Thursday, 31 October 2013

A frame-by-frame look: Polish trailer for 'The Labours of Hercules'!

Labours of Hercules airs tomorrow in Poland, and a trailer has finally been released. ITV also released a press pack today (finally!). By the way, this won't be spoiler-free, so if you don't want to know anything - look away now. If you do, then you should read the press pack synopsis as well, because that will help you understand the screencaps.

OK. Let's have a closer look:

First shot - and we're in the Swiss Alps! Slightly worried about the obvious CGI work here (understandable as it is, given the budget). The location is taken from 'The Erymanthian Boar', which is the central story of the adaptation (judging by this trailer and the press releases so far).

This is a new character, not present in any of the short stories: Francesco, the owner of the hotel. Fake snow! Hooray.

...aaand more fake snow! The location used is Halton House, Aylesbury.

Here's our leading man. In what looks like Murder on the Orient Express mode? (He's wearing the same coat, scarf and hat)

Now, this is where they lost me. What's going on with the sunglasses? This is in front of the mountain lift they use to get to the hotel (actually built on location next to Halton House, and covered in - you guessed it - more fake snow).

Poirot in an apparently empty reception. This has a sort of At Bertram's Hotel-feel to it, don't you think (not entirely sure if that's a good thing).

Guest list! Intriguing. There's a certain Countess staying here as well...

So... what's going on here, then? The girl with the necklace is Lucinda LeMesurier (a reference to 'The LeMesurier Inheritance'), according to the press pack.

A painting is missing! 'Hercules Vanquishing the Hydra', according to the press pack.

Something sinister is going on. Very James Bond-ish.

More fake snow and CGI! (But those mountains look quite impressive, actually).

Here's a waiter who doesn't know what he's doing...

Poirot seems to have figured it all out (or has he?). It's his signature 'ah!' move.

Someone is having a bad day... And more James Bond effects!

 Alice Cunningham might not be exactly what she appears to be.

Poirot seems to be failing after all. Someone's dead! (Lucinda?)

OK... Schwartz and Cunningham? Guns? Mexican standoff? Not sure about this.

What does everyone think? Judging by the press pack interview with director Andrew Wilson, we're in for a very dark episode exploring Poirot's journey of redemption and retirement.


  1. I really look forward to see the new episodes ! I haven't read this "novel" / short stories.

    1. I'm quite excited, too. Have absolutely no clue how this is going to turn out.

  2. Such a shame the last series is made of these books which are less than fantastic, It looks like this is going to be extremely over the top, I honestly expected the Big Four to be more like this, I do worry that it’s going to be the black sheep of the bunch. But It will be worth watching, just for pure curiosity value alone..

    1. This is exactly what The Big Four should be. A more James Bond-ish novel. I don't know how Gatiss managed that, since his background. Dead Man's Folly is a great novel, the problem it is an easy whodunnit, since the lack of main suspects. We just had three! And the episode couldn't save the plot. Still, it was a great howdunnit. And the episode was brilliant, 90% based upon the novel. It's my favorite 90 min episode now.

    2. Danny: Yes, they really seem to have tried to ignore the impossible novels until the very end. Now that the series is ending, they don't have to worry about viewing figures as much, so it's 'safe' to do the unfilmable stories... Still, we do get Curtain (should be great) and Dead Man's Folly (quite good). Definitely worth watching for curiosity value! I have absolutely no idea how they will reference all the short stories in 90 minutes. An impossible task.

    3. Matheus: I think Dead Man's Folly was very well made. Interesting ambiguous eding, too. Will get back to it in an episode-by-episode post soon. I was expecting James Bond with The Big Four, but I actually think the twists Gatiss ad Hallard decided on worked quite well, and it was an enjoyable adaptation (considering the source material). "Labours" will be something quite different, I think. Will be interesting to get the first reactions from Poland tonight.

    4. Actually I quite enjoyed the first 60 min. They managed to use the best short stories and create a more serious Poirot novel, and not a "The Secret Adversary". But being a 90 min movie, they ended so fast and so clichéd. I couldn't believe what's going on. Poirot's rebirth like a hero, saving the world, explaining the solution in front of a 'passive' murder (who was just listening) and later on tried some clichéd escape. I think they managed also a great twist, like you said, a reinterpretation of the plot. It should be great, but it wasn't. I was expecting to see Poirot's discovery of N. 4 based on his 'habite' and a Suchet without his moustache.

  3. "Something wicked this way comes", it should be the title of this episode. It is going to be disastrous.

    1. Well, I wouldn't want to judge it that harshly before I've seen the end product. The thoughts of Andy Wilson (the director) and Jeff Tessler (the production designer) in the press pack were quite interesting to read. From what they say, the adaptation seems quite dark, and essentially an inner journey for Poirot (I suspect a continuation of some of the themes of MOTOE). So I'm not yet ready to call it a 'disaster' (though I think we can safely say it won't be the 'finest hour' of this series.

    2. It wouldn't be difficult to do the book... 007 always begins with the ending of a mission. It could be Poirot's solution of LeMesurier's. Later he has the little chat about Hercules. And then the cases begin. It wouldn't be a pleasant movie to watch, very fast, I imagine. But we'd sleep tonight with the feeling of "job done". I'm certain they'll manage to surpass "The Case of the Missing Will" and "Appointement with Death".

    3. Yes, I'm sure it could be done. But that would leave Poirot with about 6-7 minutes to hear about, investigate and solve each case. That - even for Poirot - would be too incredible ;) And yes, it would take quite a lot to surpass Appointment ;)

  4. I’ve just realised Guy Andrews has written the two adaptations I find to be the most boring and uninteresting, plus appointment with death.

    1. That's right. He doesn't have a very promising record of Poirot adaptations (Appointment is in a league of its own...). But this time changes are needed to make the adaptation work, so perhaps he's the right man for the job after all? We'll have to wait and see :)

  5. I think it was a good episode. Very "different" than others in the series (but I didn't see "Dead's Man Folly" yet). "Labours" based on book but I can't tell that it's "screening". There isn't 12 cases. It just bases with some similar characters and stories. Poirot is "locked" at Hotel and there solves guests' mysteries (everyone has a one, really!). He's of course genius as always. And vain (as always)! If someone expects exactly the same story as in the book, I'm sure you will be disappointed. But if you want just 90 minutes a great Poirot, be on Wednesday in front of TV. Just forget about the book and turn on your own little grey cells ;)

    1. Thank you, ueetba! I think your last sentence says it all - the best thing would be to view it as a stand-alone tale, inspired by the short stories :)

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About Me

I'm a passionate fan of Poirot, Agatha Christie and the ITV series. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or requests, please e-mail me at, post a comment on one of my blogs, or get in touch on Twitter @pchronology. (I used to call myself HickoryDickory)