Agatha Christie's Poirot

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (82)

  • Miss Lemon (explaining how she complains to the Chinese laundry about Poirot's collars): I say, "Him collar no velly good starchee." I show him the collars and say it. Poirot: Hastings, my friend, you spent some years in China... Hastings: Absolutely! Fine fellows, fine fellows. Poirot: Did you ever have any trouble with your laundry? Hastings: Yes I did, as a matter of fact. Poirot: What did you say to them? Hastings: Well, I said "Him collar no velly good starchee." Miss Lemon: That's where I got it from sir. I knew the Captain had spent some time in the East. Poirot: But my collars, they do not get any better! Hastings: No, mine didn't either, now I come to think of it!

  • Hastings: Kidnap? Damn it all - this is England!

  • Italian Police Inspector: You crazy English! If you do not stop trying to kill each other, I shall put you all under arrest. That includes you, Monsieur Poirot.

  • Mayfield: Why do politicians treat everyone else like idiots? Sir George Carrington: Probably because they voted for us in the first place.

  • Hastings: (about Farley's pies) Good pies, are they? Poirot: No, horrible. But there are a great many of them.

  • Hastings: What a stunning girl, though. Poirot: I sometimes think, mon ami, that you are too easilly stunned.

  • Desk Sergeant: (checking on Poirot in police cell) What's this, then? Poirot: That is my moustache comb. Desk Sergeant: (to Japp) You didn't tell me he was one of your unnaturals.

  • Delivery Man: Good day, sir. I've got a parrot 'ere for Mr Poyrott. Poirot: Poirot. It is pronounced Pwah-roh. Delivery Man: Oh, I do beg yer pardon, guvnor. I've got a pwahroh 'ere for Mr Poyrott.

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Notes (117)

  • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Adventure of the Clapham Cook, which first appeared in The Sketch magazine in November, 1923.

  • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story Murder in the Mews, which was part of a collection called Dead Man's Mirror (1937), later renamed Murder in the Mews. The story was first published in Redbook magazine in September, 1936. In the U.S. a version of it was given the title The Mystery of the Dressing Case.

  • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly, first published in The Sketch magazine in October, 1923, under the title The Kidnapping of Johnnie Waverly. The story was later part of the collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950). It has also been called At the Stroke of Twelve.

  • The manor house seen in this episode is the one used as Chuffnel Hall (or Chuffy) in the Jeeves & Wooster episode Jeeves in the Country. The house is also in the Inspector Morse episode The Ghost in the Machine. Apparently, this is a popular filming location.

  • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds, first published in Colliers magazine in November, 1940. The story also appeared in The Strand magazine in 1941 under the title Poirot and the Regular Customer and it later formed part of the collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950).

  • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Third Floor Flat, first published in Hutchinson's Story Magazine in January, 1929 and later included in the collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950).

  • At the beginning of The Third Floor Flat, Poirot and Hastings go to the theatre to see a whodunit, and during the intermission Poirot confidently names the killer. When at the end of the play this solution proves to be wrong, Poirot complains of being cheated, as the mystery depended on information the audience did not have. But Agatha Christie's sense of mischief is at work, as her story The Third Floor Flat (and thus this episode) proceed to do exactly the same!

  • Poirot begins this episode with his head under a towel, breathing the steam from a basin of hot water, because he has a cold. By the end of the story, which is on the following day, the cold has been forgotten - the business of crime-fighting has done the trick. Poirot even says he had no cold, saying haughtily that he does not get sick! This is competely in keeping with his character: simultaneously dignified and childish.

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Trivia (37)

  • At the end of the scene where Poirot and Japp are examining the murdered girl's body, there is a close-up on the body. As this happens, you can clearly see one of its fingers move.

  • At the start, Hastings is listening to the radio coverage of a cricket test match, and the commentator refers to the Sri Lankan team - but Ceylon only changed its name to Sri Lanka in 1972, and this episode is set in the 1930s.

  • The shots of Poirot's Whitehaven Mansions building were taken at Florin Court in Charterhouse Square, near Holborn, London EC1.

  • Rhodes, although a Greek island, was under Italian occupation from 1912 until the end of the second world war. Before that, it had been part of the Ottoman Empire from 1522 until 1912, when the Italians helped the Greeks to throw out the Turks. This explains why, in this episode, the police are Italian and not Greek.

  • Historical error? In the beginning of the episode we see Poirot and Hastings play a localised (English) version of Monopoly. Moments later we see Han Wu Ling sign the hotel guest book and we can clearly see that the date is the 8th of February 1935. However Darrow didn't patent Monopoly until the 31th of December 1935 (for those who wish to check: U.S. Patent 2,026,082). So where did Poirot and Hastings get this pre-production version of the game? The only versions sold by Darrow before the Parker Brothers bought the game were American versions. An English version would probably not have been available until February 1936!

  • This episode (along with several others) is penned by David Renwick, the creator of the comedy One Foot in the Grave and the magic-related detective show Jonathan Creek. Both comedy and magic tricks feature heavily in this episode.

  • Do not go out of the room during The Mystery of the Spanish Chest - you may miss the remarkable sight of Poirot dancing the Charleston!

  • This is the episode where Poirot demonstrates the correct way to cut a mango... 1) Cut the skin all around the mango's circumference with the tip of a knife. 2) With a spoon, loosen the top half of the skin and pull it away. 3) Slice the inner fruit three times horizontally and vertically, so that when you bend the fruit back, the fruit stands out as cubes which can easily be cut off the skin.

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Allusions (16)

  • The title refers to the old A.B.C. railway guide.

  • This episode (in two parts) is based on Agatha Christie's book Death in the Clouds (1935).

  • The title of this episode comes from an old children's nursery rhyme, which runs like this - Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened the birds began to sing, Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before a king? Agatha Christie's Miss Marple story, A Pocketful of Rye is also based on this rhyme, but in greater detail.

  • The American writer Edward D. Hoch (pronounced hoke) later created a fictional detective called Sir Gideon Parrot (pronounced parroe) as a spoof of Hercule Poirot. The name may owe something to the visiting parrot in The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim.

  • The title of the episode alludes to the nursery rhyme beginning Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? On his first visit to Miss Barrowby's, Poirot finds her silver bell buried in a flower bed which is edged with oyster shells and he quotes the line "With silver bells and cockle shells all in a row." The bell proves to have been buried by Mary Delafontaine, who poisoned her aunt with the help of the oysters.

  • The sculptor's main work sounds like a version of Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International (1920).

  • The title refers to the old A.B.C. railway guide.

  • The hypnotist in the original story is a professional. In this episode, his place is taken by Miss Lemon.

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