Agatha Christie's Poirot

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Agatha Christie's Poirot


Crime drama

David Suchet Hugh Fraser Starring Philip Jackson Pauline Moran Zoë Wanamaker

Christopher Gunning (Series 1-10), Composer(s) Stephen McKeon (Series 10-11), Christian Henson (Series 12)

Country of origin


65 in the UK No. of episodes (as of 26 December 2011) (List of episodes)


Running time

36 x ~50 minutes 29 x ~100 minutes

Production company(s)

LWT (1989-2002) LWT Productions (1989-1996) Granada Productions (2002-2008)

Agatha Christie Ltd. (1989-present) ITV Productions (2008-2009) ITV Studios (2009-present) WGBH Boston (2003-present) Carnival Films (1993-1994) Picture Parentship Productions (1994-1996)


Original channel


Original run

8 January 1989 – present

Agatha Christie's Poirot is a British television drama that has aired on ITV since 1989. It stars David Suchet as Agatha Christie's fictional detective Hercule Poirot. It was originally made by LWT and is now made by ITV Studios. In the United States, it airs as Poirot.

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1 Production 2 Cast 3 Episodes 4 Development of the series 5 Reception 6 DVD and Blu-ray releases 7 References 8 External links

Suchet was recommended for the part by Christie's family, who had seen him appear as Blott in the TV adaptation of Tom Sharpe's Blott on the Landscape.[1] Suchet said that he prepared for the part by reading all the Poirot novels and every short story, and copying out every piece of description about the character.[2][3][4] Suchet himself said to The Strand magazine: "What I did was, I had my file on one side of me and a pile of stories on the other side and day after day, week after week, I ploughed through most of Agatha Christie's novels about Hercule Poirot and wrote down characteristics until I had a file full of documentation of the character. And then it was my business not only to know what he was like, but to gradually become him. I had to become him before we started shooting."[5]

According to many critics and enthusiasts, Suchet's characterisation is considered to be the most accurate interpretation of all the actors who have played Poirot, and the closest to the character in the books.[6] In 2007, Suchet spoke of his desire to film all the remaining stories in the canon and hoped to achieve this by the time of his 65th birthday (May 2011).[7] Despite speculation of cancellation early in 2011, it was announced on 14 November 2011 that the remaining books would indeed be filmed in 2012.[8] As a result, Suchet will have filmed all the Poirot novels and short stories.

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David Suchet – Hercule Poirot (1989–2013) Hugh Fraser – Captain Arthur Hastings (1989–2002 and 2013) Philip Jackson – Chief Inspector James Japp (1989–2001 and 2013) Pauline Moran – Miss Felicity Lemon (1989–2001 and 2013) Zoë Wanamaker – Ariadne Oliver (2005–2013)

Main article: List of Agatha Christie's Poirot episodes

Development of the series
Clive Exton in partnership with producer Brian Eastman adapted the pilot episode and then twenty of the stories between 1989 and 2001, alongside many short story adaptations. "Principal adapter" Exton wrote The ABC Murders for the series and more controversially The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.[9] It was described as "ingenious" in its dramatic conceit in attempting to interpret a denouement which relies upon a firstperson narrative, but it did not receive unanimous praise from critics.[10] Anthony Horowitz is another prolific writer for the series, adapting three novels and nine short stories,[11] while comedian and novelist Mark Gatiss has written two episodes and also guest-starred in the series,[12] as has Peter Flannery. Beginning with the episodes which aired in 2000 there was a noticeable downplaying of the humour of the earlier series. Also, the signature theme music and full title sequence were dropped from the opening credits, and when the theme music was used it was written and scored in a more sombre fashion. This is partly because the novels adapted are themselves darker and more psychologically driven.[10] Episodes released in 2003 and thereafter lack Fraser, Jackson, and Moran, who had appeared in most episodes before then, and also introduces Wanamaker. The introduction of Wanamaker's character and the absence of the other characters (Hastings, Japp, Lemon and Oliver) is consistent with the books on which the scripts were based. However on 17 June 2012 Suchet confirmed via Twitter that Hastings would be returning for two episodes of the final series (The Big Four and Curtain). It was not known whether or not Jackson and Moran would return, however their characters do appear in one of the stories to be filmed (The Labours of Hercules), and in

