'Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 10'
(David Suchet, Michael Fassbender, Elliott Gould, Lindsay Duncan, Alice Eve, Honeysuckle Weeks, Lucy Punch, James D’Arcy, and Zoë Wanamaker, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2013 / Acorn Media)
Overview: Agatha Christie’s beloved detective solves complex cases with flair and finesse in these four feature-length mysteries from the hit series. Set amid the unparalleled elegance of the Art Deco era, these beautifully remastered adaptations star David Suchet as Poirot and include appearances from Michael Fassbender, Elliott Gould, Lindsay Duncan, Alice Eve, Honeysuckle Weeks, Lucy Punch, James D’Arcy, and Zoë Wanamaker.
DVD Verdict: I have been a HUGE fan of David Suchet's 'Poirot' for many, oh so many years. Indeed, so long I cannot think of another actor that has portrayed him on TV before DS took over the role?! Anyway, in this season 10 (with four feature-length tales included), again sadly the old gang has all gone! No more 'Captain Hastings' (Hugh Fraser), 'Chief Inspector Japp' (Philip Jackson), or sadly 'Miss Lemon' (Pauline Moran).
Coming at us in the original UK broadcast order up first is 'The Mystery of the Blue Train' (2005) where a true bunch of stars come together. James D'Arcy, Roger Lloyd Pack ('Only Fools And Horses'), Alice Eve ('Star Trek Into Darkness'), and even Elliott Gould. At the start we see Gould stealing a priceless jewel, and as it then appears around the neck of his wife it's odds on that it will be stolen - and is! But so too does a death occur when a wealthy woman is brutally murdered aboard the very same train. On the same train is a young woman who has just come into money and doesn't know how to act. Poirot, on another holiday takes her under his wing. They all board the Blue Train to Nice, France and soon Poirot is searching for both for the killer and the victim’s priceless jewel. This is noteworthy for the fact that we get an African-American woman as a central character role too. The big reveal in the train compartment is rather good too!
In 'Cards on the Table,' which for my money is one of the best whodunnits reviewed thus far in this season 8-10 set of feature-length episodes, a mysterious "tanned" magician-type person invites 8 people to his mansion to play cards (Bridge). They split into two fours, and with Poirot amongst that of a Chief Inspector, a renowned Doctor and his old crime-writing friend Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker) when the host is found dead in the other room as the other card-playing foursome, this group have to figure out who and why one of that group did it! A fabulous tale (much like the 'Jonathan Creek' show) of whodunit this one as you know there are only four suspects and yet I almost guarantee you guess wrong!! And it also contains a great line: "I don't like the Welsh. I had a Welsh nanny as a girl and she left me in Heronsgate!" Also, they use the same house exterior for another character from back in season 8. These are things you see when you watch four seasons in a row! Like Poirot loves stroking the inanimate animal objects around his and other peoples homes! And he has moved apartments/offices now to one with corners inside; no round edges! Much neater for him and his has a male butler now too!
In 'After the Funeral,' Poirot is "kidnapped" by a lawyer friend of his and he's just read the Will of a man deceased and the family have turned, well, weird! Starring Michael Fassbender ('Prometheus') in the lead role, when a batty old Aunt is about to reveal a family secret she is brutally killed! So, visiting Enderby Hall, Poirot investigates the Abernethie family after yet another siblings dies soon thereafter. And all for, of course, money! Now, again, this tale unfolds very slowly, but the big reveal is wonderful and well worth the wait.
And in the final episode, 'Taken at the Flood,' an old war veteran friend of Poirot's spins him a tale that gets him interested in a Men's Club. In a very full story, a young poor Irish girl marries a well-to-do man in London, the family go to his house to confront him, an explosion doesn't hurt them, but kills him inside - leaving all the wealth to her and her bother. Also starring Jenny Augater and Tim Piggott-Smith, Poirot becomes involved with the wealthy Cloade family, whose past tragedies still haunt them. Indeed, they come together to confront the girl, Rosealie along with her brother and soon people are dropping like flies. Poirot is brought in and as a favor to one of the younger female family members, waves his fee to investigate. A great story and a great reveal make this a wonderful way to bring series 10 to close. These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of a Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (46 min.) and a Photo Gallery.