As The BBC Give us a new take on ABC Murders..Let’s consider the Possibilities for a Full on Modern Version of the Classic Writer’s Works..and why that MIGHT pose some fiendish Problems..
Are you all watching John Malkovich as Poirot on BBC 1? Good for you. ‘c’est bon pour toi’? Glad you are enjoying it! Praise seems unanimous for yet ANOTHER take on the Belgian, ‘tached tec. Ken Branagh is also playing the hero in yet another remake of a remake in the upcoming Death on the Nile. So, clearly, there is an appetite for this KIND of thing. A logical deduction! My little grey cells are working. What you did NOT know, perhaps, was that the BBC tried to sneak in hints of modernity to theirs / Malkovich’s take.
This is a post Brexit Poirot so he is a darker, more flawed, broody, moody, vulnerable hero. Not just a lil Belgian with a penchant for pedantry. And yet? Motifs aside, these are still very much period pieces. Cozy, nostalgic and as keen to recreate the innocence of bygone adaptations as to promote the source material and legacy. Got me thinking..why stop there? Why NOT go for a full on, 21st century update of Agatha’s greatest works?
Here’s why, just at a glance..Imagine the brainstorm sessions at something not unlike a n other public broadcaster that wants to invest your licence fee in being BOTH trendy/hip/cool/socially aware AND traditional/comforting/classic..
FIVE LITTLE PIGS: Nah. Offends vegans. Why not ‘FIVE LITTLE BITS OF FRUIT‘? Also: ‘pigs’ might imply that Agatha Christie is dissing da fedz, innit. Da PIGS gonna take u down blud. Note, too: pigs = offensive to Jews and Muslims, potentially? Though good in that we thereby unify two groups in a way unseen since their collective revulsion at Watto in George Lucas’ Phantom Menace 20 years ago. Keep at the drawing board. NEXT?
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE: D’oh. SPOILER ALERT!! TOTALLY gives away the ENDING?! WTF? Next!
BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS: Inappropriate. ‘Pricking’ sounds rude. Also? This title promotes self harm so cannot be made. Sorry!
BODY IN THE LIBRARY: Well that COULD work. Except it requires..a..LIBRARY? Most have been reduced/ under-funded/closed? Case solved before it even begins. Ms Marple knows that NOBODY would be there to start with, so no murder could possibly have occurred. Marple could not be deceived. She was from da ghetto and she knew that most kidz be like ‘WOT DA FOK IS A LIBREE MAN?’. Case, and indeed, library..closed?!
HERCULE POIROT’S CHRISTMAS: Nope. Implies that he is Christian as are those around him. Poirot’s ‘winterval’ or ‘Seasonal Holiday Vacation’ maybe? Must NOT offend the atheists/humanists/agnostics.
4:50 FROM PADDINGTON: Nobody would believe the trains would run that accurately.
A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED: This is promising, sure. But where are they announcing it? Social media? let’s try a more apt title: ‘SOMEONE GONNA GET SHANKED 2NITE‘ : Marple ‘likes’ this. ‘MURDER IS TRENDING?’ ‘MARPLE HAS BLOCKED U’
DUMB WITNESS: A step backward; people will get confused with SILENT WITNESS. Plus, it’s offensive, potentially. How about ‘A WITNESS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS’?
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS: Don’t be silly. None of the suspects would get that far in a post #BREXIT world! Perhaps someone gets very upset on the WAY to the Orient Express and calls a neighbour a naughty word? Yes! ‘HATE CRIME ALMOST AT THE ORIENT EXPRESS!’..’Mr Poirot please come at ONCE! I have no Visa and my feelings were hurt. HELP ME!’
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE: What’s a Vicarage? Also, what is a Vicar? It’d be far more realistic to have a lay preacher, on the move, managing say seventeen different Parishes.
CASE CLOSED! THE ABC MURDERS IS NOW ON BBC TELEVISION / I-PLAYER. DEATH ON THE NILE IS IN PRE PRODUCTION..AGATHA CHRISTIE’S ORIGINAL, TIMELESS, CLASSIC WORKS ALL AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE..or..here’s a thought..maybe try reading the BOOKS! Just as good.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Mes Amis! 😉 X