Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let us employ the little gray cells

Many Anglophiles no doubt are introduced to the green and pleasant land that is England via the works of the incomparable Agatha Christie. Through her unique and lovable characters, intricate plots and lovely settings, it's impossible not to become enchanted.

Next month, a classic collection of tales featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will be released by Acorn Media. Set one includes the episodes:

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
The Veiled Lady
The Lost Mine
The Cornish Mystery
Double Sin
The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
The Kidnapped Prime Minister
The Adventure of the Western Star
How Does Your Garden Grow?

These episodes feature the wonderfully talented David Suchet as the fussy, fastidious and always sharply dressed Poirot. Whether he is cooking, playing Monopoly or pet sitting for a testy parrot, Poirot is nonetheless able to effortlessly apply his "little gray cells" and quickly solve whatever mystery comes his way. It is quite amusing to see his reactions to his baffled colleagues as they struggle with solving the cases. Poirot is both pleased to explain how simple the solution was for him and at the same time somewhat exasperated that it isn't obvious to everyone else. Hugh Fraser is wonderful as Poirot's assistant Hastings, and Phillip Jackson is very entertaining as the perpetually puzzled Inspector Japp.

I have been fortunate to preview this new release, and I can report that the stories, settings and acting are all superb!

Wonderful news: Acorn Media is generously providing three copies of Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Classic Collection, Vol. 1. to my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment stating your favorite British TV show (past or present!). You will be helping me to discover great new British programs that I might have missed! You have until midnight eastern time on Saturday April 25 to enter. On Sunday, April 26, I will randomly choose 3 winners and notify them. You will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping address, or I will have to choose another winner. Make sure that you include your email address in your comments or in your profile (if you have a blog), so that I will have a way to contact you. Due to shipping costs, this contest is only valid in the U.S.

Good luck, and I hope the winners will come back with a post about how they enjoyed the series!

Final Verdict for Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Classic Collection, Vol. 1: Five Gherkins, for bringing to life one of the most intriguing characters in fiction in a charming and unforgettable manner!

103 comments:

NMLady said...

My favorite British sitcom is Keeping Up Appearances. Some of the outlandish things that Hyacinth does are almost unbelievable except that I know there are people like that!

I also like As Time Goes By. And there are others whose names I can't remember, that I miss because they are no longer offered on our PBS station.

bookworm said...

I have always been a Benny Hill fan. My parents used to watch it and didn't know that I saw some of it, too. Classic!

yadgirl said...

I love Monty Python

KDTX said...

Last of the Summer Wine

Elsie said...

I don't know of many great British shows so this comment site will be a very good source for me, too!

Mysteries delight me, I am a Sherlock Holmes fan.

pumpkinlady430@yahoo.com

mybelle said...

So many great British comedies, but Good Neighbors and Fawlty Towers always make me laugh, no matter how many times I see them. Thanks for the giveaway.

leewins@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed Benny Hill's Comedy.He was a great one.
pbenbenek@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Benny Hill and Mr. Bean. Some of the things that Mr. Bean does really get me to laughing a lot.

robbie37877@yahoo.com

makaio.matt said...

I always liked the "Are You Being Served?" series from the 70's

makaio.matt@gmail.com

Tes283 said...

Monty Python

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

fawlty towers

taterbug said...

Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, The Vicar of Dibley - three of my favorites.

Bryan said...

A vote for Jeeves & Wooster. They rock.

sw@lewisfamily.us

jbeckett said...

Poirot and Sherlock Holmes are both excellent.

pal1 said...

All shows mentioned are among my favorites. I love the British comedies, dramas, and specials. The Prisoner and Secret Agent (Danger Man) were wonderful. Two oldies that I started off with are Blake's 7 and The Sandbaggers. Absolutely wonderful!!!

chromiumman said...

doctor who!

The Green Yak on Etsy said...

I caught an episode of Rosemary and Thyme on PBS one evening, and have been hooked ever since!

