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Case Number 24612: Small Claims Court

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Poirot: Series 6

Acorn Media // 1995 // 415 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Jason Panella // October 4th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Jason Panella is a Frenchie not a Belgie.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Agatha Christie's Poirot: Classic Crimes Collection (published June 12th, 2006), Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Definitive Collection (published November 3rd, 2008), Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 5 (published July 21st, 2010), Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 6 (published June 24th, 2011), Great Detectives Anthology (published January 6th, 2011), Poirot: Death On The Nile (published January 3rd, 2005), Poirot: Murder On The Orient Express (Blu-Ray) (published October 26th, 2010), Poirot: Series 12 (published June 10th, 2014), Poirot: Series 13 (Blu-ray) (published December 12th, 2014), Poirot: Series 2 (Blu-ray) (published February 16th, 2012), Poirot: Series 4 (published April 16th, 2012), and Poirot: Series 1 (Blu-ray) (published January 5th, 2012) are also available.

The Charge

"I think the thoughts of Hercule Poirot, monsieur, are far beyond your comprehension."—Hercule Poirot

The Case

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 6 contains four movie-length mysteries, all adaptations of novels featuring Christie's fussy Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot (David Suchet, The Bank Job).

Hercule Poirot's Christmas
Poirot's plans for a quiet low-key holiday are squashed, when he's convinced to attend a party with a bunch of people he doesn't know. Someone, of course, gets murdered.

Hickory Dickory Dock While investing several thefts at a student hostel in London, Poirot happens to be on hand as the crimes escalate to murder.

Murder on the Links
Poirot and Arthur Hastings (Hugh Frasier, Reilly: Ace of Spies) head to France for vacation, but quickly get entangled in several strange deaths. They also have to contend with an obnoxious local detective trying to one-up Poirot.

Dumb Witness
After an elderly woman mysteriously dies in front of friends and family, Poirot and Hastings may have to rely on help from the last witness they'd expected to turn to: a fox terrier named Bob.

The four episodes in Poirot: Series 6 are classic "English cozy" whodunits, period pieces with twists galore and ridiculously elaborate murder schemes. They almost always follow the same formula, too—the set-up to the murder, Poirot's investigation (with multiple fake-outs and red herrings), and finally Poirot gathering all of the suspects together for the dénouement. It's corny and unrealistic, sure, but often pretty entertaining stuff. These four episodes, which originally aired between 1995-96, are among the show's best. They don't hold up well to criticism (see Raymond Chandler's excellent Golden Age mystery take-down in "The Simple Art of Murder"), but are still fun in their own right.

It helps that these tales (and the Poirot series in general) have great production value and acting. The episode, from the set design to cinematography, always look great. Suchet goes all-out with Poirot too; the detective is eccentric and maybe a little full of himself, but also lovable. The dectective's sidekicks are often in the story just to drag narrative points from the Belgian, but also add some nice little touches to the episodes. One of my favorite moments in this set involved Poirot rescuing his pal Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson, Robin of Sherwood) from a lame holiday with the in-laws, much to the inspector's delight.

But why this collection? Sure, the episodes look a tiny bit better thanks to remastering, and they're now in the original U.K. broadcast order, but this is the second or third (or fourth, in some cases) time these episodes have been released on DVD. Luring fans in for the double-dip might work if there were any extras to speak of, but all you get is four discs, four episodes. Keeping these episodes in print is a good idea, but if you already have them, there's no reason to buy them again.

The Verdict

If this is your first time encountering these episodes, not guilty. For longtime fans, though, Monsieur Poirot thinks this collection is guilty, but of course.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: Acorn Media
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 415 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Crime
• Drama
• Foreign
• Mystery
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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