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Agatha Christie's Poirot - 'Elephants Can Remember' (2013)

'Elephants Can Remember', adapted by Nick Dear from the novel by Agatha Christie, is episode one (of five) in the thirteenth series of drama Agatha Christie's Poirot.  It was co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd, an RLJ Entertainment group company, and first broadcast on 9 June 2013 (ITV1, 8pm).

Running time: 2 hours (including adverts)

Overview

'Elephants Can Remember' sees ZoŽ reprise her popular role as Ariadne Oliver - the eccentric crimewriter and friend of private detective Hercule Poirot - for the first time since 2010's 'Hallowe'en Party'.  This new episode is particularly significant as the first instalment in the final series of long-running detective drama Agatha Christie's Poirot.

While Ariadne has previously put her powers of deduction to the test on various cases solved by Poirot, in 'Elephants Can Remember' the novelist is asked to solve a case of her own by the unpleasant Mrs Burton-Cox.  Although she is usually more comfortable in the realm of fiction than fact, Ariadne must now uncover the truth about the mysterious deaths a decade ago of her goddaughter Celia Ravenscroft's parents.  Were the deaths of General and Lady Ravenscroft the result of suicide or murder?  If murder, who was the killer?

The Ravenscroft mystery deepens when Mrs Burton-Cox's son, talented pianist Desmond, is threatened by a mysterious figure in black.  Unless Ariadne can make sense of her goddaughter's tangled family history, Desmond's plan to marry Celia may well be scuppered by snooty Mrs Burton-Cox.  The crimewriter hopes that the individuals she talks to about events many years ago will, like elephants, have long memories.

Meanwhile, Poirot pits his formidable wits against the complex, brutal murder of Professor Willoughby, the founder of the Institute of Psychiatry.  It appears that this case is not related to Ariadne's, until razor-sharp Poirot identifies an important connection between the deaths.  As the episode nears its conclusion, past and present collide.

Here is the newly released trailer:

You can watch the full episode online, via the ITV Player, where it will be available for approximately a month after its TV broadcast.

For photos from the programme, please see the Huffington Post.

Cast

Hercule Poirot ... David Suchet
Ariadne Oliver ... ZoŽ Wanamaker
Celia Ravenscroft ... Vanessa Kirby
Mrs Burton-Cox ... Greta Scacchi
Desmond Burton-Cox ... Ferdinand Kingsley
Dr Willoughby ... Iain Glen
Mrs Willoughby ... Jo-Anne Stockham
Marie ... Alexandra Dowling
Detective Inspector Beale ... Vincent Regan
Superintendent Garroway ... Danny Webb
Julia Carstairs ... Caroline Blakiston
General Ravenscroft ... Adrian Lukis
Lady Ravenscroft ... Annabel Mullion
Dorothea ... Claire Cox
Madame Rosentelle ... Ruth Sheen
Zelie ... Elsa Mollien
Mrs Matcham ... Hazel Douglas
Mrs Buckle ... Maxine Evans

Crew

Director: John Strickland
Producer: David Boulter
Executive Producers: Michele Buck, Damien Timmer, Karen Thrussell, and Hilary Strong
Director of Photography: Gavin Finney BSC
Casting Director: Susie Parriss
Editor: Michael Harrowes
Script Editor: Karen Steele
Production Designer: Jeff Tessler
Costume Designer: Sheena Napier
Make-Up Designer: Pamela Haddock
Composer: Christian Henson

Notes

In an interview for ITV's 'Elephants Can Remember' press pack, David Suchet offers insights into his long-standing working relationship with ZoŽ, his friend and colleague:

'ZoŽ and I started working together way back in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1978, and we've worked together on-and-off ever since.  Two years ago we played in the West End for six months with All My Sons, a wonderful American play.  We have been close as an actor partnership over the years, and we've done lots of things.  When she was originally cast as Ariadne Oliver [for 'Cards on the Table' (2005)], it was just a joy.  We have such a trust with each other that has developed over the years.'

Suchet echoes those comments in an interview with the Daily Express's 'Saturday' magazine: 'It's wonderful how the cases intertwine and lovely to be working with Zoe, who is a tremendous actress'.

'Elephants Can Remember' was filmed, in early 2013, at both Shepperton and Pinewood Studios, in addition to diverse locations such as The Park Lane Hotel, Greys Court, and Netherwylde Equestrian.

ZoŽ will also appear in another new episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot, entitled 'Dead Man's Folly', which is currently in production (as reported by Digital Spy).  Its broadcast date has not yet been announced.

Press coverage

As the episode that marks the beginning of the last ever series of Agatha Christie's Poirot, 'Elephants Can Remember' has attracted considerable attention from the media.

News
The broadcast details for 'Elephants Can Remember' were confirmed by the Radio Times, which also previewed the episode.  Other articles previewing the episode were published by Cult Hub, ATV Today, Cult Box, South Wales Evening Post, Anglotopia, Seenit.co.uk, and TVWise.

Meanwhile, the Guardian offered an affectionate, humorous look at the 'brilliant' 'Elephants Can Remember', and praised 'the splendidly no-nonsense Oliver'.

Interviews
David Suchet on Scotsman.com

David Suchet in TV & Satellite Week

Reviews
Telegraph: 'The character [Ariadne Oliver] commanded a lot of screen time and Wanamaker's bristling performance was a joy - her bohemian, vaguely eccentric air chiming perfectly with Suchet's upright Poirot'.

The Sunday Times: ZoŽ's performance is 'a great treat' to watch

Merchandise

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (novel)

Related links

Agatha Christie's Poirot - 'Elephants Can Remember' programme details - IMDB


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