Hercule Poirot - David Suchet

Hercule Poirot

In the past, we have written about various TV series such as Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey, and while these two series were hugely successful,

they are the new kids on the block compared to the British TV show Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Beginning in 1989, Hercule Poirot  – immortalized by actor David Suchet – has filmed almost all the existing Poirot stories. Only six novels and one short story remain, which will be filmed in 2012.

Today, I would like to introduce you to David Suchet and his infamous character Hercule Poirot. Tomorrow we will discuss clothes horse Poirot’s wardrobe and dress habits.

David Suchet

Hercule Poirot in Black Tie - DVD Cov

Hercule Poirot in Black Tie – DVD Cover

In 1989, David Suchet took the role as Hercule Poirot in the TV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, which was initially filmed in 45 min episodes. However, Suchet acted so superbly in his role as Poirot that a large following demanded longer series and today, all Poirots are filmed in HD feature length of 90 minutes of longer. One of Christie’s grandsons even stated: “Personally, I regret very much that she (Agatha Christie) never saw David Suchet. I think that visually he is the most convincing and perhaps he manages to convey to the viewer just enough of the irritation that we always associate with the perfectionist, to be convincing!“ Having seen all Poirot films starring Austin Trevor, Albert Finney, Sir Peter Ustinov, and David Suchet, I can absolutely agree with him.

Poirot in the Car

Poirot in the Car

Hercule Poirot

First created by Agatha Christie in 1916 – although not published until 1920 – the fictional Hercule Poirot is even today one of the greatest detectives in literature.

Christie chose for Poirot to be the short francophone Belgian who always relies on his little grey cells not by coincidence. At the time, there seems to have been a sympathy wave for Belgians ever since it was invaded by Germany, which was one of the reasons Britain entered WWI.

In the novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Poirot appears for the first time as he is called by his friend Arthur Hastings to solve a crime.

Poirot Making Sure His Eggs Are The Same Size

Poirot Making Sure His Eggs Are The Same Size

He is portrayed as a WWI refugee who began his career at the Belgian police,  and later chose to work as a private detective in his adopted country. His character has a number of amiable quirks: he is very meticulous about his table manners, the size of his toast and his napkin. He is meticulously neat and punctual – nothing can ruffle Poirot’s appearance! Moreover, he is no friend of modesty and truly thinks of himself as a genius extraordinaire.

When a lady realizes:” If anyone could have drunk the poisoned cocktail – it could have been me.” Poirot replies with the utmost sincerity:”And there is a possibility even more terrible Mademoiselle – it could have been me.”

Paired with his eccentric manners, patent leather boots, boutonniere and his splendid clothes, his neatly waxed and combed mustache, pink nose, and his Homburg hat are definitely among his key characteristics. As such, he is often ridiculed by the police, though at the end of the day, Poirot always prevails.

Initially, Christie decided to make Poirot more mature, which she later regretted since her fictional detective would have been well over a hundred years old during the later novels.

Among the most famous novels are  Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Death on the Nile.

While Christie initially described her most famous character as “insufferable”, she later felt that he was a “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep”. Nevertheless, she continued to write Poirot novels, claiming it was her duty to produce what the public liked, and what the public liked was indeed Hercule Poirot.

Poirot Eating with Napkin

Poirot Eating with Napkin

Ironically, Christie had written the final episode of Poirot in the early 1940’s, with the idea to publish it much later. Noteworthily, Hercule Poirot was the first fictional character ever to receive coverage on the front page of the New York Times. In fact, it was his obituary on August 6th, 1975 and the headline read: “Hercule Poirot Is Dead; Famed Belgian Detective; Hercule Poirot, the Detective, Dies”.

All movies from the Agatha Christie’s Poirot collection can be ordered here or also in the UK or in Germany.

Murder On the Orient Express Trailer

8 replies
  1. Brian Sheridan
    Brian Sheridan says:

    Two pieces of great news for us Poirot fans for 2012. First, of course, that Suchet will film the remaining stories (sadly, Curtain). But also that the first 3 series will be released on Blu Ray! We will get to see those great clothes in HD. I feel the later series has suffered from a lower budget (and a lack of Hastings).

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      I’d love to see the first seasons in HD – wonderful! I am not quite sure I would agree with you on the budget. However, the lack of Hastings is a pity since he has a great style as well, yet he is less formal than Poirot. I shall write a piece on him as well.

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