July 2012 Suchet confirmed via Twitter that their characters would return. It was also confirmed that Wanamaker would return. Following the launch of the ITV series Agatha Christie's Marple in 2004, the Poirot series was retitled Agatha Christie's Poirot. The previous titles and theme music were dropped. The visual style of these later episodes was noticeably different from earlier episodes: particularly, austere art deco settings and decor, widely used earlier in the series, were largely dropped in favour of more lavish settings (epitomised by the reimagining of Poirot's home as a larger, more lavish apartment). Post-2004 episodes display the increasing use of religious themes and plot elements not found in Christie's novels and harkening instead to the work of authors such as Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene. Episodes following the rechristening saw some characterisations by their all-star casts, such as Zoë Wanamaker's portrayal of Ariadne Oliver, tend towards tongue-in-cheek; comedy actors, including Mark Gatiss, Daisy Donovan, and Steve Pemberton, have featured in the casts of these later episodes. These episodes also saw Poirot gain a valet, George. Alongside recurring characters, the early series featured several actors who later achieved greater fame, such as Joely Richardson, (The Dream, 1989), Samantha Bond, ("The Adventure of the Cheap Flat", 1990), Christopher Eccleston (One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, 1992), Hermione Norris ("Jewel Robbery at The Grand Metropolitan", 1993), Damian Lewis (Hickory Dickory Dock, 1995), Jamie Bamber (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 2000), Russell Tovey (Evil Under the Sun, 2001), and Michael Fassbender (After the Funeral, 2006). Series nine (2003–2004) featured James Fox as Colonel Race in Death on the Nile, alongside an "all-star cast" which included Emily Blunt, Daisy Donovan, and David Soul, while The Hollow featured his older brother Edward Fox as Gudgeon the butler.[13] Other veteran actors who have appeared in the later series include: Geraldine James, (After the Funeral, 2006), Elliott Gould, Lindsay Duncan and Roger Lloyd Pack, (The Mystery of the Blue Train, 2006), Siân Phillips (Mrs McGinty's Dead, 2008) and Tim Curry (Appointment with Death, 2008). Nine actors have played more than one character in the series: Nicholas Farrell appeared as Donald Fraser in The ABC Murders (1992) and then as Major Knighton in The Mystery of the Blue Train (2005),[14] Simon Shepherd appeared as David Hall in "Jewel Robbery at The Grand Metropolitan" (1993) and then as Dr Rendell in Mrs McGinty's Dead (2008) and Carol MacReady appeared as Mildred Croft in Peril at End House (1990) and then as Miss Johnson in Cat Among the Pigeons (2008).[15] Meanwhile, David Yelland first appeared as Laverton West in "Murder in the Mews" (1989), but has played the recurring character of Poirot's manservant George since 2006. Beth Goddard appeared as Violet Wilson (Violet Marsh in the story) in The Case of the Missing Will (1993) and subsequently in 2008 as Sister Agnieszka in Appointment with Death (a character created for the episode, who does not appear in the novel). Pip Torrens first played Major Rich in The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (1991), and then returned to the series to play Jeremy Cloade in Taken at the Flood (2006). Lucy Liemann appeared first in Cards on the Table (2005) as Miss Burgess and later in 2008 as Sonia in Third Girl. Richard Lintern played John Lake in Dead Man's Mirror (1993) and later appeared as

Guy Carpenter in Mrs McGinty's Dead (2008). Fenella Woolgar played the role of Lady Edgware's maid Ellis in Lord Edgware Dies and more recently played Elizabeth Whittaker in Hallowe'en Party. By a curious coincidence she also played Agatha Christie herself in "The Unicorn and the Wasp", an episode of Doctor Who. Beatie Edney appeared in 1990 as Mary Cavendish in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and 21 years later as Beryl Hemmings in The Clocks (2011). David Suchet confirmed that the filming of the last five novels, for series 13, begins on 15 October 2012, with Curtain: Poirot's Last Case shooting first out of the remaining books.

