British actor David Suchet portrays the dapper detective with a quiet dignity and sublime smile that often infuriate his action-hungry clients. But as Agatha Christie readers know quite well, all of the real action takes place in Poirot's "little gray cells." Providing comic counterpoint to Poirot's method is his sidekick, Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), whose well-meaning but befuddled attempts to help solve each case make these episodes entertaining even if you've already figured out whodunit. --Larisa Lomacky Moore
The Adventure of the Western Star - More typical Poirot. It's easy to get used to how wonderful these are and start treating their greatness casually! My favorite part of this one is Hastings and his China-man! - 4 stars
The Kidnapped Prime Minister - Ireland gets some of the lime-light in this one as Russia did in the first. My favorite part of this one is when Miss Lemon is trying to remember the name of the castle! - 4 stars
Box Set Overall score (Not an Average) - 4 stars
"The Adventure of the Western Star" - There's a legend about twin precious stones, the eyes of an idol in the Far East, having long been separated - the Star of the East and the Western Star - and of what is fated to happen when they meet again. The Western Star resides in the famous Yardley collection in England, while the Star of the East belongs to an actress about to film on the Yardley estate...
"How Does Your Garden Grow?" The old lady wrote to Poirot on a matter requiring such discretion that she would not commit it to a letter. Alas, she died before her commission ever reached him...
"The Kidnapped Prime Minister" - Viewed solely on its own merits, an interesting case. Viewed as an adaptation, however, it is flagrantly unfaithful to the source; the writers seem to have had a free hand in adjusting matters to make a more dramatic and puzzling story. The action now occurs between wars instead of during WWI, so the motive has altered and the kidnappers by necessity are a somewhat different group than in the original story. Written early in Christie's career, the victims and witnesses were just stage props leading up to one of Poirot's flashy conjuring tricks, with no depth or personality. While this worked in short story form, I can see the inherent difficulty in adapting it for the screen, so while I ordinarily deplore heavy revision, I concede the need for it here. Not to put too fine a point on it, the revision helped this story no end, and it's much more interesting on video than in its original form.