Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)
|Category||Mystery||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.75:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The very name Agatha Christie evokes a certain genre of storytelling. It hints of aristocratic ennui and intrigue - of drama and derring-do - and, of course, of murder most horrid. The writer herself has managed to maintain her popularity long after her own death in 1976, in her 86th year. So much so, that her official website claims she is outsold by only the Bible and Shakespeare. Whether that claim remains true may be the subject of some conjecture, but her depictions of the haughty rich, and her capacity to weave outrageously tangled storylines with rather preposterous but enchanting conclusions have certainly proven to have long term appeal.
ABC DVD has recently released 4 episodes of this wonderful occasional series which features the incomparable David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Christie's beloved Belgian detective.
The four delicious confectionaries on offer are:
Lady Angkatell (a gloriously daffy Sarah Miles) and Sir Henry (Edward Hardwicke) are holding a weekend soiree on their country estate. Poirot (David Suchet) just *happens* to be taking the country airs - so he can observe their graces - and the party behaves most ignobly, and Msr Poirot sees their lack of graces at close quarters! Included in the party are Dr John (Jonathan Cake) - a brilliant and ambitious doctor; his socially gormless wife Gerda (Claire Price) and the aesthetically detached Henrietta (Megan Dodds). Henrietta and John have been engaged in a clandestine affair, much to the consternation of young Edward Angkatell (Jamie de Courcey) who has carried a life-long torch for Henrietta, apparently unaware that young Midge (Caroline Martin) is equally besotted with him.
Things are further complicated with the unannounced arrival of a problem from Dr John's past in the form of Veronica Cray (Lysette Anthony) - a glamorous actress who has decided to return for her man.
And so the stage is set, with complications, hidden agendas and threats of exposure abounding. Poirot's constitutional walk is interrupted as he comes upon a murder tableau arranged around the swimming pool. In mute horror, Gerda stands over John's bleeding body holding a gun while the rest of the family appears from different paths leading to the pool. John moans Henrietta's name and dies. With lightning reflexes, Henrietta grabs the gun from Gerda and flings it into the pool.
The police arrive and begin their enquiries, with Poirot's assistance. Can it be as plain as it seems? Did Gerda conjure up the wrath of the aggrieved and murder her husband? With the meticulous application of his "little grey cells" Msr Poirot begins to unravel a most puzzling case.
The Hollow was directed by Simon Langton with cinematography by James Aspinall. The plot is very complex with loose threads left all over the place, but it's totally engaging.
This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.
This is quality television which has been respectfully transferred. It is incredibly crisp and laden with detail in both the shadows and the highlights. There is no evidence of low level noise at all.
The colour range is strong, accurate and rich.
This presentation is largely artefact free with the exception of some very minor aliasing.
This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change with which to contend.
The soundtrack is delivered in English Dolby Digital 2.0 and is crisp, clean and distortion free.
The dialogue is superlative throughout and the audio sync presents no problems. There are no subtitles available.
The original music is completely appropriate for this piece - providing an atmospheric background.
There is a significant sense of direction in the soundscape, although there is little subwoofer activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is static with theme music.
There are no extras provided in either region, so I'm sticking with the PAL Region 4.
The tangled webs of the upper class are deliciously unravelled in this little tale of hidden agendas and cloaked jealousies. A wonderful way to spend an hour and a half.
|DVD||Singer SGD-001, using S-Video output|
|Display||Teac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Teac 5.1 integrated system|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|