Poirot: Mrs McGinty’s Dead, ITV1


Did we like it?
We’re not great fans but the return of Poirot delivered exactly what it was supposed to do. Even the BBC couldn’t have done a better version than this.

What was good about it?
• It was a faithful adaption of the Agatha Christie novel, featuring some great cast members playing realistic characters and a lovely period setting.
• The plot was challenging as Poirot tried to establish who killed Broadhinny charlady Mrs McGinty (slain by a sugar hammer), whose downfall was caused by spotting a Sunday Comet article about Lily Gamboll, a child meat cleaver killer, and Eva Kane, the lover of a man who killed his wife and buried her in the cellar. She should have stuck to reading about the 1920s equivalent of Jordan.
• Zoe Wanamaker was memorable as crime author Ariadne Oliver whose talking was straight and hair was frizzy.
• Some of our favourite young actors took the chance to shine: Joe Absolom as the wrongly convicted James Bentley, Sarah Smart as sweet secretary Maude Williams and Raquel Cassidy as batty Maureen Summerhayes.
• One of our favourite old actors – Siân Phillips – also shone.
• Lines such as: “Words cannot describe to you the fluid they serve to you as coffee”, “There’s plenty of rich people hereabouts who don’t know how to mop their own floors”; and “She talked all the time. That class of person always does.”
• The lack of hygiene in the village.
• The satire of sensational Sunday newspapers and middle England snobbery.
• The drawing room denouement (following by an aww bless lovey dovey bit).
• The Carpenters’ fab art deco home.

What was bad about it?
• David Suchet is loved for playing fastidious Hercule Poirot (this was his 58th outing in the role) but we’ve always found his portrayal as ridiculous as his little moustache and penguin-like walk.
• Lines such as “I will not beat around the shrubbery”.
• The soft focus filming in some scenes, which seemed to indicate we were looking at a flashback when we weren’t.

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