The ABC Murders Episode 1

A new Poirot adaptation this time with John Malkovich playing the aging detective being taunted by the titular A.B.C. Murderer.

Will Poirot be able to prove he still has it or has he met his match?

I probably said it last time when I half watched the BBCs adaptation of And Then There Were None but I’m no fan of Agatha Christie but I do like to give the adaptations, especially the BBCs, a chance because I love the thought of them.

Poirot is one that I tend to be able to watch more then any other though, I love the character and was intrigued to see how Malkovich would take on the legendary character.

Again I guess that means I can’t really compare it to the books because I haven’t read them so I’m just going to be talking about the story I’m watching on the TV.

Every character that was introduced in this episode were amazing. So many names and faces to remember but each with their own unique character. Honestly the only character we didn’t get to know very well was Victim A, but from that point on every character was so full of life that it was hard to know where we were meant to be looking.

Poirot himself was brilliant. I didn’t like Malkovich’s accent much at first but it grew on me, there wasn’t much going on with him in this episode but his interaction with Inspector Crome, played by Rupert Grint, were some of the most fascinating in the episode.

There is a underlying hate there between a young English police officer in the middle of a city being turned on its head with anti-immigrant sentiments against a immigrant with no history who he felt made a mockery of his profession by being better than the police force.

I feel Grint really worked well as Crome, there is something about him that, especially my generation I guess, want to get behind. He was cruel and dismissive of Poirot but you kind of believed he came from a good place, you could see much more emotion there then just that of a young guy brushing off a old guy he see’s as pointless to his needs. He was compelling in the few scenes he was in and stole the first episode really.

Story wise it was really the story of Alexander Bonaparte Cust, the A.B.C. Killer.

As this story was heavily following him and he was a serial killer in the making it went swiftly, there was no real detective work from Poirot in the episode as it put the foundations down for the story of who Poirot really is and his place in society right now, but we got to know a little more about the man behind this game.

I really feel like Eamon Farren could be forgotten in this role, his face hardly ever changed throughout and that isn’t a lack of skill it was kept passive so we couldn’t read him at all. Why is he doing this? What is he actually doing? If we knew all the details we wouldn’t want to follow Poirot on his trail in the end. He played the part perfectly and it was the B Murder that really shone. Whilst the C is on its way and the characters we’ve met surrounding it are interesting it was his interactions with the young and pretty Betty Barnard that I enjoyed the most.

She knew she was pretty, she’d stolen her sisters fiancee from her just because she could, she went out drinking and romancing even though she was engaged and believed because she was beautiful men should just bow to her. You could see a reason for Cust to want to kill her as she teased him about being a virgin but at the same time…. I felt sorry for him.

This is where his passiveness helped because you just couldn’t believe of him the things we were being led to believe he had done. He seemed sweet and quite helpless, his job was to sell and she’d stolen from him which seemed to upset him. It was a quick little story before she was found murdered with the stocking she stole around her neck but it made you care in some weird way about a man who we are being led to believe is the killer.

I loved her sister Megan as well. I’ve never felt so sorry for someone as I did with Bronwyn James poor character, compared to the beauty of Betty she was plain, bigger and obviously not the one of the two that many men would pick. She was in love with Donald, the man who left her for her sister, and would follow him around no matter what. In many ways I know someone just like her and it broke my heart to see someone who has so much worth be forgotten, trodden on and thrown aside. Her sister was cruel to her, tough love is what she’d call it but she was a brat that didn’t realise that she had truly hurt her sister for nothing more then to prove she could. James was amazing in the episode and was proof of the fact that a character who wasn’t really that important in the wide scheme of things could shine so brightly in a episode full of many different characters.

The Clarke’s are who the A.B.C. Killer is after next and I’m happy to see Andrew Buchan as Franklin. I feel he is a massively underrated actor, loved him in Broadchurch, and can’t wait to see what part he plays in the next two episodes.

Unlike any other Christie adaptation this one has me hooked right from the start!


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