It has been a while since we talked last about one of our favorite TV Show – Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Well, he was never out of our memory or radar and we’ve watched these episodes again and again and enjoyed them much. Somehow, sharing our views for the same keep taking a backseat due to our busy schedules and other commitments. One day, however, I visualize Poirot getting restless and telling that “Enough is enough”. You can avoid me any more! Especially if you love my fictional character!
What can I do? I like the fictional character and stories weaved around him as a protagonist. Of course, Captain Hastings, Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon are amusing too. So, I asked our team to let me share my thoughts about an episode of this TV Series. And, of course, the answer was positive :).
Let us continue our quest to explore “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” TV Series from where we left it.
As you know, we always try to avoid spoilers, at least as far as possible. But, some of them are unavoidable. So please read with consent :).
As the title suggests – the story revolved around a veiled lady who comes to Poirot and insists him take her case in hand.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story of – The Veiled Lady.
We see Poirot and Hastings having their conversation where Poirot was his usual self and was telling Hastings that the criminals of England fear him so much that they stopped their activities and so there are no crimes happening these days! Hastings was also himself and he conveyed his sarcasm to Poirot by refering a recent theft incident mentioned in the newspaper. The incident was interesting, a thief tried burgle a jewelery shop in Bond stree and was also caught when he was running after successfully completing the theft! The police was proactive. But, the strange thing is, they found postered diamonds with the theif and not the original ones. That clearly suggests that he must have an (or more) accomplish whom he has passed the original ones!
Anyway, Poirot was informed by Miss Lemon about a lady asking for his assistance. The lady didn’t expose her name nor she was ready to come to Poirot’s place. Poirot was called at a public place to meet her!
Poirot, as usual was ready to go extra mile in order to keep his “grey cells” busy :).
Upon meeting the lady has told him that she is engaged with a very prominent figure and cannot let this private talk spread out. In her early age she fell in for a person and even exchanged some of the love letters. Now, after knowing about her engagement with a wealthy and influential fellow, her lover from the past want some money from her. The amount is very high, and she was keen to get the letter back from him, to keep her marriage on cards and future life and reputation intact.
Will Poirot take this case in hand? What about the news of theft? Are these stories interconnected in any way? Well, you need to watch the episode to get answers.
As far as I know, this story was published in 1923 in Sketch. It was also published in 1974 as a part of a short story collection named Poirot’s Early Cases. It was adapted in the second season of the TV series as the second episode. When I was cross-checking, I found various users have uploaded the episode on the public domain of YouTube. I am not sure whether it is available legally, but as it is available in the public domain, here I am embedding one of them.
We strongly recommend you to buy the original DVD set or watch it on video streaming services where it is available legally. If you’ve read this story, you will find the TV serial adaption was fair to the story. Agatha Christie is known for writing gripping detective fictions. And, no matter if it involves a murder or not, her stories have the potential to keep the reader glued to it. This story is no exception.
If you look at the plot from the modern perspective, you may find it out of date, at least a little. The times are changed and so does the moralities and way of thinking. The social canvas is changed a lot. But, if you consider the time the story is set into, you will admire the thrills the author tried putting in. Some aspects of the story and its adaptation are timeless, though.
The witty conversations involving Poirot, the lines with sarcasm and punches, the way the world of that time is created, are some of the positive points of this episode.
David Suchet portrait the character of Poirot with genuine efforts and he slips into the character. He looks irritatingly perfect when needs to be, and witty when needed. The way he speaks, the way he walks, all these gestures will make you admire his sincerity and acting skills. Be it his conversation with Hasting or entering into a home as a locksmith, be it his time in jail or him opening the box very easily; the scenes of the episode are made to remain with you.
The background music is very much in sync. Same, we can say for the title track. It is no doubt a signature tune, especially for Poirot lovers.
The dialogs are witty, simple and easy on words. It is a challenge to write them to make them appealing for a regular viewer and yet reflecting the characteristics of Poirot. The scriptwriters deserve due credit.
The camera work and lighting requires a special mention.
Hugh Fraser and Philip Jackson portrayed their characters convincingly. Paulin didn’t get many scenes in this episode. The guest cast is convincing and they performed really well.
The fights and chase sequences don’t have any special effects as we love to watch these days, but, you will not miss them even for a minute while watching this episode.
It has all the elements of a detective fiction story, just watch them from the perspective of the time the story is set in. Also, don’t look for visual splendour, rather settle for good acting and potential script, and you will enjoy it for sure.