Agatha Christie's grandson Mathew has commented: "Personally, I regret very much that she [Agatha Christie] never saw David Suchet. I think that visually he is much the most convincing and perhaps he manages to convey to the viewer just enough of the irritation that we always associate with the perfectionist, to be convincing!"[16] In 1989, the series was nominated for four BAFTA awards in the category of Best Graphics, Best Design (episodes 1, 2, 5, 8 & 10), Best Costume Design (episodes 2, 4, 7, 8 & 10), and Best Original Television Music, winning all but the nomination for Best Design. It was also nominated for Best Television Drama Series in 1990 and 1991, and Suchet was nominated for Best Actor in 1991. In total between 1989 and 1991, the series received 20 nominations.[17] In 1992, writers David Renwick and Michael Baker received an Edgar Award in the category "Best Episode in a TV Series" from the Mystery Writers of America for the Second Series episode The Lost Mine, which, like the other Agatha Christie's Poirot episodes, aired in the U.S. as part of the PBS anthology series Mystery![18] More recently, the series has been described by some critics as going "off piste",[19] though not negatively, from its old format. It has been praised for its new writers, more lavish productions and a greater emphasis on the darker psychology of the novels. Significantly, it was noted for Five Little Pigs (adapted by Kevin Elyot) bringing out the homosexual subtext of the novel.[10] Yet the New Year's Day 2006 episode of The Mystery of the Blue Train attracted a high 30 percent audience rating (7.4 million viewers),[20] and the show's enduring popularity was shown once again in August 2008, when a repeat received 3.2 million viewers and a 16 percent of the viewing population.[21] The 2008 series drew a 23.5 percent share of the viewing population, although only reaching 9.8 percent of the viewers between the ages of 16–34. The total figures were up on its previous slot average of 4.5 million viewers.[22]

DVD and Blu-ray releases
ITV Studios Home Entertainment has released all episodes on DVD in Region 2. On 30 March 2009, they released Agatha Christie's Poirot – Complete Collection, a 28-disc box set that features all 61 episodes up to and including the 2009 season.[23]

Dutch FilmWorks were the first company to release the four episodes of series 12, in 2010. In Region 1, both Acorn Media and A&E Home Video have released the series in a wide variety of editions. Acorn Media has the rights to the 36 standard-length episodes, the first nine double-length episodes, and the episodes broadcast since 2008. The other feature-length episodes are distributed by A&E, who acted as co-producers on several of them. In 2012 Acorn Media released the first six series in the original UK broadcast order on DVD and Blu-ray.[24] Acorn Media haven't yet confirmed if they'll release the remaining series. In Region 4, Acorn Media (distributed by Reel DVD) has begun releasing the series on DVD in Australia in complete season sets. To date, they have released the first 8 series of the show.[25] The Complete Collection (Series 1–12) is also released by ITV Studios on Region 2 in the UK featuring all 65 episodes on 32 discs. When the final series ends, a final Complete Collection (Series 1–13) will be released by ITV Studios on Region 2 in the UK. It will contain all the filmed Poirot stories. Series 1–6 are available on Netflix Instant Streaming service.

