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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Telefilm > Detective > British TV > Literature > Nighttime TV Soap Opera > Action > Private In > Agatha Christie’s Poirot – The Movie Collection: Set 6 (2009 - 2010/Acorn Media Blu-ray + DVD Sets) + Dynasty – The Complete Fifth Season – Volume One + Volume Two (1984 – 1985) + Mannix – The Complet

Agatha Christie’s Poirot – The Movie Collection: Set 6 (2009 - 2010/Acorn Media Blu-ray + DVD Sets) + Dynasty – The Complete Fifth Season – Volume One + Volume Two (1984 – 1985) + Mannix – The Complete Fifth Season (1971 – 1972/CBS DVDs)


Picture: B- (DVDs: C+)     Sound: B- (DVDs: C+)     Extras: D/C/D     Episodes: C/B-/B-



Now for a look at three long-running TV shows, all out in nice new home video versions.



In the case of Agatha Christie’s Poirot – The Movie Collection: Set 6 (2009 – 2010), Acorn Media has issued their first Blu-ray set of Poirot as well as yet another DVD set.  The set number is a bit misleading as David Suchet has been playing the classic detective for many years, but this is not the first Suchet/Poirot Blu-ray, as a single of his Murder On The Orient Express beat this set as this review shows:





Note that both format versions are in very nice metallic blue boxes, so be sure to take a look at the format on the box (the Blu-ray set is smaller) so you don’t get the wrong set by accident.  Here are two large DVD sets of his earlier Poirot shows dubbed The Classic Collection:









Before we move onto this new collection and to have a different point of view on the Suchet Poirot, here is a fellow writer covering Set 4 of this series on DVD:





This new collection offers three telefilms including Three Act Tragedy (from 1935, here guest starring Jane Asher, Kate Ashfield and Art Malik) is no better or worse than the disappointing 1986 telefilm version with Peter Ustinov as Poirot (long past the time he should have stayed on) and Tony Curtis, The Clocks (from 1963, here guest starring Anna Massey in one of her last works, Phil Daniels and Jaime Winstone) and Hallowe’en Party (from 1969, here guest starring Deborah Findlay, Sophie Thompson, Amelia Bullimore & Timothy West).


They are as good as the previous Suchet shows, yet I never buy him in these shows and this role, with the result being that these work better on Blu-ray but are not as impressive as the new Marple shows on Blu-ray.  The only thing this did want me to see when it was over is how good the older filmed Suchet Poirot shows might look in High Definition.  Hope Acorn gets to put some of them out.  There are no extras.



Next we have Dynasty – The Complete Fifth Season – Volume One + Volume Two (1984 – 1985) in two separate sets, the season the show went overboard and never recovered.  For those unfamiliar with the show, here is a general link so you can see the other sets we reviewed:




At the end of the last season, which was a strong one, there is a great final surprise to close the season, but it turned out to sow the seeds for the shows decline.  As well, Pamela Sue Martin left the show and role of Fallon (following Al Corley leaving as her brother Steven) and that would hurt the show in the long run.  The character was absent for much of the season, then Emma Samms showed up later as Fallon and was not bad, even suddenly having an accent.  However, we get a whole new group of foreign royals joining in (The Colbys spin-off had not arrived yet) and the writers just took on too much.  Catherine Oxenberg, Ali McGraw, Joel Fabiani and a now infamous appearance by Rock Hudson are part of the show.


To repeat the sad situation, Hudson was dying of AIDS at a time when few knew what it really was, what top expect from it and that no one could stop it.  Still, he did the show, was not looking well (even I wondered why he looked older suddenly) and even did kissing scenes with Linda Evans (who played Krystal) that he probably should not have done.  She was just fine later, but he passed away and it was the most bizarre point of a very bizarre season.  Its conclusion is also so wacky that the show never recovered and The Colbys spin-off did not help either.  Now you can see for yourself.  A 1985 interview with Evans and Hudson on the set of the show from Entertainment Tonight is also included with its creepy irony.



Finally we have Mannix – The Complete Fifth Season (1971 – 1972), another good season for the Mike Connors private investigator hit, but the show was finally starting to show weak from the weekly grind of making a show.  Here is a general link so you can see our other coverage of the show:




The 24 hour-long shows over 6 DVDs and they are still good and still have the energy of the past seasons, but the overall wear is slowly starting to kick in.  Still, this is a solid season that includes guest stars like Rosemary Forsyth, Guy Stockwell, Paul Mantee, Victor Jory, Perry Lopez, Hal Needham, Dean Stockwell, Eric Braeden, Vic Morrow, Liam Dunn, Val Avery, Val Bisoglio, Stephen McNally, Georg Stanford Brown, Robert Colbert, Joanna Pettet, Ross Hagen, Kathie Browne, Andrew Duggan, Ed Lauter, Daniel J. Travanti, Pippa Scott, Milton Berle, Jesse White, Ed Begley Jr., Melody Johnson, Nita Talbot, Madlyn Rhue, Jane Merrow, Charles Aidman, Lucille Benson, Art Buchwald, Jessica Walter, Barry Sullivan, Lonny Chapman, Jeanne Cooper, Lou Rawls, Fred Beir, Mariette Hartley, Elsa Lanchester, Charles Bateman, Jason Evers, Byron Murrow, John Vernon and Corrine Camacho (aka Corrine Michaels), a great character actress who recently passed away.


The show was in the middle of its run when this season began unknown to the makers, but it was a huge hit and people kept tuning in, even as complaints that the show was too violent (laughable now) continued.  There are no extras.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Poirot Blu-ray set fares better than the Orient Express Blu-ray single, but still has some minor flaws and motion blur that can disappoint, though the anamorphically enhanced DVD version is a little weaker and does not have the color or warmth of the Blu-rays including the solo Orient Express.  The PCM 2.0 Stereo on the Blu-rays have some health Pro Logic surrounds that make it the best sounding Suchet Poirot to date, having a warmth that the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo cannot handle.  Dynasty and Mannix both have 1.33 X 1 color images and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that holds up well for their age and looks good across there respective discs.  The picture can have softness and aliasing errors, but are never transfers, while the sound is not bad.  They should both come out on Blu-ray.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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