The seventh episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot (English TV Serial, which was aired in Briton), is titled as Problem at Sea.
It is a quite gripping story where most of the incidents occur on a ship. In fact the murder itself happens on the ship, though ship was landed at the time. This story shows how when a spring pushed continuously for very long, can rebound with multiplied force after the saturation point is reached; and result into fatal incidents. It is also worth to note in this entire episode Inspector James Japp and Ms. Lemon are absent. Here are the main characters of this story.
Mrs. Clapperton is a woman with bad temper and weak heart. We see both her attributes many times during the voyage. She is the one who got murdered and the story thus revolves around her.
Husband of Mrs. Clapperton, Colonel Clapperton is a calm and composed man. He earn sympathetic respect for the demonstration of patience and care for his foul mouth wife. Though, most of the passengers likes him, General Forbes have not good opinion for him. He was a theater artist and he was good at card tricks. Though later it is revealed that he is a good ventriloquist as well.
Two young girls who are vocal for their opinion. They develop sympathy towards Colonel Clapperton and show their unhappiness towards improper behavior of Mrs. Clapperton. They went to visit the town with Colonel who was alone as his wife was tired and not interested in getting out. Reportedly the trio was together almost entire day.
General Forbes doesn’t have very good opinion for Colonel Clapperton, as he know him since very long, since the days he was a music artist. Probably Mr. Clapperton’s representation of himself as a soldier (despite from being not one, or not – real – one, as per General’s knowledge and opinion) made him thinking and behaving that way.
There are some other tourists traveling with them (of course). Also a group of elderly voice artist lady, her aide and a young girl with them was on the ship as well. We witness the arrangements for the entertainment made those days on the cruise in quite interesting manner. The introductory conversation scene between Mrs. Clapperton and Poirot is interesting. Not only David’s expressions, but also the dialogs are effective too. Same we can say for the opening scene where we see Captain Hastings was practicing for the bird hunting competition (arranged on 14th July).
The story moves ahead in interesting way and we can see the scriptwriter’s efforts in building the tale. Also the ship is chosen wisely and the shooting on the same is very convincing. The outdoor scenes are filmed well. You will adore seeing the hunting practice and ship sailing in the evening and sun is setting in the background. The interior of the ship is explored as per the need.
The conversation between Hastings, a lady and Poirot early in the night, after the dinner and small party, is interesting to watch. Watch Poirot telling ‘Oh, Hastings, Hastings, Hastings…’ and you will simply love the way it is performed and filmed.
There are some scene which are not very convincing, for example, after showing card tricks, Mr. Clapperton, all of a sudden leaves the desk. Also the way the climax is filmed, it is interesting, but actually not very convincing.
The episode have though more positive attributes than the downsides. The acting of the principal cast, the sets, the script, the background music, everything falls in place. You cannot think of other actors playing Poirot and Hastings so effectively. The way, the rush to attract visitors and earn money from them by locales on the tourist spot, is filmed pretty well too. The locales and offices of Egypt (those days) are filmed well. The director controlled himself by only filming the stuff needed by the story, which actually works in favor of the episode.
The remastered DVDs came up with good sound and picture qualities, and you can expect the same quality at Amazon Prime as well. So seeing all the positive aspects, if murder mysteries and thrillers are your choice, than you may not like to miss this one.
Did you read the reviews for the first episode of this TV Serial? Also what you think for this episode? Do share your feelings via comments below. If you find this review helpful to make you a buying/watching decision, do not forget to share with your friends and family 🙂