Monday, 16 September 2013

The best blog on Agatha Christie's Poirot that you'll ever find

While looking up crime writer Sophie Hannah, who has been given the go-ahead from the Christie estate to write the new Poirot novel, I found this gem of a blog, Investigating Agatha Christie's Poirot.  It's a must read for all Christie fans.

Eiric writes this blog and does a fine job of assessing the TV adaptions of Poirot. As I am a TV producer, I find his assessment of the TV versions to be very insightful.

Here is an excerpt from Eiric's take on the episode Taken at the Flood

Setting a distinclty 1940s novel in the 1930s isn't easy. Guy Andrews makes a series of major and minor changes to Christie's story... First, Andrews adds a subplot involving malicious phone calls to Rosaleen that was not in the novel. Second, Lionel the doctor becomes a morphine addict, and David Hunter has made Rosaleen/Eileen an addict, too. Lionel steals some of her morphine, and consequently prevents an (added) attempted suicide from her part. Third, and most importantly, Hunter deliberately impregnated Rosaleen and forced her to have an abortion. As a 'simple Catholic girl' (in Poirot's words), she was so traumatised that she would do anything he said to make it right again. Fourth, Andrews adds a suggestion of dynamite to the denouement scene (a result of making David an engineer, which I will come back to shortly). Finally, an execution scene is added, in which David Hunter is hanged while reciting 'Your Baby Has Gone Down the Plughole'....
Some of these changes are a result of the fact that the episode has been set pre-war rather than during WW2. Consequently, the script writer has tried to come up with ways of explaining the crime (in the book, the explosion was blamed on an air raid - here, it is said to be an accident, a gas explosion) and the title ('Taken at the Flood', a quotation from Shakespeare) is supposed to refer to the opportunity the air raids provide for covering up the crime...

Perhaps would-be producers of an Agatha Christie TV series, should take serious note of Eiric's reviews!

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