And Doctor Who is also one of my favorite shows, but you've probably heard of that one already :-)

greenyak [at] yahoo [dot] com

judis121 said...

My Husband is the Britsh TV fan and watches them all, and laughs and laughs, Benny Hill and Monty Python.

Carol Lawrence said...

Fawlty Towers will always be my all-time favorite. jelly15301@gmail.com

clc408 said...

I have so many favorites. Dr. Who ranks among the best.

agordon10 said...

Blackadder

Janet said...

I love British mysteries. I think Midsommer Murders is my favorite.

jjsweep said...

Monty Python for sure, very funny stuff.

Alison said...

I'm not sucking up, I swear, but I love love love Poirot! He's my absolute favourite detective :) David Suchet really nailed his character perfectly, and nothing compares with Agatha Christie's touch.

But, I also do like the British Office series :)

alison_luby@hotmail.com

Deedles said...

Monty Python was always a favorite of mine.

carol said...

Benny Hill was one of my favorites...there are so many...thanks for the great giveaway

toughturtles said...

Benny Hill just to simple and funny

mensa63 said...

Having returned from the UK less than a year ago after living there for 5 years I dearly miss not only the comedy but the murder mysteries. Poirot, Holmes et al. One of my favorites was Midsomer Murders which was just beginning its 10th season. John Nettles is a detective par excellance. While CSI and NCIS here in US are enjoyable watching they lack the British touch for murder most foul. Hoping Midsomer Murders and more of Agatha Christie will surface on US telly soon but am not going to hold my breath.

Fangirl Jen said...

The Black Adder!

Claire said...

I love The IT Crowd.. I've found that it's practically a gateway drug if you want to get someone interested in British comedy (same for The Mighty Boosh for people who tend toward bizarre comedy). I also have a soft spot in my heart for QI because of Stephen Fry.

thefatesarevicious at yahoo dot com

shannons said...

So may to choose from. I particular like Mystery!, especially Prime Suspect and I love the Poirot and Tommy and Tuppence series.

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for a great giveaway. I would love to win. We really enjoy Monty Python. Thank you
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

juedy said...

Waiting For God honed my sarcastic delivery.

Pam said...

Monty Python!!

pamelashockley at netscape dot net

TRUN said...

I have to go with the original Office.

Catherine said...

Dr Who is a favorite. Right now we are watching Foyle's War and loving it. Thanks for the contest.

yumacat[at]gmail[dot]com

judygr64 said...

One of my all time favorites going back quite a ways was The Avengers, particularly the years with Diana Rigg.

I also really like MI 5 (called Spooks in the UK, I believe). I've enjoyed lots of the mysteries over the years and loved Monty Python.

Thanks for offering this.

judy(dot)greenberg(at)gmail(dot)com

Anne said...

My favorites are Miss Marple and As Time Goes By

Bob D. said...

Actually, Poirot was always my favorite. I read every Poirot mystery book I could get my hands on. For comedies, I like "Are You Being Served" and "As Time Goes By"

quetzalcoatl463@yahoo.com

jonathanwthomas said...

That's a tough one. I'd say my favorite British TV of all Time is Yes, Minister (and Yes, Prime Minister). I've watched it all the way through at least 4 times now and it still make me roll around laughing.

Ken said...

My favorite show was Monty Python's Flying Circus. Please accept my entry. Thank you.

Kim said...

Loved Coupling. I miss watching that show. I've always enjoyed Poirot, too.

John Stetson said...

I loved the original Avengers program.

She Became A Butterfly said...

1st, i must say that POIROT is my FAVE christie character!

Now, fave British Shows:

1. A Bit of Fry & Laurie (sketch comedy with Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry)

2. British Whose Line is it Anyway?

Waaaaay better than the American version -- Colin & Ryan are prominently feature!

she
pookielocks at ymail dot com

foamfan said...

