Agatha Christie: Poirot-Collection 12 (2013)

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Released 2-Apr-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Interviews-Cast
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 445
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Andrew Grieve
Edward Bennett
Renny Rye
Brian Farnham
Studio
Distributor
ITV Global
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring David Suchet
Hugh Fraser
Pauline Moran
Phillip Jackson
Zoe Wanamaker
Case Slip Case
RPI $59.95 Music Christopher Gunning
Stephen McKeon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.70:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.70:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† David Suchet is, in my opinion, the quintessential Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's most famous sleuth. He has played the role since 1989 (in an on again, off again manner) racking up 70 episodes over 12 seasons. This season is the last as is concludes with the final story written by Agatha Christie with Hercule Poirot, Curtain - Poirot's Last Case. The series has been released locally by two different distributors with Acorn releasing the early seasons and Roadshow releasing the more recent ones and now re-releasing all 12 seasons in matching sets. This new five disc set includes the twelfth series of 5 movie-length episodes from 2013.

†††† Suchet's grasp on the intricacies of the character is very evident in these episodes. His performance here as the fastidious, intelligent and politely sarcastic: Poirot is wonderful. As is fitting for the final series some of the episodes here feature the Belgian sleuthís early sparring partners, Poirot's fairly dim associate Capt. Hastings (Hugh Fraser), his personal secretary (and sometimes sleuthing partner), Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard (Phillip Jackson). A couple of these episodes also feature recurring crime writer, Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker). The packaging is of high quality with a heavy duty cardboard slipcover containing one five disc case.

†††† This particular series has quite a different feel to previous ones, with a darker, melancholy and wistful tone. A different theme has been added over the credits to add to this feel. All of the episodes are at least up to the usual standard of the series with three really standing out as some of the highest quality episodes of the entire run. The episodes are

  1. Elephants Can Remember (88:36) - Based around a 12 year old mystery involving a couple who seemed to have shot each other on a headland, but is this really what happened? Also, how does it relate to a doctor drowning in a bath at his own institute. Poirot investigates and Ariadne Oliver gets involved too. Probably the weakest of the five.
  2. The Big Four (87:29) - Poirot's funeral draws Japp, Hastings and Lemon, however is he really dead? An excellent episode featuring political intrigue, spies and a conspiracy theory that a group called The Big Four are controlling world events in the lead up to WWII.
  3. Dead Man's Folly (88:50) - The organisers of a country fete ask Ariadne Oliver to set up a murder game for them, however things get out of hand when the faux victim becomes a real one. She calls in Poirot to help her investigate. This episode was shot at Agatha Christieís old house in the country.
  4. The Labours of Hercules (90:25) - Based on a set of short stories by Agatha Christie, this excellent story follows Poirot as he attempts to track down a murderer and art thief, Marrascaud. He feels responsible for not stopping one of his murders. Set in a mountain retreat and an excellent episode.
  5. Curtain : Poirot's Last Case (89:25) - Based on the last Poirot novel by Agatha Christie this is set 10 years after the previous episodes and sees Poirot old and infirm, staying at a guest house which was the site of the first murder he investigated with Hastings. He believes there will be another murder and calls Hastings in to assist him.

†††† A wonderful series of episodes which are a must buy for fans of the series.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††††The video quality is good.

†††† The show is presented in a 1.70:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

†††† The picture is reasonable but a little softer than most modern television productions. The shadow detail is fine. There was some mild grain at times.

†††† The colour was quite good but there was some light colour bleeding.

†††† Artefacts are limited to minor aliasing.

†††† There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

††††I did not notice any of the layer changes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† The audio quality is good.

†††† These DVDs contain an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

†††† Dialogue was mostly easy to understand but the subtitles were useful at times.

†††† The score is very good and adds significantly to the melancholy of this final series.

†††† The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† The extras are quite good.

Menu

†††† The menu design is simple, featuring music and motion.

Disc 5

A Conversation with David Suchet (26:40)

†††† David Suchet is interviewed on stage at the BFI in London during Oct 2013. He discusses his career, his playing of Poirot, the series, how he got involved and answers audience questions. This is very interesting and he is interesting, passionate and amusing. Great extra.

Interview with David Suchet (8:35)

†††† EPK style interview snippets with the questions in text between the answers. Much less interesting than the first extra.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††††This series does not yet seem to have been released in Region 1.

Summary

††††A excellent final series of mysteries starring David Suchet as the Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot.

††† The video quality is good.

††† The audio quality is good.

††† The†extras are certainly better than on previous Poirot.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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