Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Some of the Christmas TV I was most looking forward to were Agatha Christie adaptations but they were pretty disappointing.
The Secret of Chimneys - get rid of the hero and two of my favourite literary characters in Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent and Superintendent Battle, import Miss Marple and a whole new script and worst of all have Lord Caterham as the murderer. I wish that they would trust the book to provide a good yarn from which to adapt a screenplay rather than invent a second rate, wholly inconsistent tale with plot holes a Routemaster bus could fit through.
My two favourite sets of detectives from Agatha Christie are the aforementioned Bundle Brent and Superintendent Battle who appear in two mysteries and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford who appear in about 5 including N or M which is my favourite of all. They often seem to be seen as unable to support the whole plot as it would not attract enough viewers so Miss Marple is parachuted in.
In terms of Miss Marple no-one is better than Joan Hickson. Some of the newer Miss Marples are just too healthy and spry and not quite ethereal or old enough. Maybe Joan Hickson has spoilt us all.
Of the Hercule Poirot stories my favourite is Murder on the Orient Express with the jury deciding on the fate of a child murderer. In the latest adaptation it seems that they assumed that the audiences know who the killer was and focussed more on the dilemma Poirot ended up in rather than ensuring that they provided a coherent plot and to explain in enough detail. Albert Finney is often seen as a pantomime character in the film version but it presents the clues and conclusions in a way that allows the audience to easy follow along.