Friday, 15 November 2013

Goodbye to the splendid 1930s world of Poirot



Goodbye to the splendid 1930s world of Poirot

And goodbye to the man himself!

I trust those of you who were able to tune in and watch Wednesday's episode have recovered - as much as anyone can recover! - from seeing the final adventure of the great Hercule Poirot?  What do we do now?!  No more M. Poirot.  No more Captain Hastings!  No more beautiful 1930s splendiferousness to jealously drool over.

The last in particular is the subject of this nicely-written article on the B.B.C. Magazine website (jolly sporting of them, considering Poirot was an ITV production), which focusses on two (of many) aspects that made this series a cut above the rest and possibly the best adaptation there's ever likely to be of Agatha Christie's work - the sets and the locations!

Florin Court, aka Whitehaven Mansions
source

The stunning Art Deco buildings that featured throughout Poirot added wonderfully to the period feel, as well they might, and certainly helped the stories along on many an occasion.  That lovely feeling of being right there back there in the 1930s was in no small part due to the locations used and it's a testament to the producers that they were able to find and use so much period architecture (thanks also in no small part to the likes of English Heritage and the many volunteers and enthusiasts who helped ensure these gems were saved from ignominy).  I've always marvelled at how it was possible to create such an authentic look on location - but I suppose that's the beauty of London where many examples of Art Deco design still exist, plus our ongoing love affair with stately country houses.

Midland Hotel, Morecambe
source
I'm glad - and not really surprised - to see that Poirot itself has ensured that the public interest in Art Deco and Streamline Modern design remains high, which must surely bode well for the future of many original buildings.  If it carries on giving the likes of you and me our required fix of '30s glamour as well then so much the better!  It's also delightful to know that, thanks in part to the series, modern architects are being influenced by the Art Deco movement and incorporating some of its motifs into today's new designs.  You can never have too much Deco, say I!


Then there were the sets!  Oh, I think we all would like to live inside Poirot's flat wouldn't we?  (Could we all fit though?  We'd have to draw up a rota and stay at Burgh Island, or the Midland Hotel in between times.  You can tell I've seriously thought about this...)  Once again the quality of the set decoration is second to none and again I'm delighted but not surprised to see that so many props and other pieces were obtained from various sources including David Suchet himself!

source

There it is, then.  The end of an era for British television.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think we've just been witness to a generation-defining portrayal not just of a character but also the world he inhabits.  Thank goodness for DVDs is all I can say, where we can relive the wonderful world of Poirot again and again to our hearts content.  On that subject, Captain Hastings posts will continue to appear here for some time to come (I'm only up to Series 1 Episode 8, after all!) with maybe another special diversion to Curtain, which features far more Hastings than The Big Four did.  It's been a bit Poirot-centric around here lately, I know, but with good reason.  I shan't let this turn into a Poirot-only blog (although it wouldn't be the end of the world!) if only because there already is one and I don't want to tread on the chap's toes.  But I can't let it pass without saying this.  Thank you, ITV, for sticking with it for 25 years.  Thank you, David Suchet, for such a stellar performance. Au revoir.

3 comments:

  1. I do feel bereft now it has ended. I got whisked up to London a couple of years ago on a mystery day out and found myself visiting 'Whitehaven Mansions' As we were taking photo's a lovely and rather eccentric old lady asked us if we would like to see inside as she lived there. I couldn't believe my luck! It is far more beautiful inside than out, with the most stunning original fixtures and fittings. Apparently the last time a flat came up for sale people camped outside for a week to get first dibs. The one illusion from the television is the size of each flat. In reality the are absolutely miniscule, I mean seriously small. Poirot's 'flat' is actually the entire top floor knocked through!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to have to watch them on i player, for one reason and another I've missed them.
    The flats aren't my cup of tea to live in but very interesting all the same. I'd prefer something older or if in that era perhaps a bit less 'modern' if you see what I mean! But it's very stylish and glamorous all the same.
    The clothes now, yes, I want the clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to miss Poirot. I've been saving all the episodes on my Tivo box; when I can't think what to watch while knitting, a nice bit of art deco does the job nicely.

    I'm happy to read your Poirot posts. They're always excellent.

    ReplyDelete

Royal Treasure Collectibles

Followers

Popular Posts