Agatha Christie: Poirot-Cards on the Table (2005)

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Released 13-Apr-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 92:38 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sarah Harding

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring David Suchet
Zoe Wanamaker
Tristan Gemmil
Alexander Siddig
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Christopher Gunning

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Hercule Poirot, one of Agatha Christie's most famous creations has been brought to the small and large screen many times, probably most famously by Peter Ustinov in the series of movies made in the 1970s and 80s. More recently, the role has been inhabited by David Suchet who has appeared in many made for television productions for Granada television as the Belgian sleuth. He has been acting in this role since 1989 in an on again, off again manner, however, four more episodes were recently made in 2005. A previous set of four were made in 2003, which were reviewed on this site at the time of their release. Cards on the Table is one of the four newer productions. As usual with Poirot stories (and Agatha Christie generally) there are many suspects and a convoluted plot involving red herrings, half-truths and small hints.

    The plot involves a mysterious middle eastern man, Mr Shaitana (Alexander Siddig,) who has a fascination with crime and murder in particular. He is a traveler and collector of fine art. He is accepted in London society due to his wealth but is hardly respected. He hosts a dinner and card party at his house and invites four sleuths - both amateur and professional - and four people he believes capable of murder. After dinner, during which he makes some pointed remarks about his guests, he splits the sleuths and suspects into two different rooms to play bridge. By the end of the games some hours later, he is dead, stabbed through the heart with a small thin blade. The sleuths join forces to investigate.The eight guests are:

The Sleuths

The Suspects

    This is one of the best episodes of this series I have seen with some excellent acting and an interesting story, kicked off with an intriguing set up. It is also good to see Poirot collaborating and getting useful assistance from other sleuths.Siddig is an interesting actor who appeared recently in a major part in Syriana. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good and significantly better than Poirot episode Mystery of the Blue Train.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio (which is presumably the original aspect ratio) and 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was reasonably sharp and clear throughout. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was decent. There was some grain here and there of variable density.

    The colour was reasonable, but there was some minor colour bleeding especially from lighter colours.

    From an artefacts perspective there was some mild macro-blocking to be seen in backgrounds.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, easy to read and in yellow. There were some minor mistakes at times.


Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music was very good.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu was still and silent allowing for the ability to select scenes and turn on subtitles.


R4 vs R1

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

    This latest set of four stories seems only to be available as a box set in both Region 1 and Region 2. In Region 1 they are pan & scanned plus do not have subtitles. They do, however, include some minor text based extras but have the same sort of video difficulties.The Region 2 versions seem to be the same as ours.Region 4 seems to be the pick.


    A high quality episode of David Suchet as Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, September 22, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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