Friday, 15 November 2013

They Were Good Days...

If you follow me on Twitter it'll be no secret to you at all that I am rather a big fan of a certain little Belgian Detective. You'll also know that I cried buckets when the final episode was aired on Wednesday night. 

I was pretty much a goner as soon as the opening bars of that famous theme started. And when the camera panned to our hero in a wheelchair? Finished.

Because, for me, and so many others out there, Hercule Poirot wasn't just a fictional creation of Dame. Agatha Christie, he was a real person. 

Of course Poirot, as a character, has existed in our literary consciousness for just shy of a century (he first appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, published in 1920), and other actors have stepped into his spats across the decades, but it is, without doubt, David Suchet's unparalleled portrayal* of "this quaint dandified little man" with the mincing gait and immaculate attire, that has captured our hearts, over the past twenty-five years. 

You see, he wasn't just playing Poirot, he was Poirot.

From the tips of his waxed moustache down to his patent leather boots.

I will confess to having only read one or two of the Poirot novels in my lifetime so, for me, it's through Suchet's remarkable rendering (with the superb and succinct support of Hugh Fraser as Cpt. Hastings, Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon, and Philip Jackson as Inspector Japp) that the man, and his adventures, have come to life.

To witness the on-screen demise of that most proud and fastidious of men was truly heartbreaking. It was, on some level, as if we were losing a long lost friend. This grief can not have been more keenly felt by Suchet himself, who had inhabited his world, and his Homburg, since 1989.

It is almost difficult to discern where the man ends and the character begins, such is the symbiosis between the two.

But, all good things must come to an end, and end they did with possibly the most surprising dénouement in television history (with the exception of, perhaps, whisper it, Dallas).

It was at once shocking, thrilling, and highly emotional. 

Did I mention I cried?

 And, so it was, with the hearts most heavy, that we bade the fondest of farewells to that peculiar little Belgian and his little grey cells.

Au Revoir, mon Ami...

*when he's not busy moon-lighting as my Respiratory Consultant, obviously.

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