1. ^ Walton, James (2008-09-09). "David Suchet: Poirot". London: Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 2. ^ Interview: Dillin, John. "The Actor Behind Popular `Poirot'" – The Christian Science Monitor. – 25 March 1992. 3. ^ Interview: Dudley, Jane. "Award-winning actor David Suchet plays Robert Maxwell in a gripping account of the dramatic final stage of the media tycoon's life" - BBC. 4. ^ Interview: Dudley, Jane. "Inside the mind of a media monster" – The Yorkshire Post. – 27 April 2007. 5. ^ J.D. Hobbs. "Suchet's Poirot". Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 6. ^ "Drama Faces – David Suchet". BBC. 1946-05-02. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 7. ^ "Meet the man behind the character". 2007-06-18. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. ml. Retrieved 2009-05-26. (Interview with David Suchet.) 8. ^ Morgan Jeffrey (2011-11-14). "Poirot to return for final series on ITV". Digital Spy. 9. ^ "Clive Exton – Obituaries, News". London: The Independent. 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 10. ^ a b c "BFI Screenonline: Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989-)". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 11. ^ "Work : Television". Anthony Horowitz. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03.

12. ^ "Classic Crime | Poirot | Episode guides | Cat among the pigeons – ITV Drama". . Retrieved 2009-03-03. 13. ^ "Agatha Christie's Poirot". 2007-07-13. 14. ^ "Nicholas Farrell". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 15. ^ "Carol MacReady". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 16. ^ "Agatha Christie: Characters – Poirot". Agatha Christie Limited. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 17. ^ "Awards Database – The BAFTA site". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 18. ^ "The Edgar Awards Database". Myster Writers of America ( Retrieved 2009-05-26. 19. ^ Square Eyes 26–28 September (2008-09-26). "The Stage / TV Today / Square Eyes 26–28 September". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 20. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (2006-01-03). "ITV slays rivals with Poirot film". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 21. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2008-08-04). "BBC2's Tudors bow to Big Brother". London: Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 22. ^ Rogers, Jon (2008-09-18). "Ratings Focus: Poirot and Tess". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 23. ^ "Agatha Christie's Poirot - Complete Collection DVD 1989: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran, David Yelland, Richard Bebb, George Little, Zoë Wanamaker, Tony Red Richards, Laurence Richardson, Phillip Manikum, Jona Jones: DVD". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 24. ^ "Acorn Media press release about "Agatha Christie's Poirot, Series 6" DVD and Blu-Ray". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 25. ^ "EzyDVD Search - Poriot". Retrieved 2010-06-27.

External links
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Agatha Christie's Poirot at Agatha Christie's Poirot at the Internet Movie Database Agatha Christie's Poirot at ‹See Tfd› Agatha Christie's Poirot at the BFI's Screenonline The Clothes of Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot

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Hercule Poirot

Agatha Christie


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Hercule Poirot Arthur Hastings Sven Hjerson James Harold Japp Ariadne Oliver Colonel Race
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The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) The Murder on the Links (1923) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) The Big Four (1927) The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) Peril at End House (1932) Lord Edgware Dies (1933) Murder on the Orient Express (1934) Three Act Tragedy (1934) Death in the Clouds (1935) The A.B.C. Murders (1936) Cards on the Table (1936) Murder in Mesopotamia (1936) Death on the Nile (1937) Dumb Witness (1937) Appointment with Death (1938) Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938) Sad Cypress (1940) One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) Evil Under the Sun (1941) Five Little Pigs (1942) The Hollow (1946) Taken at the Flood (1948) Mrs McGinty's Dead (1952) After the Funeral (1953) Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) Dead Man's Folly (1956) Cat Among the Pigeons (1959) The Clocks (1963) Third Girl (1966) Hallowe'en Party (1969) Elephants Can Remember (1972) Curtain (1975) Poirot Investigates (1924) Murder in the Mews (1937) The Regatta Mystery (1939) The Labours of Hercules (1947) The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948) Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950)

Short story collections

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The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951) The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960) Double Sin and Other Stories (1961) Poirot's Early Cases (1974) Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories (1991) The Harlequin Tea Set (1997) While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997) Alibi (1931) Black Coffee (1931) Lord Edgware Dies (1934) Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Death on the Nile (1978) Evil Under the Sun (1982) Thirteen at Dinner (1985) Dead Man's Folly (1986) Murder in Three Acts (1986) Appointment with Death (1988) The Alphabet Murders (1965) Murder on the Orient Express (2001)

