Why it's finally case closed for Poirot
Agatha Christie's much-loved detective is making one last appearance on our screens. So who can replace the super sleuth, asks Deirdre Reynolds
Super sleuth Hercule Poirot cracks his last ever case tonight. For fans of the diminutive Belgian detective, for whom every month is Movember, it's the end of an era.
After 25 years in the eponymous role however, few will be sorrier to say 'Adieu' to Poirot than David Suchet.
"I haven't fully mourned him yet," the 67-year-old says. "I suppose that will come. And I will miss him from my life until I die.
"But everybody has their time. And this is his."
Less creased than Columbo but not as bald as Kojak, few TV detectives have been as well loved as Poirot, who first appeared in print back in 1920.
Set in the late 1930s, the show has seen the inspector solve everything from Murder on the Orient Express to Death on the Nile using old-fashioned police work – long before forensics-obsessed crime dramas such as CSI and Bones.
In tonight's touching finale, a wheelchair-bound Poirot is reunited with his old sidekick Captain Fraser as they return to Styles Court, the scene of their first ever case, in a bid to stop a murder.
Only one mystery remains after the credits roll: who will replace Poirot as the TV detective du jour, or more to the point, can anyone?
First to try are Hollywood A-listers Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
The pair are set to star in new drama series True Detective, about two homicide detectives whose paths cross during a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in the Deep South.
The eight-part procedural drama is already tipped to be HBO's biggest hit since The Wire.
Viewers can make up their own minds when it premieres Stateside on HBO in January and here on Sky Atlantic the following month.
Meanwhile, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has reportedly joined forces with House writer David Shore for his next project, a detective drama called Battle Creek.
It tells the story of two Michigan detectives with contrasting approaches to law enforcement: by the book, and by any means necessary.
The 13-part CBS series, first developed by X Files veteran Gilligan over a decade ago before Breaking Bad, is expected to hit the small screen next year.
Closer to home, Shame screenwriter Abi Morgan has just penned a new six-part crime drama for the BBC.
The River revolves around a gifted detective, John River, "a man haunted by the murder victims whose cases he must lay to rest", according to the Beeb.
It begins filming in London next year and will be screened in 2015.
In the meantime, fans of ITV's Broadchurch can look forward to the return of DS Ellie Miller.
Olivia Colman has confirmed she will reprise the role of the down-to-earth private eye and mum for a second season, which goes into production next year, although she won't be returning to the US remake alongside David Tennant.
One female detective who won't be back on the box anytime soon however is jumper-loving Sarah Linden, after AMC announced it won't be renewing a fourth season of The Killing.
"I'm disappointed," admitted star Mireille Enos. "The season finale for Season 3 was such a surprising choose for Sarah that I definitely hope to see how that affected her life."
As for Poirot, star Suchet – who famously stayed in character between takes – hasn't ruled out playing the part on the big screen:
"Although one thing I've inherited from him is that when something surprising happens I will go: 'Oh la!'"
'Curtain: Poirot's Last Case' is on ITV tonight at 9pm.