Monday, May 12, 2008

HERCULEAN EFFORT

I'm still working my way through the collection of 'Poirot' stories with David Suchet assaying the role of the Belgian detective. And before I move on to other mystery series like 'Foyle's War' and 'Crime Travelers', I added a few other appearances by Hercule Poirot to my Netflix Queue.

I still have several of the Suchet disks to receive, but Netflix saw fit to skip over them and send me "Thirteen At Dinner" instead. It's a 1985 tele-flick in which Peter Ustinov reprised the role of Poirot, but bringing him over to the TV Universe instead of remaining in the Movie Universe. AND it was updated to take place in the present day (now over twenty years past.) So his portrayal of Poirot can't be considered the same man he played in "Death On The Nile" and "Evil Under The Sun".
David Suchet has the lock on the role of Poirot for Earth Prime-Time, so Ustinov's incarnation must be shipped off to a different TV dimension. And I think it might be interesting to settle him down with his little gray cells in the same Toobworld where William Conrad's updated version of Nero Wolfe can be discovered. (What makes this idea most appealing is that Lee Horsley played movie star and murder suspect Brian Martin in "Thirteen At Dinner". Horsley also played Wolfe's legman Archie Goodwin in the Conrad series. So we could make the argument that Martin and Goodwin were twin brothers; Martin changed his name for his career.)

"Thirteen At Dinner" is another version of "Lord Edgeware Dies", an Agatha Christie novel which was also adapted for Suchet's series.
With this TV movie, you get to see two of the screen's Hercule Poirots together! Suchet appears as Detective Inspector James Japp, and it's a credit to his acting talents that I never once thought of him as Poirot while watching his turn as the Scotland Yard policeman.

One added benefit, we got to see Sir David Frost as himself. If you want to then link "Thirteen At Dinner" to the episode of 'Here's Lucy' in which he appeared as himself, that's up to you. I'm keeping 'Here's Lucy' in the main Toobworld, and dealing with alternate versions of TV shows is too much of a headache!
BCnU!
Toby OB

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