I was wondering what one of my favorite actors David Suchet was up to, and more to the point, when new episodes of Agatha Christie: Poirot would be aired. Suchet has publicly stated that he wants to film all of the Hercule Poirot stories that Christie wrote, and boy was that music to my ears. Critics worldwide as well as I am sure thousands if not millions of viewers agree that he is the epitome of the grey cell-spinning Belgian sleuth. Add to Suchet and his trusty group of co-stars' stellar (and oftentimes humorous and quirky) performances the visually awesome period Art Deco costumes and sets, you have a fabulously cozy television viewing experience right there. Something to be treasured indeed.
Although I don't mind in the least renting past episodes over and over again (I really could watch them forever and never get tired of them), it would be enjoyable to see some new ones. Well, trolling through the 'net I go and am happy to report that new episodes have been/will be filmed this year. IMDB reports that 5 episodes will have been aired by the close of 2008. The first is "Appointment with Death". This was supposedly aired back in January but I'm not sure on which channel, or whether it was aired in the UK only. In the US, I'm assuming it was or will be aired on PBS. "Appointment with Death" co-stars Elizabeth McGovern (always think of Ragtime when I hear her name) and John Hannah.
The second episode out is "Mrs. McGinty's Dead" featuring Zoe Wanamaker as Poirot's apple-devouring author friend Ariadne Oliver and Sian Phillips, the frightening bald-headed Reverand Mother from the 1984 film Dune. Again, this episode is listed as having aired in January - darning it, missed that one too. The third episode "Cat Among the Pigeons" (which is a story I especially like) was set to air in April, and has among its cast Katie Leung, who portrays Cho Chang in the Harry Potter film series. Also in the cast is Harriet Walter, who may be familiar to fans of the 1980s adaptations of Lord Peter Whimsey - she played his love interest Harriet Vane. The fourth episode "Hallowe'en Party" is set to air on....yes, Halloween on October 31st and the fifth is "Third Girl", which is supposedly scheduled to air on New Year's Eve on December 31st. Zoe Wanamaker again reprises her role as Ariadne Oliver.
Sadly it looks like Suchet won't be able to share any screentime with Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings), Pauline Moran (Miss Lemon), or Philip Jackson (Inspector Japp) in these particular storylines, which is a shame because it seemed like there was a genuine and mutual affection between all of these cast members that permeated the older Poirot episodes and gave them such light-heartedness. But what can you do if the characters aren't written in the original plots to begin with? At least we hopefully will see Hugh Fraser reprise his role again if and when they film "Curtain".
In the meantime, I will be eagerly anticipating the arrival of old Poirot DVDs in my mailbox. Actually no matter how many times I watch an episode, something new that I had never noticed before, oh about the actors and other such details, always seem to catch my eye. And oftentimes, such facts and tidbits still continue to elude me. For instance, I had no idea that the 9th Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston had a prominent role in "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" until I read just now that he was in a Poirot episode. I thought to myself, which one could he have been in, then I thought, was he that young guy in the dentist story (which I had just seen last week)? Yes, he was! Adding more trivia (useless) knowledge to my already crowded brain makes me very happy, AND very useful in certain family-favorite boardgames!