More on Brian J. Smith’s ‘Poirot’ Role

Stargate Universe star Brian J. Smith mentioned a few days back that he had landed a role in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot television series in the episode based on Murder on the Orient Express and that he’d be filming in London this month. It’s just been announced in Chicago Now that Smith will be playing Hector MacQueen, a role previously filled by world-famous actor Sir Anthony Hopkins in the 1974 film.

Here’s ITV’s announcement, also published at the Chicago Now website:

Hercule Poirot is visiting Istanbul, having solved a complex case for the British Army, when he witnesses an act of brutal justice on the streets. Relieved when a new case calls him back to London, Poirot’s old acquaintance Xavier Bouc (Serge Hazanavicius), director of the Orient Express, secures him a last minute ticket. Among the eclectic range of passengers are Princess Dragomiroff (Dame Eileen Atkins) and her nervous maid Hildegard Schmidt (Susanne Lothar), English Governess Mary Debenham (Jessica Chastain) and Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson (Marie-Josée Croze).

During his journey on the Orient Express Poirot is approached by ruthless American businessman Samuel Ratchett (Toby Jones) who offers him ten thousand dollars to watch his back, but Poirot refuses. Could Ratchett be fearful of the Italian Antonio Foscarelli (Joseph Mawle), English Colonel John Arbuthnot (David Morrissey), pushy American Mrs Hubbard (Barbara Herhey) or Hungarian diplomat Count Andrenyi (Stanley Weber) and his wife, Countess Andrenyi (Elena Satine)? Poirot awakes the following morning to find the train stuck in a snowdrift and Ratchett dead in his compartment.

Aided by amateur sleuth Dr Constantine (Samuel West), Poirot examines the murder scene and finds a proliferation of clues pointing in opposite directions. He interviews those who last saw Ratchett alive: his manservant Edward Masterman (Hugh Bonneville), personal assistant, Hector MacQueen (Brian J Smith), and conductor Pierre Michel (Denis Ménochet), before realising the true identity of Samuel Ratchett. The evidence seems to point to a mysterious assassin who got on and off the train but Poirot is not convinced. Isolated by the snow and with civilisation falling apart Poirot makes a decision that will change his life forever.

Adapted by Stewart Harcourt (Agatha Christie’s Marple, Dracula) and produced by Karen Thrussell (Agatha Christie’s Marple), Murder on the Orient Express will be filmed on location in Malta and London. The Poirot films are co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd, a Chorion company, and US network WGBH. Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck and Damien Timmer executive produce Poirot on behalf of ITV Studios. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer for WGBH, with David Suchet as associate producer. ITV Global holds international distribution rights.

Smith used his Twitter account to announce his new role and is already in London for the project. The movie will play on PBS in the United States sometime next year.

[Image of Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott from MGM.]

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Catching Up with Brian J. Smith

Now that the first season of Stargate Universe has finished filming (but not airing!), the show’s actors are busy with new projects. Brian J. Smith returned to his Twitter account to announce that he’s landed a role in the UK production Agatha Christie’s Poroit, which will be shot in London this month.

The episode is derived from the famous Murder on the Orient Express, but Smith didn’t say which role he’ll be playing. You can read more about the show at their ITV website.

Smith also made the announcement that he’ll be attending the Chevron 7.4 convention next year. This past weekend, his fellow cast-mate David Blue made his appearance at the Chevron 7.3 convention held in Northampton, England (along with Torri Higginson, Corin Nemec, and Rainbow Sun Francks). Blue responded to Smith’s tweet by telling him, “You’ll have a blast. The people are great.”

A second season for SGU has not been officially announced, but if it were to be given the “go”, the actors will return to the sets in March following the 2010 Winter Olympics, which are being held in Vancouver where SGU is filmed. In the meantime, new episodes of Stargate Universe are being aired, the next being Robert C. Cooper’s “Time”.

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SGU: Brian J. Smith Cast as Lt. Matthew Scott

Brian J. Smith

The casting announcements continue to come in for the new Stargate Universe, and this one originates with the exclusive given to Gateworld for the casting of Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott (formerly known as Lt. Jared Nash and also Lt. Jared Scott).

According to his IMDb profile, Smith was born 12 October 1981 in Dallas, Texas, and at the age of 27 is close to the specified age for his character in the casting breakdowns issued late last year. Smith is a relative newcomer to television, but has had a fairly extensive stage career, having graduated from the Juilliard School of Drama in New York.

Smith’s character, Lt. Matthew Scott, was described as a “junior SGC team member. Officer material but green and rough around the edges. Every teenage girl’s fantasy. Like a college quarterback thrown into his first pro game, he is thrust into the role of leader well before he’s ready for the responsibility and must learn to take command, earn respect through action, and manage the diverse personalities on the ship to keep everyone alive. Like Jason Bourne, he is skilled and well-trained but mentally unprepared for the urgency of the situation.”

Scott is also a pilot and is the first person Col. Everett Young and Dr. Nicholas Rush (formerly known as Dr. David Rush, played by Robert Carlyle) think about to pilot the Ancient Shuttle found aboard the Destiny, the Ancient starship in which soldiers, civilians, and scientists associated with the Ninth Chevron Project find themselves stranded. Scott appears to be second in command after Col. Young, and as such, must become a leader much sooner than he ever imagined.

Stargate Universe will begin principal photography on February 4 and is due to make its Sci Fi Channel premiere in July.

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