Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (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||1.78:1|
|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 since 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 the wonderful occasional series which feature the incomparable David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Christie's beloved Belgian detective. Each of these stand-alone pieces are helmed by different directors, which adds further frisson to each selection.
The four delicious confectionaries on offer are:
The elegant heiress Elinor Carlisle (Elisabeth Dermot Walsh) stands calmly in the dock, listening to the charge of double murder being read against her. It seems all in the courtroom are convinced of her guilt in the slaying of her infirmed Aunt Laura (Diana Quick) and her rival Mary, the upstart gardener's daughter (Kelly Reilly). Well, all except one. And that one is rather exceptional. Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) is far from convinced about her guilt, but his race against time is not treated with sympathy by those around him who see only how much Elinor stood to gain from inheriting her aunt's property, and ridding herself of competition for her fiancé Roddy (Rupert Penry Jones). A threatening letter and curious cases of poisoning add spice to this little tale.
Sad Cyprus was directed by David Moore with cinematography by Martin Fuhrer. This is a rather straightforward telling of a lesser known Christie story. I found it ever-so-slightly under par in terms of story telling, but the acting is still divine.
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.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There are no extras provided on either region's disc, so I'm sticking with the PAL Region 4 DVD.
This is not my favourite of this series - but it is stylish and well presented.
|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|