Agatha Christie: Poirot-Complete Second Series (1989)
Main Menu Audio
Notes-FIlmographies, essays and biographies
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (4)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Acorn Media||Starring||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
David Suchet is, in my opinion, the quintessential Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's most famous sleuth. He has now played the role since 1989 (in an on again off again manner) racking up over 50 episodes with more on the way. Some of the more recent episodes (which are movie length) have been released locally by Roadshow and I have previously reviewed the very first series from 1989 which has been released locally by Acorn Media. This new four disc set includes the second series of 10 episodes from 1990. These episodes are all approximately 50 minutes in length. 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. Unlike more recent Poirots this series features three other recurring characters, 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). Japp and Poirot have a difficult but ultimately respectful relationship. This set is divided into two volumes (of two discs each). I do not have the actual packaging, however, I believe each volume is packaged in a double amaray which are then stored in a slipcase.
The episodes are set in the mid-1930s and feature much of the art deco style of the period, both in terms of the sets (such as Poirot's apartment) and in the show's credits. In keeping with the running time, these episodes seem to be based on short stories rather than novels and mostly are lacking some of the complexity of the longer form later episodes. The first two episodes are in fact a double episode which helps to make that the standout story of the set. Regardless, there are certainly some very entertaining and intriguing episodes here. In detail the episodes included are:
Recommended for Poirot fans and fans of English mystery generally.
The video quality is better than Season 1 but still pretty average.
The show is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non-16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was quite soft and reasonably grainy (esp. in darker scenes) throughout but sharper than Season 1, with some low level noise. The shadow detail was average to poor The grain sometimes breaks into macro-blocking especially in backgrounds.
The colour was reasonable for the age of the show but certainly dull by modern standards. There was also some white bleeding.
Artefacts are quite prevalent including some specks, flecks and hairs, tape tracking issues, edge enhancement, some aliasing and evidence of excessive noise reduction.
There are no subtitles on these discs.
I did not notice any of the layer changes.
The audio quality is fine.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
Dialogue was mostly fairly easy to understand but the lack of subtitles was certainly felt in some scenes.
The score by Christopher Gunning is very good but is getting somewhat dated these days. It features a memorable theme tune.
The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are text based only and some are repeated on all discs.
The menu design is simple, featuring music and a still. Unlike the previous season there were no menu issues.
There are text extras including David Suchet & Agatha Christie bios, filmographies for the three main cast members plus guest stars, an essay on Poirot, an essay on Inspector Japp and one on Hastings.
This disc repeats some of the extras from Disc 1 and adds some of the extras from Season 1.
This disc repeats some of the extras from Disc 1 and adds filmographies for guest stars.
This disc repeats some of the extras from Disc 2 and adds filmographies for guest stars.
This series has been packaged very differently in Region 1 with mixed episodes from each season rather than season by season sets. Accordingly it is very hard to compare. I believe our local release is based on the Region 2 releases which seem to be the same.
The video quality is better than Season 1.
The audio quality is fair.
The extras are restricted to text based essays and filmographies.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|