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Agatha Christie's famous detective returns again with a Blu-ray box set even more engaging than the last few....
Acorn Media / 682 Minutes / 1990-1991 / Unrated / Street Date: March 6, 2012
I have to admit at the outset that I'm biased: I am a dyed-in-the-wool sucker for Agatha Christie murder-mystery series, from their beautiful production designs to their costumes, and (most prominently) the well-crafted scripts that combine the author's acerbic humor with, of course, gruesome murder.
But as was the case with its predecessor, what really kickstarts Poirot: Series 3 is David Suchet's performance as our eponymous detective Hercule Poirot. The guy is an effortlessly enjoyable actor, and his ability to totally transform Christie's source material into viable, living and breathing whodunits is completely inviting (and, of course, one must draw attention to his most bodacious moustache).
Even more special, though, is that this Series 3 edition starts out with a bizarre and fascinating celebration of sorts. To herald what would have been Agatha Christie's 100th birthday, the show takes on the author's first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and the results are delicious atypical of normal Poirot episodes. Eschewing the commercial-time cliffhangers and dyed-in-the-wool crime drama syntax that the series obviously knows so well, this one-off is a wonderfully effective lark.
In short, even with the anomaly of this Series 3 opener, this is Poirot programming at its most reliable and entertaining. There's nothing Agatha Christie fans haven't seen before on this TV-on-BD box set, but this is pleasing, diverting murder mystery fare, to be sure.
Episodes included: The Mysterious Affair at Styles (feature-length), How Does Your Garden Grow?, The Million Dollar Bond Robbery, The Plymouth Express, Wasps' Nest, The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor, The Double Clue, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, The Theft of the Royal Ruby, The Affair at the Victory Ball, and The Mystery of the Hunter's Lodge.