Austin Trevor Albert Finney Film adaptations Peter Ustinov

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Alibi (1928) Black Coffee (1930)

Television adaptations

David Suchet

Agatha Christie's Poirot o Series One (1989) o Series Two (1990) o Series Three (1991) o Series Four (1992) o Series Five (1993) o Series Six (1995–96) o Series Seven (2000) o Series Eight (2001) o Series Nine (2003–04) o Series Ten (2006) o Series Eleven (2008) o Series Twelve (2009–10) Agatha Christie's Great Detectives


Poirot and Marple (2004–05)
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Video games

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (2006) Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile (2007) Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun (2007) Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders (2009) Parodies and references Radio adaptations Tropes in Agatha Christie's novels Miss Marple

See also


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Works by Agatha Christie
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Hercule Poirot Miss Marple Colonel Race Tommy and Tuppence Ariadne Oliver Arthur Hastings Superintendent Battle Chief Inspector Japp Parker Pyne Mr. Harley Quin The Mysterious Affair at Styles The Secret Adversary The Murder on the Links The Man in the Brown Suit The Secret of Chimneys The Murder of Roger Ackroyd The Big Four The Mystery of the Blue Train The Seven Dials Mystery The Murder at the Vicarage The Sittaford Mystery Peril at End House Lord Edgware Dies Murder on the Orient Express Why Didn't They Ask Evans?


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Three Act Tragedy Death in the Clouds The A.B.C. Murders Murder in Mesopotamia Cards on the Table Dumb Witness Death on the Nile Appointment with Death Hercule Poirot's Christmas Murder Is Easy And Then There Were None Sad Cypress One, Two, Buckle My Shoe Evil Under the Sun N or M? The Body in the Library Five Little Pigs The Moving Finger Towards Zero Death Comes as the End Sparkling Cyanide The Hollow Taken at the Flood Crooked House A Murder Is Announced They Came to Baghdad Mrs McGinty's Dead They Do It with Mirrors After the Funeral A Pocket Full of Rye Destination Unknown Hickory Dickory Dock Dead Man's Folly 4.50 from Paddington Ordeal by Innocence Cat Among the Pigeons The Pale Horse The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side The Clocks A Caribbean Mystery At Bertram's Hotel Third Girl Endless Night By the Pricking of My Thumbs Hallowe'en Party Passenger to Frankfurt Nemesis Elephants Can Remember Postern of Fate Curtain

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Sleeping Murder Giant's Bread Unfinished Portrait Absent in the Spring The Rose and the Yew Tree A Daughter's a Daughter The Burden Poirot Investigates Partners in Crime The Mysterious Mr. Quin The Thirteen Problems The Hound of Death The Listerdale Mystery Parker Pyne Investigates Murder in the Mews The Regatta Mystery The Labours of Hercules The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories Three Blind Mice and Other Stories The Under Dog and Other Stories The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding Double Sin and Other Stories The Golden Ball and Other Stories Poirot's Early Cases Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories The Harlequin Tea Set While the Light Lasts and Other Stories Black Coffee And Then There Were None Appointment with Death Murder on the Nile/Hidden Horizon The Hollow The Mousetrap Witness for the Prosecution Spider's Web A Daughter's a Daughter Towards Zero Verdict The Unexpected Guest Go Back for Murder Rule of Three Fiddlers Three Akhnaton Chimneys

As Mary Westmacott

Short story collections


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The Guinea Pig Wasp's Nest The Yellow Iris Three Blind Mice Butter In a Lordly Dish Personal Call The Road of Dreams Come, Tell Me How You Live Star Over Bethlehem Poems An Autobiography Book · Category

Radio and television plays

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