Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 11 Episode 4

Appointment with Death

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 2009 on ITV
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Episode Summary

Appointment with Death
On holiday in Jerusalem in 1937, Poirot hears about an archaeological expedition to Syria led by the eccentric Lord Boynton and his son Leonard, who believe they are on the track of the head of St John the Baptist. Drawn to visit the dig, Poirot meets Boynton's dominating, fabulously rich, American-born second wife. However, events are overtaken by the discovery of Lady Boynton's dead body and revelations about her fortune.

Poirot is given the task of finding the killer. As ever, he has no shortage of suspects.moreless

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  • If You Changed The Names of the Characters and the Name of the Story Nobody Would Be Able to Tell it Was Appointment With Death

    Okay, this story was dark, gloomy, and Poirot was angry the entire time. But what I hated the most was that it was not even CLOSE to the book. Here is everything they changed...

    1. They changed the name of Lennox Boynton

    2. They took out Nadine Boynton and Miss Pierce

    3. They added Lord Boynton, Nanny, and the nun

    4. The nun is trying to kidnap Jinny in the movie when in the book Jinny just thought she was going to be kidnapped

    5. Jefferson Cope's past was changed

    6. Lady Westholme's past was changed

    7. Dr. Gerald's race was changed

    8. Dr. Gerald is completely innocent in the book when in the movie he is the accomplice

    9. Lady Westolme and Dr. Gerald are in love in the movie and Jinny is their daughter when in the book they have no relation to her or each other

    10. Mrs. Boynton did not have the backstory of being a wardress

    11. Jinny was adopted and not Mrs. Boynton's birth daughter like in the book

    12. Carol and Raymond were not adopted in the book. They were Lord Boynton's children with Lennox (Leonard)

    13. Mrs. Boynton did not beat her children when they were young in the book

    14. The murder (or in the movie's case murderers) kills himself a different way in the movie then in the book

    15. The line "you see don't you that she's got to be killed" was not as important in the movie as it was in the book

    16. The line "I never forget anything. Not an action, not a name, not a face" was not even in the movie

    17. The setting of the story was changed from Petra to Syria

    18. The motive for the murder was completely different than in the book

    19. The way the murder was committed was changed from injection of poison to being stabbed in the chest

    20. The way the murder was carried out was much more complex in the movie than the book

    I'm sure there is more, but those twenty things are some of the most important things in a story and all of them were drastically changed. This is the worst Poirot story ever and I wish I could love it, but I can't. The book was amazing and I loved it so to see that the movie version of it changed practically EVERYTHING really let me down.moreless
  • Easily the highest production values and probably the most moving episode yet.

    I've seen every episode of Poirot going all the way back to the original short-form series. This was my favorite. David Suchet's personal Catholicism is somewhat evident in the end, which as I recall has been changed somewhat from the book, but... it all added up to the most moving resolution of any Poirot episode ever. I loved this episode (movie, really). Great soundtrack, lovely on-location footage, excellent acting by well-known faces (including the guy who stole Four Weddings and a Funeral). Best ever. There's even an iconic moment at the end for long-time series fans.

    With the production team now clicking on all cylinders, I cannot wait for "Murder on the Orient Express," Christie's true zenith and triumph.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's book Appointment with Death (1938). In 1945, she adapted her book into a stage play, not only changing the identity of the killer but also removing Poirot entirely.

    • This episode makes some big changes to Christie's original storyline, including moving the action from Petra in Transjordan to Syria, introducing the search for the head of John the Baptist, and substantially varying the cast of characters.

    • The novel was adapted for the big screen in 1988, featuring Peter Ustinov in his last appearance in the role of Hercule Poirot.