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Peril at End House | Agatha Christie’s Poirot | TV Serial | Season 2 | Episode 1 | Personal Reviews

Peril at End House is the first episode of season 2 of the fantastic British TV Serial Agatha Christie’s Poirot. It explores the story of the same name written by Agatha Christie, and remains almost faithful to the same.

TV Serial : Agatha Christie’s Poirot
Season : Season 2
Episode # : 1
Episode Title : Peril at End House
Originally Aired : 07 Jan 1990
Starring : David Suchet (Hercule Poirot), Hugh Fraser (Captain Arthur Hastings), Philip Jackson (Inspector James Japp), Pauline Moran (Miss Felicity Lemon),
(Nick Buckley), (Mildred Croft), (Bert Croft), (Nurse Andrews), (Inspector), (Commander George Challenger), (Frederica Rice), (Jim Lazarus), (Charles Vyse), (Ellen Wilson), (Wilson), (Alfred Wilson), (Maggie Buckley), (Dr Graham), (Hotel Receptionist), (Hood), (Maid), (Pageboy), and others…
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It is good to see the title song of season 2, the same background music, which now we are very much familiar with, as the signature tune of the TV Series, since season 1.

The first scene itself sets the tempo of the episode nicely. As Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings are on their way to enjoy a vacation at a Cornish resort. Poirot is not a fan of travel by air. While Hastings (an even other fellow passengers) are seems enjoying the flight, while Poirot was all irritated. He was not even opening his eyes. The way he answers in the conversation, tells it all. We haven’t ever seen such disgusting look on his face when travelling by sea. This nice exploration of various Poirot characteristics makes the TV series really enjoyable. And after seeing it, you will surely be fan of David Suchet, what a marvellous actor he is! Also the areal scenes are good. At times it reminds you of James Bond movies.

Poirot loves to be the center of attention or rather treated well. When he doesn’t see a waiter around, and was not even available after calling, he gets out of control. This scene clearly shows how he want to see the things work systematically. On one side he is angry on the other, he doesn’t leave his modesty as well.

His meeting with the lady (Magdala “Nick” Buckley) who escape the death few times in the just last 3 days, looks a little superficial. Actually you are not going to discuss something so personal with a stranger whom you have just met.

The team has found a really nice house which sets as a character in the story and thus the episode. The steps to the sea, the garden, the building, everything is eye catcher. Also it is nice to see those (now) vintage cars.

When Poirot found that the lady doesn’t know him, he asks Hastings to introduce himself. And the simple introduction doesn’t go well with the Poirot and he ultimately need to take the matters in his own hands to tell the lady that he is – the great detective – Hercule Poirot! Of course David is the key performer in the scene; but the equally good acting and timings of Hugh Fraser makes it so good.

Whether a TV Series or a Movie (or a play at theatre); any kind of art, which is performed in a group is always a team work. A loose end, will make the entire stuff look less effective. The chemistry between main characters, their timings and their skills, make or break it. Fortunately the TV series got right actors, writers, directors, musician and other key members to make it superb.

Other two key characters are Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon, played by two other fantastic actors.

The character of the law firm representative is important as well. Poirot’s meeting with him is filmed nicely. Also the way Poirot talks (or interrogates) Freddy or the Australian couple is interesting. When he see someone is playing too nicely, he got suspicious. The only thing is he is unable to think who wants Maggie dead. And that drives him crazy.

The fireworks ceremony is eye catcher. Someone used the background noise of the firecrackers as a disguise and shot Maggie!! Is she dead? We are halfway at the episode and the rest of it explores the facts behind all the mysterious stuff happened.

The mystery revealed is quite shocking! Those who are familiar with the original story, are sure aware of it. But, exploring it on the TV screen is not a less fantastic experience by any means. The episode have everything you need to see in a crime thriller. The remastered sound is a quality addition.

Interesting Facts:

  • The episode was not filmed at actual Cornish Coast! Salcombe, Devon was the location used to shoot the episode. It is worth to note that this location is in neighbourhood of Agatha Christie’s hometown of Torquay).
  • The references to the other Aghatha Christie works mentioned in the story are: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Mystery of the Blue Train and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

So if you love crime dramas or mysteries or detective fictions, you will surely enjoy it.

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