By Patrick Kevin Day
Los Angeles Times (MCT)
---- — LOS ANGELES — This summer, actor David Suchet will complete a task 25 years in the making when the final adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries are aired. However, if fans want to see Poirot’s final three adventures, they’ll need a good broadband Internet connection.
The English actor Suchet has been playing Christie’s Belgian detective creation in a series of adaptations of all 70 of her Poirot stories since 1989. This summer, the 13th series of adaptations, made up of five TV movies, will debut in America, but not all episodes will air on PBS’ “Masterpiece Mystery,” which has been the show’s stateside home for most of its run.
The first two films, “The Big Four” and “Dead Man’s Folly,” will air on PBS on July 27 and Aug. 3, respectively. But the final three films will be available only on the British TV streaming service Acorn TV. The final three episodes are “Elephants Can Remember” on Aug. 11, “Labors of Hercules” on Aug. 18 and “Curtain,” the final Poirot mystery, on Aug. 25. (The series concluded on British TV in November.)
All five episodes in the final season, as well as more than 60 other installments, will be available on Acorn TV’s service, available through Roku, after “Curtain” debuts.
Despite Suchet’s long association with the role, it’s brought him only one direct honor: a BAFTA nomination in 1991. However, he was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for his overall career.
“Curtain,” the final Poirot novel, was first published in 1975, but had been written by Christie 30 years earlier and stored in a bank vault until the writer authorized its publication after she had written her last novel, “Postern of Fate.” “Curtain” was the last Christie novel published while she was still alive.