Agatha Christie’s Poirot

 

It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun… she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent ‘crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?

Evil Under the Sun

Here are a list of problems with this adaptation:

01. It opens with a lame flashback to a previous murder.

02. There is too much emphasis on the sexually obsessed vicar.  We all know that murders in Agatha Christie are not committed by sex maniacs.  The character could’ve been dropped, or given a smaller role.

03. Even worse, the lame flashback to the previous murder centres on – you guessed it – the sexually obsessed vicar, whom every viewer knows is not the murderer.

04. Both Hastings AND Miss Lemon are shoehorned into the story, holding back the action, and calling for other, genuinely amusing characters (the Gardeners) to be dropped.

05. In yet another lame attempt at upping the drama, two drug-smugglers pull a gun on Inspector Japp.  Do we think for a moment he’s going to bite a bullet?  No.  Yawn.

06. There’s too much emphasis on Harold Blatt, a minor character with a sizeable sub-plot, but one who doesn’t need so much screen time.

07. Creative license is allowed, but why Kenneth Marshall’s daughter Linda is transformed into a boy for the screen is beyond me.  Linda’s character – a coltish, awkward adolescent who strikes up a sympathetic friendship with Christine Redfern and whose pathological hatred of her step-mother provides a huge part of the plot, doesn’t transition well to a male character (much as we all love Russell Tovey).

Why Lionel (née Linda), what big hands you've got!

Why Lionel (née Linda), what big hands you’ve got!

08. The near-death of Linda/Lionel is written out, despite being actually dramatic, and important to the plot.

On the plus side, the cast is great, the setting is captured pretty well, and the plot isn’t tampered with.  Still, it’s a bit soggy.

The good news?  With the next season, Agatha Christie’s Poirot ups its game immensely.

Book: 7/10

Screenplay: 5/10

Next Up: FIVE LITTLE PIGS

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