Sherlock Holmes will always be my most favorite detective for sentimental reasons (and because Basil Rathbone is a gigantic favorite of mine). However, there will always be another detective that will be just half a step below him. He is Hercule Poirot (Pronounced, Her-cue-el Poi-row)
As far as I know, only a few of my personal friends actually know who Hercule Poirot is—and enjoy his stories! I wish I had as many friends who liked him as I have as many friends who like Star Wars or Captain America. I know everyone loves colorful characters that play off each other (like Han, Leia, Luke, Threepio, Artoo and Chewie). They are characters that come alive and seem real. They become our best friends.
To Kayla and I, the ever particular Belgian Mousier Poirot, the trusty, lovable Captain Hastings, the sarcastic, dutiful Chief Inspector Japp and the lady who gets things done, Miss Lemon, are real characters to us. Like the Star Wars characters. They are very real and very different from each other and so their interaction throughout the series is delightful to watch. Plus, the mysterious they work on together are a delight to turn round and round in one’s head!
Poirot is the detective from Belgian. Very precise, very methodic, very particular. He travels first class, expects the best wine, and does not approve of murder. He likes things just so, and will go about just straightening the little ornaments to be symmetrical, the silverware just so and his clothes without a speck of dust. It can be very humorous to see him placed in dusty or rougher places outside of the city and to see his disgust to everything. Because of his methodic ways, he’s able to catch things about crime that the police will often not see. In personality, he is ever the gentlemen. Very friendly, and can quickly gain peoples confidences because of his friendly, trusting disposition. He is not married.
Captain Hastings is Poirot’s best friend and companion, much like Watson to Holmes. They are very good friends and they do most of the cases together. Hastings happily does whatever Poirot’s requests him to do, but he is often confused as to where the mystery is going. He does not come off as an idiot, like Watson might, but his confusion is hilarious to see when it contrasts with Poirot, who almost always on top of the game. Hastings is the very friendly sort and is sure to win everyone’s hearts. He loves golf, he loves cars, and he likes pretty ladies (without being weird about it). He does the chasing, the jumping, the “Good Lord!” declaring while Poirot remains dignified through nearly everything. I dearly love Hastings; and he’s not bad looking at all either. He also has the most pleasant way of talking.
Chief Inspector Japp; Ha! At the beginning the series, he practically despises Poirot’s interference with his cases (and the fact that Poirot is always right about who is the bad guy and why). For a little while, he tries to keep up his pride in thinking he’s as good as Poirot. However, he comes across several cases which lands him in hot water, and he reluctantly calls Poirot in to help him, or else he’ll lose his position. Poirot, of course, comes to the aid and Japp is soon consider a top Inspector of Scotland Yard. For the remainder of the series, Japp becomes open to Poirot’s suggestions and helps open doors for him that nobody else could. He’s not a first class traveling man and is used to rougher conditions than Poirot. Their differences are very sharp and it’s very humorous seeing them try to work together throughout the series.
Miss Lemon is Poirot’s secretary. She has a huge filing system that’s her pride and joy, and she does her work with precision, which Poirot admires and needs. She does the small things that help the three top guys to do their thing. She looks up the phone numbers, she finds the addresses, and she does things in town if they happen to be away and can’t check out things themselves. She’ll also take on other names and will investigate suspicious things like a normal citizen and then report to Poirot her findings.
These four characters travel through the most bizarre cases, all the way from Set 1 to Set twelve (each disc has three, one hour story on it). As the story pass, you can see them grow from middle age to a little old. And than in the feature film stories, you can see them go from a little old to fairly old. Hastings hair turns gray. Poirot becomes rounder in the middle and his mustache loses a little of it’s regal shape. Miss Lemon becomes older looking in general and so does Chief Inspector. It’s like you can see their whole life pass before you!
Outside of several episodes, I highly recommend the series for detective fans, 40’s fans, mystery fans, strong character fans, and film fans in general. I would recommend for older children, as the stories to do deal with, more often than not, murder. And they’ll almost never gory: they will, at the end during the explanation of the mystery, show what happened, and it would be unsettling for younger children.
Where can you find these stories? Many of them are on YouTube, in different parts. We borrowed all of ours from the library. Episodes that would be good to start on would be the ones from the series. One I would recommend to start would be ‘The Veiled Lady’. It’s an excellent one that has great humor and an excellent twisty plot, at first it feels like a regular jewelry thief, but it turns out to be something deeper! Try watching that one first to see if you would enjoy watching the rest of the series. I have part 1 from YouTube down at the very bottom. If you have twelve minutes, you’ll sit and watch. I’m sure you’ll end up looking the next three parts on your own! 🙂
To Watch and Not to Watch:
There were a choice few that were just too creepy as a whole for me and two which I was not allowed to see because other things. They are below; Four and Twenty Blackbirds is not recommended because of a frequented nudity painting (we were warned of this one, so I actually have not seen this one). The rest I found disturbing and would not watch again under any circumstances. They are below for your convience.
Dead Man’s Mirror (Mom saw this one, and didn’t want us to see because she found it rather creepy, so I can’t give my own opinion on it.)
Four and Twenty Blackbirds (as mentioned above, has frequented nudity from a picture)
Tragedy at Marsdon Manor (CREEPIEST episode I’ve seen. If you happen to like scary music, scary cinematography and horror movies, this might be for you. I don’t recommend this at all unless you don’t want to sleep at night.)
Plymoth Express (Graphic murder shown at the end)
Mystery of the Spanish Chest (a man is murdered by having a sword thrust through his eye, and it builds up to that scene at the end. I didn’t watch that part, so I don’t recommend this one)
One Two Buckle My Shoe (Creepy dentist story with the sound and cinematography aidding. *shivers*)
I also can not leave you with just a bad list! I have several favorites that stuck out to me as great mysterious, ones that certainly baffled me and pleased me immensely when I learned the resolves.
Evil Under the Sun (This one is actually set in different enviorment than most, that and it’s an interesting mystery I really enjoyed!)
Hickory Dickory Dock (awesome combination of Poirot and Japp together!)
Lord Edgeware Dies (Gah, did this one twist me all around! I think it’s my very favorite of the Feature Films!)
And here is Part 1 of the Veiled Lady, one of my favorites!