I am a Poirot fan, dare I say a stan. I have read all the books anywhere from five to fifty times. I have watched the series at least three times–in order. That’s not easy to do because the series is broken up in two, each half owned by a different entity.
Side Rant: I HATE that there are so many sub-subscriptions. Amazon Prime is nearly useless as a subscription on its own for movies and television. Anytime I find something I want to watch, there’s a sub-subscription I have to buy in order to watch it. I don’t think I’ve watched anything from Amazon in years. The last time I wanted to watch Poirot, I had to subscribe to two different subs. I did the trial for each in order to watch the series before cancelling, but it was annoying as fuck. Here’s the thing. I don’t watch much TV or movies in general so I don’t want to have to pay ten bucks to watch one movie or TV show.
Anyway. I’ve been thinking about this because someone in the weekend thread on Ask A Manager asked for people’s favorite adaptations and least-favorite. Several people mentioned Poirot, much to my surprise, and how they thought David Suchet was the perfect Poirot. That’s not as surprising because he embodies Poirot. So much so that the one time I heard Suchet doing the audiobook version of Death on the Nile, I couldn’t get over his very British accent.
I proposed a moratorium on British Poirot movies for more than one reason. First, David Suchet is Poirot. Period. Full stop. No one can do it better. Second, there is a lot of racism and classism in the stories. In the novels as well as the movies. Lower-class people are portrayed as slovenly, violent, loud, coarse, etc. People from Asian countries are portrayed as sly, inscrutable, untrustworthy, etc. And, what would be unforgivable now, the people of other ethnicities are just British actors with bad accents and bad makeup.
The Big Four is my favorite Poirot book and it’s rife with racist portrayals. Or at least national stereotypes. *Spoilers* for a really old book. I like the shock of Poirot dying in it and experiencing the grief through Hastings. Then, the appearance of Poirot’s twin brother! Shock number two! And, yes, it’s a tired old trope, but still a jolt to the system. And then, masssssssive spoiler, the twin turns out to be Poirot after all and he faked his own death to get the Big Four off his back.