Hmmm...in the late '80s, my fave was "The Young Ones," which aired on MTV and starred Rik Mayall (of "Drop Dead Fred" movie fame).
During college years, I loved "To the Manor Born," about a woman who has to move into a small house on the ancient family property, due to money woes. (At the end of the series, she marries the rich man who bought the manor.)
I am a big fan of "Keeping Up Appearances," but wish there were more episodes of it available to viewers in my area.

idahomom said...

Britain's got talent

Heather said...

Dr.Who

allengill said...

My favorite is Monty Python

Jacqueline in Atlanta said...

There are several. Monty Python's Flying Circus was probably my favorite. I loved the mystery theatre on public tv that the Brits put out. Are You Being Served? was just good for a guffaw. Yes, Minister was one of our favorites, but we did not see many episodes of it. I don't know if they did not make many or if they just kept showing the same ones over and over. Keeping Up Appearances was sometimes funny and sometimes I just couldn't watch it. I had to be in the right mood for that one. Mr. Bean (I don't know the real name of it) was an absolute scream. I could go on and on. I love the Brit Coms. Do send over the Poirot set. I promise to take good care of it!

Thanks for having the giveaway!

Mia J. said...

I love Keeping up Appearances and Father Ted cracks me up sometimes.

Dee said...

The Saint series is one of my favorites. Ahhh, Simon Templar.

Becky said...

I would have to say Kim and Aggie in 'Is your house clean'..they make me laugh.

Dave said...

Fawlty Towers is definitely one of my favorites. I am also a huge fan of the classic Doctor Who show, especially the Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee years. Thank you for the great give-away.

turboterp said...

Keeping Up Appearances is my favorite British show of all time. I even bought the entire series on dvd. "Bouquet residence, lady of the house speaking!" Priceless!

Anonymous said...

I really like British mysteries--like Midsommer Murders.
farrell@crosslake.net

Suzila said...

No doubt about it: Fawlty Towers is my favorite. Thanks for offering this contest.

suzila@gmail.com

Cary G said...

Big fan of Poirot, although favorites would probably be Doctor Who or The Prisoner.

Gabriel J. said...

I love Miss Marple.

Jayfr said...

My current addiction is Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares.

Mir said...

There are so many to love! My favorite sitcom type is Vicar of Dibley and when it comes to series, it's Midsomer Murders.
Love Poirot too! Davit Suchet is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Agatha Christie's Poirot is, was and will always be my favorite!
allegro966@yahoo.com

Evie said...

My list of British tv that I didn't like would be shorter.

I love (in no particular order...)
*Keeping Up Appearances
*Monty Python
*Black Adder (all versions)
*Are you Being Served
*The Young Ones (Help Rick, I'm being repressed!)
*To the Manor Born

All of which have been mentioned. 2 that I haven't seen in forever but I wish I could are:
*No, Honestly
and
*Blood and Honey

I keep looking for ways to see those last two.

Abigail said...

I never miss Waiting For God, but my sister is yelling Black Books so I will mention it for her sake, Luddite without so much as an email address that she is.

BTwiss said...

Monty Python is one of many Brit favorites.

brucetwiss@yahoo.com

quelleheure4 said...

I have to go with the classic Benny Hill. Hours of enjoyment watching that!

Anonymous said...

Huge fan of the British mysteries - Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders, in particular.

Other than them, my favorite is As Time Goes By - I see so much of myself in Lionel, especially as I get older.

delaneysean@comcast.net

ktanjatk said...

My favorite British sitcom is "Only Fools and Horses"! Simply hilarious!

Here's the link
http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/onlyfools/

Lobbyman said...

Black Adder is my favorite of all time.

lobbyman01@gmail.com

sachidewey said...

I love Dr. Who and Foyle's War

Anonymous said...

I like Poirot & Midsomer Murders! Thanks! senekers@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I am not even going to try to pick one. I love all the comedy series already mentioned, with a special place in my heart for "Waiting for God."

