TV-Series – Poirot
My grandfather owned all the books by Agatha Christie (in Dutch), together with many many other books, and when he moved to a home for elderly people, I was one of the grandchildren who could choose books from his extensive library to keep. Now, that was not a big problem, because I was the only one of his grandchildren (and children) who really liked to read and who read a lot. So I could take all the books I loved. And so, without any hesitation, I took all the Agatha Christie’s (among many others), and have read them since over and over again. I still love them as I did when I was (much) younger.
As a child and a young adult, I never had to go to the library, I went to “bompa” (= granddad) and chose any book I wanted. I am pretty sure that the first “adult” books I read were some Agatha Christie, because, although I could choose freely from his books to read, he was always nearby and made suggestions as to what I would take.
I loved those Agatha Christie books, and most of all those who featured Poirot. But when it came to film adaptations, there was not any I really loved, not with Peter Ustinov, who played Poirot six times, nor with any of the other actors who impersonated Poirot (Austin Trevor, Tony Randall, Albert Finney). To me, none of them felt like the “real” Poirot.
But in 1989, ITV made a TV-series, starring David Suchet, and from the first minute I knew: this IS Hercule Poirot. And I was not alone in thinking that. The series was immensely popular and ran until 2013, when Suchet decided he had had enough, after playing in the adaptation of numerous short stories and 33 novels.
This series is not only great in that it shows the stories and characters in a great way, but also because the colours are beautiful, the clothing and décors impeccable. Even my husband, who is not a great fan of mysteries and especially not of Poirot, to put it mildly, has to agree the series is great. In fact, while I am writing this, he is watching an episode on television (one I have already seen two or three times).
A few weeks ago, an interesting story was published in Belgian newspapers (and in some other ones too): the figure of Poirot could have been based on a real police-officer, who lived in Belgium, but who fled to the UK to escape the Germans at the start of World War I (as did Poirot).
On the 28th of September 2012, The Guardian published an essay by Agatha Christie in which she explained why she got “fed up with Poirot”.