After 12 years of playing Poirot, David Suchet has the part off pat, and it is hard to imagine anyone doing it better. This 2000 TV film is an adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1936 novel of the same name and the location – an archaeological dig in Mesopotamia – and is made the more authentic by Christie's first hand experience with her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan. Despite the exotic locale however the story is the familiar country house murder mystery in which by observation and deduction the great detective finds the culprit without a lot of help from his sidekick, the jolly Hastings (Hugh Fraser) or anybody else.
What is quite striking about this story as filmed is the utter flatness of all the other characters. To some extent this is a product of the fact that none of the actors is well known, but the script doesn't help either. They are simply boring (the Arabs are non-starters). Their function is to listen to Poriot, provide him with information or disinformation and to die when necessary. Actually one of the victims (Ms Leidner) has an interesting past but she is too pathetic to hold our sympathy. Perhaps the producers were trying to save money on salaries but the cast are not a prepossessing lot.
On the other hand the production values (for a TV movie) aren't bad and much of the film was shot in Tunisia around a real `dig'. (Iraq, alas, was not available). Hercule Poirot, always immaculately dressed and amusingly fussy, can always hold our attention even if he is to a large extent the puppetmaster. Although he makes mistakes along the way we can be assured the characters will fit his theories in the end.
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Comedy: The Office, Peep Show, Coupling, Chef, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Young Ones, Monty Python, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Coupling, Little Britain, Mr Bean, Extras, Green Wing, Mighty Boosh
Drama: Casualty, Holby City, The Bill, Hustle, Skins, Shameless, Ashes To Ashes
Game/Quiz Shows: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Deal Or No Deal (UK), Q.I.
Education/Documentary: Planet Earth, Horizon, Panorama, Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product
Food: Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Great British Menu, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong
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Sci-Fi: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Torchwood, Primeval
Sport: Football (Soccer), Cricket, Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Formula One (F1GP)