Agatha Christie's POIROT (Set 10)

Starring: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser

Director: Ross Devenish, Edward Bennett

Format: DVD - Three one-hour episodes. (Also available on VHS)

Genre: Mystery/drama

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

The latest DVD release includes "Murder in the Mews," (a murder is made to look like suicide), "The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly" (Poirot is hired to investigate threats against a country squire's young son), and "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" (where Poirot's culinary know-how is useful in solving a murder case).

In this tenth set of cases featuring the endearing Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, I found the stories less satisfying than in previously released sets. Perhaps all of the better cases have been solved and these are the left-overs? (Remember in the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes cases, the more interesting cases were released first and then finally the less well developed cases/stories were filmed?)

As happens with some authors, the basic story is repeated but with the substitution of new characters. And while that is true with several of the Poirot stories, that is not the problem that makes these stories less exciting or less interesting.

I don't mind that Poirot is once again solving a crime of murder that was made to look like suicide. It just seems that there isn't much story to these three cases and the actors seem almost weary -- or are they bored? -- as they plod along.

I have no real knowledge of the Poirot stories as written by Agatha Christie. I have only enjoyed the detective through the various actors who have portrayed him on television and in the movies. However, this new set of cases seems to lack the spark and wit of previous Poirot stories. I recommend it only for die-hard Poirot fans. For the more casual viewer, I recommend earlier released sets.

Set #11 in the series is scheduled for DVD release on January 4, 2005.

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