finney, Ian Holm and Sir Peter Ustninov in particular.

Suchet is beloved in this role and for good reason. However his performance is not, by far, the only ingredient of merit in this wonderful series. Hugh Fraser contributes just the right balance of faithful friend and slightly Nigel Bruce-ish exasperation about him. Philip Jackson brings a wonderful weight to every role he plays and finds the correct measure of “let’s get on with it” and being truly impressed (not jealous) by Poirot’s gifts. And Pauline Moran has just the right twist of Miss Lemon. These four are so good there is no need for a supporting cast and yet of course that we have in abundance. What would an episode of Poirot be like without a roomful of suspects for Poirot to mesmerize at the denouement of each program?

These episodes have been on DVD before. The special delight here is that, in accordance with the show’s enduring popularity, a reissue was deemed worthy of new remastering (the sound and picture quality is impeccable) as well as the added bonus of having the programs in original U.K. broadcast order. This is not to be sniffed at. The considered presentation of a series like POIROT really does gain from such details as broadcast order. It means we are seeing these programs the way they were meant to be seen.

Here are the episodes in their original order:

The Murder of Roger Aykroyd – Poirot’s much-needed retreat to the countryside is interrupted by the murder of a prosperous industrialist.

Lord Edgeware Dies – Following the death of a loathsome aristocrat, Poirot is stymied by his suspects’ ironclad alibis.

Murder in Mesopotamia – The detective travels to Iraq and finds himself embroiled in a web of rivalries, jealousy, and murder at an archaeological dig.

Evil Under the Sun – A sojourn in Devon turns into an investigation for Poirot after the body of a beautiful young woman is found on the beach.

As David Suchet continues his remarkable attack on the complete Poirot stories we can all sit back and exhult in the fact there is still more to come.

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