August 9, 2014

AS JEREMY BRETT IS TO HOLMES:

Adieu to That Dapper Detective (CRAIG TOMASHOFF, JULY 18, 2014, NY Times)

He's lived with the character for 70 episodes of "Agatha Christie's Poirot," or just about all the stories ever written about this Belgian detective. The final five will be broadcast in the United States starting next Sunday, the first two on PBS and the final three exclusively on Acorn TV, the streaming service that concentrates on British programming. According to Mr. Suchet, some 730 million viewers worldwide have seen at least one. His role has inspired hundreds of ardent fans to send him their paintings of him as Poirot. A 12-year-old boy recently came to a performance of "The Last Confession" completely decked out as Poirot, right down to a custom-made homburg.

"David Suchet is the definitive Poirot," said Eirik Dragsund, a Christie expert and creator of a blog that chronicles every episode of the series. "With a meticulous attention to detail and respect for Christie's stories, he has worked consistently to bring the much-loved Belgian to life. The walk, the accent, the order and the method make Poirot recognizable and, more importantly, believable."

James Hobbs, another Christie authority who operates the Hercule Poirot Central Facebook page and website, added, "I've read every Poirot novel and short story, and I can tell Suchet has paid attention to Poirot's personality."

Even Christie's daughter, Rosalind Hicks, invited him to dinner to explain how much her mother, who died in 1976, would have loved his portrayal of her famous creation. It was "the most moving thing said to me during filming of the show," Mr. Suchet recalled. "I was always scared stiff, because it was well known Agatha Christie was never happy with any of the cinematic portrayals of her characters. But Rosalind had my wife and I over to the family house, and it made me absolutely well up when she said, 'My mother would have been absolutely delighted with what you've done.' It meant so much because that was my whole reason for doing this role."
Posted by at August 9, 2014 8:31 AM
  
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