There were a few comments that were posted about the recent Murder on the Orient Express television movie – starring the wonderful David Suchet (as Hercule Poirot), which aired on Sunday, July 11, 2010. I enjoyed the comments so much, that I decided to write a response in this entry. Here are some of the comments:
Lisa – July 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm
“After seeing the special with David Suchet on the magnificent train I was quite excited about last night’s broadcast. I must say I was disappointed. Very little character development for any of the suspects, Poirot didn’t seem his regular self either. As a Catholic, I was confused by this infusion into Poirot’s character. Suchet is and was marvelous, the production brilliant, but the screen play-script! Why make adjustments to Agatha’s Christie’s magnificent story? I recommend buying the dvd of Suchet’s actual trip on the historic and romantic train. I hope the others in this series are better written.”
Kim – July 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm
“I also was disappointed in the version on PBS, and I was so hopeful because I love David Suchet as Poirot. But I guess when you leave out a character, you have to make someone else one of the killers. Really?? And the 2 scenes showing us Poirot’s thoughts on justice…really not necessary. I have noticed tho, that the newer episodes don’t adhere to the books, and that is what I am watching for. I love the books and want to see those dramatized.”
So, here are my comments:
I, too, was disappointed with this last Masterpiece Mystery! show… Murder on the Orient Express. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it was a good movie on its own merit… I simply don’t think that it belonged with ALL of the other episodes in the David Suchet Poirot series. This one was DARK>>> Much darker than all of the other episodes. And, much darker than the Agatha Christie mysteries I have read… including Murder on the Orient Express! I totally agree with Kim: “the newer episodes don’t adhere to the books, and that is what I am watching for. I love the books and want to see those dramatized.”
I know that budgets have been cut on a lot of television productions, and I am assuming this show has felt the cuts BECAUSE, after seeing the magnificently opulent train in the 1974 movie version of this same mystery novel (Yes, yes, I realize that “real” movies spend millions of dollars on their sets!!!) – I have to say, I do not think that I would clamor to take a trip on this particular train. There was absolutely nothing extraordinary about the inside scenes. I had expected some type of almost-majestic fabrics, wood paneling, light fixtures… something! Lisa, I agree, there was nothing about the train that portrayed it as an “historic and romantic train.”
I was very surprised to see ANY reference to Poirot’s religion. Good grief! Where did that come from?!? I am pretty sure that I have never seen another Masterpiece Poirot show do that. Those scenes simply didn’t “belong” in this production. But, then again, almost all of the scenes didn’t belong! (Again, I think that the movie is good… it just isn’t anything like the others in this particular series.) Why bill this as a type of Poirot-returns show if it isn’t at all like the Poirot most of us have been watching for the last (+/-) 20 years?
This episode brought to my mind the Sesame Street song my children grew up with:
“One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others,
By the time I finish my song?”
Well, in this case, it was this Agatha Christie Poirot episode!
PS>>>> If you disagree, please feel free to comment…