While the BBC's tradition of airing an Agatha Christie drama over Christmas is a television highlight for many, this year's offering, The ABC Murders, has received a mixed reception from fans. While some think that the darker adaptation of the popular murder mystery novel was an excellent move, with John Malkovich playing an older Hercule Poirot an inspired choice, others believe that the adaptation is too gritty for an Agatha Christie show.
Rupert Grint plays Inspector Crome
One person wrote: "Don't rewrite and break the Poirot backstory, don't make the plots darker than they are for no reason. Poirot's character is so broken I can barely recognise it; why can't the writer just write a new Poirot story. Don't break a classic and call it art." Another added: "Couldn’t make it through the first #theABCMurders I’m afraid. Too slow, dreary & depressing. Don't understand why people have to mess with Christie!! She knew what she was doing."
However, others adored first two episodes of the new drama, with one tweeting: "Malkovich exudes complete authority as Poirot. Always found it a rather comical character but he’s nailing this. Every scene is lush too. I’m gripped," while another person wrote: "What I absolutely adore about all of @PhelpsieSarah Agatha Christie adaptations is that she takes relatively genteel crime stories and turns them into dark psychological thrillers. 30 minutes into #TheABCMurders and it’s a cracker." The new series, the finale of which will air on Friday at 9pm, sees Hercule Poirot attempt to track down a murderer who has an obsession with the detective, and is killing people in towns that Hercule has previously visited according to their names. Rupert Grint also stars as Inspector Crome, a new detective who is deeply suspicious of Hercule but forced to work with him to bring down the killer.