Acorn Media Group released The Agatha Christie Hour, Set 2 on DVD January 25. The five included adaptations of Christie’s writings were originally broadcast on PBS’s Mystery! in the early 1980s. They feature several lesser-known protagonists in Art Deco England so you won’t find any Poirot or Marple in these episodes. The set contains 260 minutes of programming. There are no bonus features.
Thames Television originally produced 10 episodes of The Agatha Christie Hour in 1982. The first five of these episodes were previously released on Set One of The Agatha Christie Hour, released July, 2010. This DVD set contains the five remaining five episodes produced by Thames Television.
The five episodes included in this collection are: “Magnolia Blossom” where Theo (Ciaran Madden) is torn between her love for her lover (Ralph Bates) and the sense of duty she feels for her husband (Richard Darrell). In “Mystery of the Blue Jar,” Jack (Robin Kermode) hears a woman calling for help while playing golf that no one else hears. He turns to a psychic to find out who the mysterious voice was. In “The Red Signal,” a psychic (Rosalie Crutchley) predicts a sudden death and danger during a seance. In “Jane in Search of a Job,” Jane (Elizabeth Garvie) takes a job impersonating a Grand Duchess (Stephanie Cole) and risks her life for the job. During “The Manhood of Edward Robinson” (Nicholas Farrell), a hen-pecked husband buys a fancy car and heads out on an adventure that will change his life.
I haven’t read any of the five mysteries upon which the episodes were based, so it was a treat to be exposed to a few of her lesser known stories. It was interesting to see the addition of the supernatural into the stories, and I found that to be the theme in one of the mysteries in the first set as well. Not sure if that’s a recurring theme in her non-Poirot/Marple mysteries or not. My favorite mystery was “The Mystery of the Blue Jar” because it showed lots of period costumes on the golf course which was fun to see.
Like most Agatha Christie mysteries, she manages to mix a bit of romance into her mysteries, which I truly enjoy. I missed the inclusion of a Poirot or Marple mystery into this collection. They are my favorite type of Christie mysteries and I would have loved to have had at least one included. All in all, definitely an interesting collection of stories even if they aren’t her most well known.