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DTMark

Agatha Christie - Poirot

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I saw the box set with most of the seasons going for £25 so bought it.

We've been watching these, one per night, since the start and we're about two thirds of the way through now - must be over 30 discs in the box.

Now we're getting better at it, but so far we've only managed to get one completely right - Hickory Dickory Dock. Though we did get quite close with Five Little Pigs.

How do other people fare?

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I saw the box set with most of the seasons going for £25 so bought it.

We've been watching these, one per night, since the start and we're about two thirds of the way through now - must be over 30 discs in the box.

Now we're getting better at it, but so far we've only managed to get one completely right - Hickory Dickory Dock. Though we did get quite close with Five Little Pigs.

How do other people fare?

Can't remember ever cracking one - Agatha was a clever old bird.

Wish I could find a cheap box set of the Miss Marple ones with the peerless Joan Hickson, who was Agatha's own choice for the part. The later ITV remakes are utter rubbish by comparison.

One in particular - Sleeping Murder - is a classic, and seriously spooky. Anyone know it? The one where the girl from NZ moves into an old West Country house, and starts 'knowing' things about it, like where a door used to be, or the pattern of the old wallpaper.

And then completely freaks out and screams in a theatre while watching The Duchess of Malfi, when an actor says, 'Cover her face, mine eyes dazzle, she died young...'

Bloody brilliant.

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Sadly with the film/TV versions it's bloody obvious because of the actors.

Most famous extra face = the killer every single time.

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I find my hit rate of identifying the culprit in Columbo is around 95% when watching from the start.

Can anyone beat that?

What puzzles me is the fact that watching Columbo should be boring, and yet it isn't (at least to me).

Even when you already know who's done it and that they would be caught. Magic.

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What puzzles me is the fact that watching Columbo should be boring, and yet it isn't (at least to me).

Even when you already know who's done it and that they would be caught. Magic.

The mystery is in how they get caught.

Whoever thought that basic idea up was a genius.

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Sadly with the film/TV versions it's bloody obvious because of the actors.

Most famous extra face = the killer every single time.

Funny thing is though - because some of the episodes are a bit old (I think we're up to about 2003 now) the actors aren't that memorable to me. I sit there thinking "I'm sure he/she has been in Doctor Who at some point". But I think you might be on to something there!

I find my hit rate of identifying the culprit in Columbo is around 95% when watching from the start.

Can anyone beat that?

Is it like Knight Rider where you can spot the baddies because the music shifts to a sort of spooky evil background melody the moment the bad guys pop up?

One thing Christie was very good at was placing red herrings to lead you off the scent. But actually, when it's explained, it often hangs on something very simple that I failed to spot.

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I'm going to read some. I've always fancied it and went into Waterstones to buy one, only to find that she had about 50 titles there. I had no idea where to start.

I've never read one, just seen the series.

From the list on this page:

http://agathachristie.com/christies-work/detectives-and-sidekicks/poirot/

Favourites are Hickory Dickory Dock, Murder on the Orient Express, The ABC Murders, Death on the Nile, Evil under the Sun and The Clocks.

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I fear it might be impossible to not have the horrific image of that Suchet fellow in my mind every time Poirot speaks.

I always much preferred Marple myself.

I'd be very interested to read one. I did hear in a piece once that Christie considered bumping off Poirot at an earlier stage because even she thought him too smug, too self satisfied.

As the series develops, though, and I don't know whether this is reflected in the original writing - the humour injected into it to make the character a little less perfect, mostly though the interplay with Hastings ("Good Lord!"), Japp (including the one where he stays with Poirot for a week - the bidet, the heating on full and the dinners) and especially Miss Lemon is sometimes hilarious. I wonder if that was something injected into the dramatisations for the very reasons you state.

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Sadly with the film/TV versions it's bloody obvious because of the actors.

Most famous extra face = the killer every single time.

The corollary is the unidentifiable extra playing the anonymous crew member who beams down to a planet with Spock, Kirk, and Scottie.

You just know this dispensible actor's character is gonna die.

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I like watching the TV adaptations of Poirot, but I find Christie's habit of conveniently placing him in the same middle-class hotel / country house at the same time as a murder takes place utterly ruins the plots, along with the always buffoon policeman who never does anything right .

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I like watching the TV adaptations of Poirot, but I find Christie's habit of conveniently placing him in the same middle-class hotel / country house at the same time as a murder takes place utterly ruins the plots, along with the always buffoon policeman who never does anything right .

