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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 5'
(David Suchet, Philip Jackson, Hugh Frasier, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2012 / Acorn Media)

Overview: Now remastered and in original U.K. broadcast order, David Suchet returns as Agatha Christieís peerless Poirot in these eight mysteries from the hit series. The genteel Belgian detective calls upon his famous little grey cells to crack cases that no one else could, aided by cohorts Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser, Sharpe), Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson, Little Voice), and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran).

DVD Verdict: In 'The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb,' some black and white news reel sets up this story perfectly. During a dig in the Valley of The Kings, Sir John Willard is struck down upon opening the tomb of a long lost King. Then various others on the dig, one by one keep dying mysteriously. But is it the curse, or simply a clever whodunnit? In 'The Underdog,' a top chemist working on Astroprene (a new synthetic rubber for car tires) has his lab broken into and set on fire. With war looming a house party brings with it trouble - that only Poirot can deal with.

In 'Yellow Iris,' an old case of Poirot's that still remains unsolved comes back to haunt him. Set primarily in flashback mode in Argentina, a posh dining out experience turns deadly for one of the guests. With the Iris in question the lady who dies, come modern day (two years later) and the same guests meet around a similar table again. In 'The Case of the Missing Will,' it begins in 1925 on NYE, then jumps 15 years. A college debate, done by men only on the reason why women shouldn't get the vote to be equal is theatrically played out. Then, before one of the head men can change his will, he is murdered. In this episode we get to see Ms. Lemon (Pauline Moran) sleuth her way on screen way more than usual.

In 'The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman,' easily one of the hardest to follow plot wise, let alone for the pure fact most of it is in Italian with no subtitles, it begins with Captain Hastings buying a brand new Italian sports car! A man dies locked in his own apartment and it's up to Poirot to solve the heavy-handed plot! In 'The Chocolate Box,' Poirot travels back to Brussels where Inspector Japp is being honored as a Gardien De La Paix. Easily the best episode in this set, Poirot quickly begins to flashback to a case he once had that had an unsatisfactory ending - his very first as a P.I.! Ergo, we get to see a young Poirot, still played by David Suchet!

In 'Dead Manís Mirror,' after losing out on an antique mirror at auction, the man who wins it offers it to Poirot as payment - if he can reveal the truth behind someone he thinks is swindling him. At a dinner party thrown at the man's home, he is killed in his locked study, and so Poirot sets into motion the little grey cells! This one also stars the always-lovely, Emma Fielding (The King's Speech). In the last episode, 'Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan' is a really nicely done whodunnit. With Poirot "run down" (re: under the weather, health wise) he takes a holiday down on the coast. There he takes in a play, where a 300,000 franc necklace is stolen. This one also stars Hermione Norris (MI-5, Cold Feet). These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.