But I love the mysteries, too. One great mini-series, if you haven't seen it, is called "Oliver's Travels" with Alan Bates. It's a great fun and suspense.

I love Poirot, Rosemary & Thyme, Morse and all the rest as well. My favorite current series however is the new Doctor Who-- it's great!

jaylee33 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

"Torchwood"!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

LiLi said...

I love "Coupling."
lverdez@gmail.com

Shelly said...

My current favorite is Last Restaurant Standing

Jinxy and Me said...

Are you Being Served is my fav.

Julieh said...

My favorite is Gavin & Stacy

MAC Mom said...

My favorite all time is Fawlty Towers. My next choice is Monty Python's Fying Circus.

My daughter was a fan of Telletubies. Kinda scary to me but she enjoyed them.

Thanks for the chance

jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

Couture Lady said...

I like the Coupling and The Office (UK series)
Thanks

FLY18GRL21 at aol.com

JOYVEN said...

Dr. Who and an older one titled Two's company

Deborah Wellenstein said...

Monty Python's Flying Circus for sure! Thank you!

Angela said...

Has to be Monty Python.

Salleefur/Jesslyn/Jesster said...

First off, let me just say, I love the British sense of humor (sarcasm?)and the marvelous subtlties of their mysteries. And that I thank heaven for PBS & BBC!

Now the hard part. Since coming up with (or whittling down) to just ONE favorite is patently impossible, I'll just list my top 10: (!)

1. Who's Line Is It Anyway?
2. Last Restaurant Standing
3. Are You Being Served?
4. Keeping Up Appearances
5. Waiting For God
6. Monty Python's Flying Circus
7. Benny Hill
8. Poirot
9. Midsummer Mysteries
10.Prime Suspect (and Miss Marple!)

To name a few...

Sue said...

My favorite is MI-5 which I think is actually "Spooks" in Great Britain. Thanks for sharing!

Ardy22 said...

Monty Python is my fav british comedy

demmi said...

Dr who is my favorite top gear and torchwood and life on mars are also my favorites con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

Pat said...

My favorite is The Last of the Summer Wine.

george ferris said...

The Last of the Summer Wine.
george ferris
littlegeorgie56@yahoo.com

guettel78 said...

I think I've got to go with either the original version of "The Office" or "Extras," both of which star Ricky Gervais, the master of awkward situational humor and absurdist, everyday obsrvations. I think these shows are re-defining British comedy, and both are simply hilarious, well-written programs with unique, well-drawn characters. Thanks for the giveaway!

Tammie said...

I tend to recall humor more readily, so Monty Python's Flying Circus first comes to mind. Nevertheless, there are numerous British shows that deserve comment and recognition. :)

mcj4tlj@comcast.net

purango said...

Monthy Python is my favorite. garrettsambo@aol.com

Steph said...

There are so many! I would choose Fawlty Towers as being one of the tops ones. Also like Are You Being Served.

ky2here said...

Upstairs Downstairs. Can you imagine reassembling that cast (besides the 'dead' factor)?

Anonymous said...

I love midsommer murders. More more

liliesrnice said...

Definitely Spaced!

eell said...

Keeping Up Appearances is one of my favorites.

Shelli said...

I love a good mystery and Agatha Cristie has some of the best!

Anonymous said...

Are you Being Served is my all time favorite.

ladycat713@yahoo.com

Kathy said...

I like Mr. Bean and th BBC news. Thanks.

lilyk said...

I love Red Dwarf!

Betty C said...

I like The Vicar of Dibley.

07violet said...

I love mysteries so Poirot and Midsomer Murders are my favorites

alterna7 at hotmail dot com

Helen said...

I loved Coupling!

Angie said...

I have enjoyed Hercule Poirot storylines forever! Winning the Poirot series would be winning the lottery for me.
Favorite British Show - Are You Being Served.

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