Three days from now, PBS will air the first new episode of their long-running series based on Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries about Detective Hercule Poirot. Murder On the Orient Express, perhaps Christie’s best and most famous work, has been filmed multiple times, including as a star-studded extravaganza from the 70′s. Check your local listings, but here in Las Vegas the new version will air on channel 10 from 9:00-10:30 PM this Sunday night, July 11.
I just found out about it this morning when I was reviewing the history of the book online this morning, in preparation for a challenge I just gave my daughter. A few months ago, I promised her a hot fudge sundae if she could figure out who the killer was in Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, before his identity was revealed. She read it, solved it, and got her treat. I just offered her another test: catch the killer in the ultimate mystery classic, Murder On the Orient Express, before Poirot, this time with a banana split at stake.
When I read this in college, I couldn’t put it down until I’d burned through the whole thing, thrilled by an outrageous twist ending that did occur to me while reading, but which I never considered seriously until Christie actually did it. The ending was even more clever than the twist at the end of Roger Ackroyd.
I’ve loved the Poirot series on PBS for years, though I’ve only ever mentioned it once on here (it’s #47 on this list). If you enjoy quality film and acting, British murder mysteries, classics, or anything new and worthy, definitely check it out.
What are the odds that this new show would air just days after I’d brought it up with my own children? Whatever the circumstances of this serendipitous situation, one thing’s for sure: my daughter definitely doesn’t get to see this movie until after she reads the book and tries to solve the murder herself. No cheating!