For those of you who follow me on Facebook, I promised over the weekend that I’d be posting a roundup of my favorite Poirot episodes. If you’ve never seen Poirot, but like a good mystery, then you’re in for a treat. This 13-season series ran for years on television, starting in 1989. They filmed all of Agatha Christie’s stories that focused on Poirot as the main detective (there were a lot!). David Suchet and Hugh Fraser played Poirot and Hastings, and the series has received multiple awards.
I watched it for years while in high school, when I first discovered Agatha Christie’s work. I’m actually proud to say that I’ve read the majority of the works she wrote under her own name, which number over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. David Suchet does a phenomenal job playing Poirot – in all honesty, I don’t think I could ever see him as anyone else, or even without the mustaches!
Whether you’ve seen Poirot before and want to rewatch some episodes, or have never been introduced, I’ve created a Top 5 list (in no particular order) of my favorite episodes. I watch them on Amazon Instant Video – I have Amazon Prime, and many of the seasons are available for free with Prime. I’m not sure whether Poirot is on Netflix (I stopped my subscription a while back!), so do make sure to check there if you subscribe to it! All links go to Amazon.
This mystery is why you should be afraid of cheap bargain flats on Craigslist… Seriously though, missing naval plans, the Italian Mafia, and mysterious flats are three very good reasons why you should start with this mystery. Plus, it’ll give you an introduction to the complexity of Christie’s mysteries before we get into the full-blown murder cases.
Free on Amazon Prime – Season 2, Episode 8
Much of the time, Poirot is away on vacation when he runs into a murder – such as in this case, where a rich man is killed on a golf course (among other murders, abductions and possible blackmail). In terms of surprising endings, this is probably one of the best. You’ll want to save a bit of time to watch this one, since it’s almost two hours long, and I promise that you won’t want to stop halfway through.
Free on Amazon Prime – Season 6, Episode 2
3. Sad Cypress
I almost didn’t include this one because I wanted to include How Does Your Garden Grow? or The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but of the three, this has a better storyline. I generally group these three together under the category of wealthy-old-lady-murders, but the continuing story stands out among the rest. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why, because then I would be telling you the ending! Definitely make sure to see this one.
Not free with Prime (I think I watched it on Youtube originally, but it has since been taken down).
A murderer who writes letters to Poirot, giving clues about the next murder. Each victim’s name begins with the next letter in the alphabet… Is there a motive? (Clue: there’s always a motive.) This is a classic Christie story, and together with Murder on the Orient Express, one of her most famous. This is a feature-length episode, so make sure to start it when you have enough time to watch it all the way through – I promise, you won’t want to stop!
Free on Amazon Prime – Season 4, Episode 1
This is one of Christie’s most famous novels, inspired by the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932. As much as I love David Suchet, the ’74 film adaptation with Albert Finney as Poirot is my favorite film adaptation of this novel. This is an Agatha Christie specialty – she traps all the suspects on a train with Poirot, and gives them all (seemingly) rock-solid alibis. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s one of my favorite concluding scenes from any of her works. This, and the solution to the mystery, are probably why this remains a quintessential Christie story.
The Suchet film is not free with Prime, and the Finney film is not available on Amazon Instant Video. However, you can probably find a copy at your local library, or buy the DVD on Amazon.
EXTRA: The Theft of the Royal Ruby
This gem (pun not intentional) was originally titled The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. Christie wrote several short stories about Christmastime mysteries, and this is one of them. Runaway lovers, kids who try to fake a murder, and the infamous pudding. I loved this remake of it as well – keep your eye out for the snarky Egyptian prince at the conclusion (my favorite part of the episode).
Free with Amazon Prime – Season 3, Episode 9
I hope you enjoyed this guide to my favorite Poirot episodes! Have you watched Poirot? If so, what is your favorite episode?
p.s. I am not being compensated for linking to Amazon Prime, I promise. I just love the fact that they stream Poirot for free.