Agatha Christie's Poirot

Series 13 - 2. The Big Four

The Big Four
Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

The end is almost upon us. Time’s winged chariot is looking for a parking space and the choir invisible is clearing its throat in readiness for the last of Poirot.

Thus we embark with the little Belgian detective in the first of his, and David Suchet’s, final quartet of stories, though as The Big Four opens it appears that the Grim Reaper has caught up with Poirot prematurely when his old friends unite for his funeral. In flashback this curious, sometimes opaque tale (adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard) unfolds and we learn that a sinister organisation, The Big Four, is fomenting fear and trepidation as the world rumbles towards a second war. Innuendo and suggestion about who is involved swirl in the air, fanned by a persistent reporter and some strange messages written on a handful of playing cards.

About this programme

2/5. The sleuth is reunited with sidekick Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), secretary Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) in a case that plunges him into the world of global espionage as the Second World War looms. The public are in panic after the shocking death of Russian grandmaster Ivan Savaranoff during a game of chess. Poirot must try to determine the good guys from the bad, as a complex plot by a gang of dangerous dissidents sees a host of international figures used like pawns. David Suchet stars in a story adapted by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard.

Cast and crew

Cast

Hercule Poirot
David Suchet
Asst Comm Japp
Philip Jackson
Capt Hastings
Hugh Fraser
Miss Lemon
Pauline Moran
Madame Olivier
Patricia Hodge
Abe Ryland
James Carroll Jordan
Dr Quentin
Simon Lowe
Flossie Monro
Sarah Parish
Tysoe
Tom Brooke
Savaranoff
Michael Culkin
Insp Meadows
Nicholas Burns
Jonathan Whalley
Peter Symonds
Mrs Andrews
Barbara Kirby
Robert Grant
Alex Palmer
Stephen Paynter
Steven Pacey
Diana Paynter
Teresa Banham
Gerald Paynter
Jack Farthing
George
David Yelland
Ingles
Nick Day
Mabel
Lou Broadbent

Crew

Adapted By
Mark Gatiss
Adapted By
Ian Hallard
Director
Peter Lydon
Producer
David Boulter
Writer
Agatha Christie
Categories
Drama