The star of this Hercule Poirot entry, "Hickory Dickory Dock" (Acorn Media: AMP 5025), seems to be a mouse that gets more screen time than do some of the human cast. Barring that, we have here a very convoluted tale of diamond smuggling , social awareness and protest (not found in the original novel), petty thievery, and murder. There is also a bit of "comic" relief, this time with Japp (Philip Jackson) staying as a guest of Poirot and wrestling with unappetizing meals and a strange bit of plumbing in his room that no one seems willing to explain to him.
Another feature unusual to this series is that of Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) being directly involved in the situation that brings her boss to the hostel, run by her sister, where a mixed group of young people are all entangled, in one way or another, with the seemingly triple plot-strands of the thefts, the smuggling, and the murders--all against a background of the Jarrow Marchers and their dying leader, whom Japp suspects of a murder many years before.
I really shouldn't say more, lest I spoil the fun. Suchet is up to his high standards as the comical but dangerous Belgian, Moran is truly human in this episode, and Jackson gets a chance to show us the home environment of his Chief Inspector. The photography is nicely in the film-noire tradition (although in color), and the secondary characters sharply drawn and believable. Except for the murderer leaving a photograph on a body, every thing seems perfectly logical. That mouse, however, is annoying.
This Acorn Media DVD includes some low-tech bonus tracks about Suchet and Christie, some of the cast, and Poirot/Suchet trivia questions. Lots of fun all through.