Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 8 Episode 2

Evil under the Sun

2
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 15, 2002 on ITV
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
35 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Evil under the Sun
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Poirot is ordered by his doctor to spend a few weeks at a health resort in Devon, on the grounds that he is too fat and out of condition, and Hastings comes along for a holiday. In Devon they meet an old acquaintance, the fashion designer Rosamund Darnley. Before too long another guest (the rich, troublesome and flirtatious Arlena Stuart) is found strangled on the beach, and Poirot begins an investigation which proves to be one of the most challenging of his career, with suspects abounding. However, the detective is greatly helped by the parallels between Arlena's murder and the unsolved killing of another rich young woman a few years before.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Poirot is on Holidays.

    9.0
    Poirot goes on holiday on a small island where a murder is committed. Seriously, how many times have Poirot gone on holidays for health reasons and a murder took place in that exact place? :D

    The story is well settled, with the characters well introduced. At first,Poirot tried to prevent the death to happen but couldn`t. There were several suspects as always, all with strong reasons to commit the crime.

    As always, the elements were brought in the front ground in some nice ways, with the smallest details considered.

    I love the revelation scene, it was so traditional Poirot in that living room, studying the case in every character angle. That was great. Again, the end was unpredictable. The guy who found the corpse, the guy who seemingly love the victim was the murdered, and his seemingly innocent, betrayed, fragile and hurt wife helped him. I love how the case was linked with an old unknown one. The fake corpse thing was brilliant.

    Another great one from Poirot.moreless
  • On the orders of his doctor Poirot is on mandatory leave and diet on a semi-island off the Devon coast and only able to endure it when the murder of a notorious actress brings home the truth that not even a health spa is above such evil deeds.
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    8.1
    This particular adaptation has been done before, most memorably with Peter Ustinov as Poirot leading an all-star cast in the 1982 movie of the same name. In that adaptation major plot points remained but the english setting of the story was traded for a fictitious adriatic island and some of the stars (Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, James Mason, Jane Birkin) seemed more intent in overacting. The verbal sparring was amusing and surely scripted. The score was a collage from the Cole Porter songbook and added glamour and decadence.



    But here we have the real thing. And the real thing is far more prosaic. Provincial, even. David Suchet is superb as a Poirot refusing to confront his slight overweight problem and events will prove him right in the end - at the expense of Captain Hastings brand new business enterprise. Neither Hastings nor Japp (nor Miss Lemon) featured in Agatha Christies novel - but the interplay between their characters allows character development of the minor players and adds consistency to this by now long running series.

    Once at the island no major plot points are changed apart from the inclusion of Hastings amidst the residents (though he is not on a diet, much to the chagrin of Poirot).



    The weaknesses stem from stretching this into a tv movie without giving it the corresponding budget. It makes for a much slower pace than is usual and even Poirot seems to take an eternity to share with us what he knows.

    For someone who has neither read the novel nor seen the 1982 movie this is still fine and high quality television whodunnit. Others will find fault with deviations from the book or will forever be comparing the casting choices made with the 1982 ones, a thankless endeavour - even there I dare say David Suchet is still far closer to the literary Poirot than the worldly Ustinov ever was. He becomes Poirot. Ustinov as Poirot was still very much Ustinov, even physically.



    The original allies of Poirot on the island have been substituted by the loyal Hastings. And it is for Miss Lemon to do a bit of investigating on her own to clinch the thing.

    Again, this will not bother the casual viewer. But Poirot tends to attract many purists and has generally satisfied that demanding lot - so if this adaptation is not a let down in terms of acting and production values, it certainly does not stand out as one of the series special achievements.

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Russell Tovey

Russell Tovey

Lionel Marshall

Guest Star

Carolyn Pickles

Carolyn Pickles

Emily Brewster

Guest Star

Steve Bennett

Steve Bennett

Policeman

Guest Star

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