I have spent my last three evenings watching the three episodes of The ABC Murders on BBC, starring John Malkovich in the role as Hercule Poirot. I was looking very much forward to watching it ever since I heard about it writing my article on what's coming to Amazon Prime in February 2019.
It was merely a coincidence that I noticed that The ABC Murders actually was a BBC series, and thus I noticed that all three episodes of this TV show could be streamed at the BBC website in the UK as well. I quickly geared myself up and got myself in the sofa, ready to watch The ABC Murders!
Now, I have to say it - I am not a professor when it comes to Hercule Poirot. I have probably seen 15-20 episodes in which David Suchet played the role as Poirot, but besides that, I have never read any of the Agatha Christie books. I did watch the new movie "Murder on the Orient Express" and I liked it fairly well, and now I look forward to the successor "Dead on the Nile." In other words, I am not saying that David Suchet is the only true Poirot and nobody else can do the role like him.
The first episode felt like a disgrace
As I started watching the first episode, it gave me a really bad taste in my mouth. I am not sure why, and I am even less sure about whether or not this was my own fault, or if I got it with good reason. In my mind, and in the way my imagination portrays Poirot, he is a cheerful man, with style, using his small grey hair to solve the most difficult cases. He is always taking care of himself. He has style, and people around him admire him greatly.
But, in the first episode of The ABC Murders, I felt as if Hercule Poirot was portrayed like a crazy old man who hardly could take care of himself, and someone hated by the police officers around him. It was just a total mix-up and not at all the way I expected things to be. Now the important question is whether or not what was portrayed in The ABC Murders has any foundation in reality (that is, in the books), or if it is just the imagination of the director of this movie?
If there are any Poirot experts out there, please help me out. I would also love to know whether it is correct with the information from the original book that Japp died and that his successor actually had such a hard time accepting Poirot, and instead, kept on mocking him and accusing him of all sorts of wrongdoings?
In the second episode it got a bit better
In the second episode, I felt as if things got a bit better, and Poirot and the police started some sort of cooperation. This helped me enjoy the role of Poirot in a much better way, and it also made the entire episode easier to watch.
In the third episode things were messed up again
In the last episode, things were messed up again. Not because of the character of Poirot anymore, but simply because they didn't manage to give all the information needed clearly enough to the viewers. It took us three episodes for Poirot to impress us with his brilliant mind, but still, the way he is looking back at his past and suddenly (spoiler) it shows us that he was a priest in a church before he had to escape Belgium, well - that has no root in the books (as far as I know). And the way Poirot always sees these images to himself throughout all three episodes, again makes him look much weaker than the way I have looked at him.
But, seen in another way, it is a very interesting way to look at Hercule Poirot, and it might help us understand his hatred for evil and wrongdoings considering what happened to him back in Belgium before he flew the nation.
As a result, The ABC Murders was not something I would recommend people to watch. If you are a Hercule Poirot fan, I would rather tell you to watch the original episode about The ABC Murders, or maybe read the book.
But, have you seen The ABC Murders? Do you agree with me? I would love to hear all your thoughts and comments on The ABC Murders (if anyone of you have seen it).
Thanks for reading!
Haven't seen The ABC Murders yet?
- You can stream The ABC Murders with John Malkovich (2018) on Amazon Prime in the USA and at the BBC website in the UK. You can find more information on how to stream BBC outside the UK in this video.
- You can stream The ABC Murders with David Suchet on ITV in the UK. I cannot promise you that it will be there once you visit the website, because the selection of Poirot content available seems to change from day to day. More info about how you can watch ITV from abroad can be found in this video.