Well, another one of those “why did they make this when a perfectly acceptable version already exists?” moments, but in all honesty I love David Suchet as Poirot and have been waiting for years to see what they would do with this classic Christie, one of my absolute favourites.

And you can see that they felt they had to maintain their practice of slightly updating the stories so that what was implied in the original novels is more explicit in these modern adaptations, and generally I don’t mind that sort of thing. They do it quite well with Poirot (not so with Marple which is so appalling I have given up – nothing can top Joan Hickson in my view).

So, story is nasty American criminal murdered on Orient Express stuck in snowdrift in Yugoslavia, Poirot a passenger and asked to deal with the issue before the likely-to-be-heavy-handed Yugoslavian authorities arrive. The big question: is the murderer still on the train?

Won’t go into the details just in case there are readers who haven’t indulged in this classic Golden Age of Crime novel, but some thoughts on the differences between this and the source material and the wonderful Albert Finney version which is regularly re-watched chez Bride:

  • much, much darker in tone
  • Poirot more torn and judgemental than I remember him being
  • why did they muck about with the role of the Greek doctor and the involvement of the Countess?
  • why did they make the character of the Director of the rail company so venal (or am I reading too much into that?
  • the theme of the nature of justice and who gets to decide what it is or isn’t and who does or doesn’t deserve it was much more overt, particularly in the set-up before everyone gets on the train.

But I thought it was very well done, Suchet a delight as ever, and although the very glamorous movie from the 1970s still holds a special place in my heart I thought this was an excellent modern version.

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