All part of the particular genre, innit. Equally you could wonder how there's anybody left alive in Midsomer.

Plus you often have the adenoidal kitchen maid who 'saw something' but doesn't want to get 'mixed up with police' and ends up strangled in the cupboard under the stairs.

And the Lady of the Big House, who says, 'Oh, this really is too tiresome,' when told that there's another body in the library.

I do love Agatha, though. Great comfort reads when you haven't got the energy for anything else.

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All part of the particular genre, innit. Equally you could wonder how there's anybody left alive in Midsomer.

Plus you often have the adenoidal kitchen maid who 'saw something' but doesn't want to get 'mixed up with police' and ends up strangled in the cupboard under the stairs.

And the Lady of the Big House, who says, 'Oh, this really is too tiresome,' when told that there's another body in the library.

I do love Agatha, though. Great comfort reads when you haven't got the energy for anything else.

You've condensed the entire works of Christie into a one-liner there :)

The murder density is why I can't abide Midsomer. Should be good for a zombie movie by now though.

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All part of the particular genre, innit. Equally you could wonder how there's anybody left alive in Midsomer.

I wonder what all those murders are doing to property values?

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And the Lady of the Big House, who says, 'Oh, this really is too tiresome,' when told that there's another body in the library.

Sounds like Lady Chiddingfold in "Murder at Moorstones Manor", one of the Palin/Jones Ripping Yarns.

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I like watching the TV adaptations of Poirot, but I find Christie's habit of conveniently placing him in the same middle-class hotel / country house at the same time as a murder takes place utterly ruins the plots, along with the always buffoon policeman who never does anything right .

Middle class? Upper class, more like :)

Miserably failed with tonight's one After the Funeral, though to be honest even though we picked up many of the clues I'm not sure many people would have worked it out and even Poirot himself seemed surprised that the killer had some form of multiple personality disorder.

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You've condensed the entire works of Christie into a one-liner there :)

The murder density is why I can't abide Midsomer. Should be good for a zombie movie by now though.

Yes, but it's all just a spoof/send-up of the genre, isn't it? Mr B used to loathe it on the grounds that it wasn't 'realistic'. It took me ages to get it into his head that it's not supposed to be.

Fantastically successful series, though - it's sold to God knows how many countries. Not long ago at a wedding in Stockholm I met a Malaysian woman from KL who was utterly addicted.

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Middle class? Upper class, more like :)

Miserably failed with tonight's one After the Funeral, though to be honest even though we picked up many of the clues I'm not sure many people would have worked it out and even Poirot himself seemed surprised that the killer had some form of multiple personality disorder.

Leave it 10 years and watch them all again. Your hit rate will be about the same (or is that just me?).

There is a nice bit at the end of one episode where Poirot is indulging in some fish and chips whilst slagging off English cuisine to Hastings.

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After last night's dismal failure (we had high hopes, the house it was filmed in is only five miles away!), we actually solved tonight's one Cards on the Table - all the clues, all the motives, got the right man - and the sub-plot as well.

The production values can't be faulted, we sit and try to spot the satellite dishes, the "mark of NTL" (the black stripe running along the pavement), things in reflections, 747s overhead and so on and in about 30 episodes we've only caught about two errors.

It is a very impressive series. Is it actually close to the original novels, or is it like Bond where you read the novel and wonder quite how the film of the same name was extrapolated from it since they appear to have little in common?

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I do love Agatha, though. Great comfort reads when you haven't got the energy for anything else.

Only read Agatha once, Ten Little Niggers, because dedicated to my namesake. Can't recall the plot. I enjoy the Suchet comedy - Jeeves & Wooster?

I went through a phase of crime stories as comfort reads. Sherlock Holmes was rubbish, but Father Brown I found really intelligent - inverse of the screen experiences. Best of the lot is The Big Sleep by Chandler - an amazing whocareswhodunnit, but turned into a poor movie.

I enjoy CSI (Las Vegas only - great actors), which mixes process with whodunnit. The US producers were going to franchise "CSI: Basingstoke", but pulled out when they discovered the entire population has the same DNA.

ps. read in the sundays that Agatha was the first British woman surfer.

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The US producers were going to franchise "CSI: Basingstoke", but pulled out when they discovered the entire population has the same DNA.

No chance of a CSI: Barnsley then.

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