Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The ABC Murders (TV Episode 1992)

1569383618The ABC Murders was aired in Season Four Episode 1 of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, a British television series broadcasted from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013 with a runtime of  103 minutes. The series is made up of 13 seasons of 70 episodes in total; each episode was adapted from a novel or short story by Christie. This episode was produced by London Weekend Television Productions, Picture Partnership Productions. The story is based on the homonymous novel by Agatha Christie, adapted by Clive Exton and directed by Andrew Grieve. It was released in the UK on 5 January 1992 starring David Suchet as Hercule Porior with Hugh Fraser,  Philip Jackson,  Donald Sumpter,  Donald Douglas, Nicholas Farrell,  Pippa Guard,  Cathryn Bradshaw,  Nina Marc,  David McAlister, Vivienne Burgess,  Ann Windsor,  Michael Mellinger,  Miranda Forbes, Peter Penry-Jones,  Lucinda Curtis,  Jeremy Hawk,  Allan Mitchell,  Philip Anthony, Andrew Williamson,  John Breslin,  Clifford Milner,  Claude Close,  Alex Knight, David Fox,  Campbell Graham,  Gordon Salkilld,  Norman McDonald, and Jane Birdsall in supporting roles.

Synopsis: Three bodies are found. Beside each lies a copy of the ABC Railway Guide. The police are baffled. But the killer has made one mistake. He has challenged Hercule Poirot to unmask him.

My take:I recently had the opportunity to view this 1992 TV film again, probably one of my favourite episodes in the series. It does follow quite accurately the novel’s plot.

The ABC Murders (TV mini series, 2018)

The ABC Murders (Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Productions, 2018) is a 3 episodes TV mini series, of 60 minutes each one, based on the homonymous novel by Agatha Christie, adapted by Sarah Phelps, produced by Farah Abushwesha, and directed by Alex Gabassi. It stars John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot, with Eamon Farren, Michael Shaeffer, Rupert Grint, Conrad McCroddan, Freya Mavor, Shirley Henderson, Anya Chalotra, Andrew Buchan, Tara Fitzgerald, Bronwyn James, Christopher Villiers, Jack Farthing, Suzanne Packer and Eve Austin, in main supporting roles. It was aired by BBC One in the UK, over three consecutive nights beginning on 26 December 2018 and by Movistar #0, in Spain, on Friday evenings starting 15 March 2019.

MV5BYmJmNzU0NTgtOGM5Ni00MWJiLTgwZmMtNDIyNjYzZDAzNzI5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjExMjk0ODk@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Synopsis: Set in the 1930s, a time when Britain is dangerously divided and suspicion and hatred are on the rise, the story sees Poirot face a serial killer known only as A.B.C. As the body count rises, the only clue is a copy of The ABC Railway Guide at each crime scene. Poirot’s investigations are continuously thwarted by an enemy determined to outsmart him. If Poirot is to match his nemesis, then everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his past and his identity. (Source: IMDb)

My take: Last Friday, Begoña and I finished watching the third episode of The ABC Murders (2018 TV mini series) starring John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot. I can assure you I tried to watch it without bias and with an open mind. I was prepared to understand it was a recreation of the famous novel and it didn’t have to be necessarily faithful to the original novel. I was expecting it will reflect, in some sense, the spirit of the book, albeit in an up to date version. However, despite all the originality and brilliance in its execution and interpretation, I’ve been rather disappointed. At no point I felt interested in the series. I found its excessive realism quite disproportionate, or perhaps gratuitous and unnecessary. And I can assure you I’m not shy on sex related issues. Besides some sequences were disgusting and in the verge of bad taste. I also wonder what was the need to introduce a Poirot’s past, entirely artificial and invented. But I might be completely wrong and I would like to hear your views.

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