Story Spotlight: Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Clive Exton

I consider it a strange coincidence that I finished watching this extensive series just before the latest film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express was released in theaters. While I hear positive things about Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Poirot (and am thrilled that Johnny Depp didn’t play that role like I thought he was), no one can beat David Suchet.

Suchet carries the series with an astounding performance as the titular character. And he should, really. Detective shows are a dime a dozen because they focus on cases over quality lead characters. Granted, a case might be outstanding. Obviously, antagonists might be just as important and can make or break a story. But without a compelling protagonist, you’re guaranteed to fail. And when that character is brought to life on-screen, it’s vital to have an actor who embodies the role.

Suchet does this like no other. He takes the entire series on his shoulders with apparent ease. Even in earlier episodes where pacing is much slower and the supporting cast’s dialogue often has that awkward 80’s feel to it, Suchet shines bright. His quirky and quaint portrayal hits all the right notes and perfectly blends elements of fun, suspense, and heart.

I suggest watching the entire series all the way through (preferably by a fire on a rainy day).

5 out of 5 stars

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