Agatha Christie Hour: Set One
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As seen on PBS’s Mystery!
Tales of romance and danger in the glittering 1920s and ’30s
How can “happiness expert” Parker Pyne return a wayward husband’s affections to his wife? Will a chance encounter on a train transform the life of a jobless investment broker forever? And why does a vision in a mirror mean misery for a beautiful bride-to-be?
In these stories, lesser-known Christie heroes and heroines solve crimes of the heart as well as puzzling cases of larceny and murder. With just the right mix of danger and deception, romance and revenge, innocence and intrigue, these classic adaptations are Christie at her best, now on DVD for the first time.
The top-notch ensemble cast includes John Nettles (Midsomer Murders), James Grout (Inspector Morse), and William Gaunt (No Place Like Home) and features Maurice Denham (All Passion SpentTHE STORIES
The Case of the Middle-Aged Wife: A housewife enlists Parker Pyne to save her marriage.
In a Glass Darkly: A WWI officer has a vision of a young woman’s doom.
The Girl in the Train: An unemployed young man takes a fateful train journey.
The Fourth Man: Three learned men debate a strange case of self-inflicted death.
The Case of the Discontented Soldier: A bored army major seeks excitement with Parker Pyne’s help.
The other three stories are one-off tales, all unusual in the Christie canon: In a Glass Darkly has an outright supernatural element, as a young man has a vision in a mirror of a strangling--but only after surviving World War I and marrying the woman in his vision is the truth revealed. The Girl in the Train is a sprightly comic pastiche, a spin on spy stories like The 39 Steps, in which a hapless young gentleman gets a small parcel from a mysterious young woman and ends up foiling smugglers. But the most intriguing episode of all is The Fourth Man; a troubled reporter (John Nettles of Midsomer Murders) tells a psychiatrist, a priest, and a lawyer the story of two girls whose personalities are intertwined in a strange, metaphysically sadomasochistic relationship. Christie fans in particular will find these fascinating side trips, but you don't have to be a mystery reader to enjoy these stories. --Bret Fetzer
Top Customer Reviews
The complaint that I have is with the marketing here in America. There were actually 10 dramatizations done for The Agatha Christie Hour. This set contains only five for, at this writing, $28.99. The British set contains all 10 stories and is labeled as "the complete set". It was released only about a month ago with the same cover art (a five disc set, two stories per disc), so it's not as if our American set is a re-release or a re-think. So, again as of this writing, the British set containing all 10 stories is available from Amazon.co.uk (in case the site name is deleted, it's this site's sister site in England) ~ at a price of $31.35 after conversion to dollars from pounds and adding shipping and handling.
Our American release is saying "Set 1". Let me tell you that Acorn, the distributor, is notorious for bringing out the first part of a series and never bringing out the rest. So, assuming that they do eventually bring out "Set 2", if it is priced like set one the total price for all 10 will be $57.98. That's a far cry from the $31.35 that the Brits are paying for their region 2 release.
This pricing practice seems to be the norm (I daresay that the Brits also pay a premium for our shows). If you love British fare, as I do, you are paying a high premium when you buy their discs in region 1 format ~ and unfortunately many of their tv shows and movies are never released in region 1.Read more ›
The true question for this series is not Will Christie's stories be good?; but Will the acting be up to script level? Are the actor's worthy? They are. The series is cast with several British members of high achievement and fame. The 5 episodes give us interesting mixes from romance to crime. They come alive, enchanting at times, suspenseful at other times.
"Case of the Middle-Aged Wife": London's Parker Pyne (Maurice Denham), 'Dr. of Happiness' is engaged by a cheated-upon wife. Does it help, Mr. Pyne, to reverse the cheating participants? What's good for the George is good for the Maria. Claude is played by Rupert Frazer(The House of Eliott)
"In a Glass Darkly": A murder 'vision' is seen by a party guest causing him to suggest to the fiance that she not go through with her wedding. After serving in WWI, he returns & the prophecy takes on new meaning.
"Girl in the Train": International intrigue involving a broker, a blonde, and an encounter on the train to Portsmouth--England not Massachusetts. Mystery, comedy, romance, and adventure; Agatha Christie style.
"Fourth Man": Riding the train together from London to Scotland was a doctor, a lawyer, and a clergyman. Sounds like a joke--but not when the 4th man joins the train compartment. John Nettles (Midsomer Murders), very young, is the 4th man.Read more ›
The series was based on short fiction by Dame Agatha, the mistress of mystery; all the episodes are set in the 1920s and `30's, and do not feature her signature detective Hercule Poirot. However, interestingly enough, they feature some characters that carry over to the Poirot stories, most notably Miss Lemon, Poirot's secretary/assistant, and Ariadne Oliver, a fictional, successful detective novelist who much resembles her creator. The production is blessed with the meticulous attention to detail that used to characterize British TV: costumes, transportation, interiors are accurate, and the location photography is excellent. The stars are worthy of their settings: they include a young John Nettles (Midsomer Murders: Set 15); the respected Maurice Denham (All Passion Spent); a handsome young Rupert Frazer (...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another set of Agatha's stories put to film. They are well done as only the British can do her stories so well. I enjoyed each one and had never seen some of them portrayed. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sarah Tucker
The Queen of Crime's lesser known, short stories are included in this set. If you view these (or read the books), then you are a true Agatha fan!Published 11 months ago by Wise Owl
Wow-two of these have Parker Pine stories! The stories about him are so unique, and they are well done here. The actor that plays Pine is perfect for the part. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Brad A. Bigam
Nice to watch it when weather with snow and with hot chocolate drinksPublished 15 months ago by Dr mom