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Poirot: Set 12 (1989) – DVD Review

Poirot Set 12 DVD cover art


Directed by Renny Rye and Edward Bennett
Produced by Nick Elliot and Linda Agran
Starring David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran, and Philip Jackson


  • 3 episodes: The King of Clubs, The Dream, and The Incredible Theft
  • Biographies of David Suchet and Agatha Christie
  • Filmographies

Released by: Acorn Media
Rating: NR
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; presented in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Own it if you’re a fan of great mysteries or of the 1930s.

Hercule Poirot (Suchet), the ever-eccentric Belgian detective, is back for three more mysteries. In “The King of Clubs,” a murder is committed on a film set, and may be linked to a bridge game. “The Dream” is about a wealthy industrialist who keeps having a dream in which he commits suicide, and is found dead after he confesses this to Poirot. “The Incredible Theft” deals with a national secret which Poirot is hired to protect as the Axis powers are gathering strength.

Although these stories are not taken straight from Agatha Christie’s novels, they very well may have. These works are truly inspired by the original Poirot novels. Had I not been more familiar with them, I would never be able to tell which of the British series were from a novel and which were not. Each mystery is fun and very much in the voice of Agatha Christie. Once you’re familiar with the character of Hercule Poirot, you can’t get enough–he is a loveably neurotic sleuth with very particular ways of doing things. With the help of his friend Hastings (Fraser) and his loyal secretary, Miss Lemon (Moran), as well as his “little grey cells,” Poirot constantly outwits all sorts of criminals as well as Chief Inspector Japp (Jackson) from Scotland Yard. All of the actors excel at bringing their characters to life, especially Suchet. His Poirot is straight out of Agatha Christie, and warms the heart of any fan of the Belgian detective.

Even if the stories themselves were weak (which they’re not), this set would be worth watching for the sets and costumes alone. The Poirot series has some of the most flawless production values that I’ve ever seen for an undertaking of this nature. Every detail is attended to, from automobiles to hairstyles and wardrobe, to the exteriors and interiors of the sets. These details make the stories so much more convincing; along with the actors, the world is created very believably.

The features are somewhat sparse—I would love to see a making-of featurette or something dealing with the production, but what they have provided is very interesting. As with the other Poirot sets, there are biographies of both Agatha Christie and David Suchet, as well as filmographies for some of the starring actors, and these are worth looking at.

David Suchet as Poirot in Poirot: Set 12

This set is every bit as polished as every other Poirot film made by this group. If you are unfamiliar with the series, please rent it at the very least. If you’ve already fallen in love with Poirot, you should own it. Sit and sip a tisane with Poirot and enjoy the show!

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