A remarkably faithful adaptation brings David Suchet’s reign as Hercule Poirot to an end after almost 25 years (24 years and 10 months, to be precise!). This is far from the end of Agatha Christie on screen, but it certainly feels like a sad, sad day.

“Shots in the dark, Poirot. Shots in the dark.”

— Stephen Norton

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As the nights draw in, Hercule Poirot is back – for the penultimate time – in yet another fascinating take on a Christie book.

(I’m having a little problem with my screenshots at the moment, so please forgive the text-heavy review…)

“Better not to be a detective at all than a detective who has failed.”

— Hercule Poirot

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Poirot completeA word to the wise for those who have been asking: the complete series will be released on DVD on November 18th, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon and the usual outlets.

Who are the big four?

Who are the big four?

Well, mes amis, we are getting ever closer to the end of David Suchet’s glorious run as Hercule Poirot. Here, we delve into one of this year’s more unusual entries: The Big Four.

“You attract mayhem. Always have done.”

— Assistant Commissioner James Japp, to Poirot

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Thanks to the lovely Robert Ross (https://twitter.com/RobertWRossEsq), I stumbled across this picture from 1990, the year of Dame Agatha’s centenary. To celebrate, Joan Hickson and David Suchet attended celebrations in Torquay, dressed as Miss Jane Marple and Monsieur Hercule Poirot, respectively.

Dame Christie was against the characters ever meeting in her narrative (after all, even if they had reason to meet, there’s very little chance they would like each other!). However, they do have various connections, proving they exist in the same world – as this lovely website points out.

Still, we can all savour the one time when our Poirot and Marple did get to know each other. (Excepting the encounter between Tony Randall and Margaret Rutherford in The Alphabet Murders, but let’s not discuss that…)

Before he rejoins the cast and crew for the final five episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, star David Suchet took on the role of Hercule Poirot in a live performance of Christie’s play, Black Coffee, for the Agatha Christie Theatre Company. You can read a review of the performance here.

Although Christie adapted several Poirot novels into plays, she often excised the character entirely – for instance, in The Hollow – and Black Coffee is the only ‘canonical’ Poirot story to have been first and only theatre. (Well, under Christie’s pen at least: Charles Osborne has since novelised it.)

What a treat it must have been for the cast, audience, and Mr. Suchet himself – an expert now, after 25 years of playing the Belgian – particularly since Black Coffee is one of only two official Poirot stories that will not be part of the series when complete. (One short story, the Sherlock Holmes-inspired The Lemesurier Inheritance, wasn’t able to fit into the schedule either.) A shame we couldn’t all be there to watch!

(The final series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot begins filming in October.)