I watch television, and read lots about television. The Saturday and Sunday papers then fill me with glee as they contain entire sections devoted to TV listings. This allows me to determine what is happening on the screen without forcing myself to watch any of the rubbish.
TV listings are always a little odd. I used to like the Independent listings as the compiler used to fill them with sarcastic jokes about the quality of the shows. Sometimes the compiler makes little comments about shows demonstrating how smart they are, demonstrating the broad range of cultural references, and why they should be in television making programmes as opposed to the fools that have managed to con the commissioning editors into producing shows.
Occasionally, the compiler or previewer screws up – which delights the likes of me who promptly point out their mistakes through a sarcastic e-mail to the newspaper concerned. Most of these e-mails are not acknowledged and make no difference other than that mistakes are not repeated. Sadly, the previewer in the Observer, Sarah Hughes, has repeated her error and is consequently deserving of a more public forum than a cheap e-mail to some intern answering corrections and clarifications e-mails.
So, when Ms Hughes writes again that the current series of Poirot (which – it appears to pass her by – are repeats of the earliest David Suchet adaptations) she writes, “I’m still not entirely sure where they’re getting the plotlines to thise series as they don’t seem to be Agatha Christie’s.” I point out – again – that these adaptations are based on the short stories featuring Poirot of which there are around 50. These are helpfully collected in a volume called Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories.
Unlike some of the Miss Marple adaptations , featuring Geraldine McEwan, where any old Christie novel not previously filmed with David Suchet seems fair game to stuff Miss Marple into it with an “all-star” cast, these are all bona fide Agatha Christie Poirot stories.