Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 9 Episode 3

Death on the Nile

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 12, 2004 on ITV
out of 10
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41 votes

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Episode Summary

Death on the Nile
On board a steamer cruising the Nile in Egypt, Simon and Linnet Doyle are on their honeymoon, but they are being stalked by Jacqueline de Bellefort. She was engaged to Simon, when she introduced her old school friend Linnet to him - and Jacqueline is bitter about being cast off. Poirot is also on board the steamer, but nevertheless the cruise turns into a series of killings for him to solve.moreless

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  • David Suchet brings a new intensity to the Poirot role in this story, which has of course been performed successfully by several other actors.

    One of the best mystery novels of Agatha Christie is given the Suchet treatment. Though the memory of Peter Ustinov as Poirot in the 1978 theatrical movie is still fresh in many people's minds, I believe strongly that this is more like what Dame Agatha had in mind. Not as picturesque on the small screen, but the casting in this episode is brilliant. The crime itself is played out perfectly, with all of the characters' ulterior motives brought to light ingeniously by Poirot.

    It was sensible to wait until the ninth season to tackle this story. Suchet had settled in nicely to the role, and television audiences had become used to him as Poirot. In short, it all fits nicely. There are a few differences from the Christie novel here, including a bizarre allusion to something sordid between Timothy and his mother - (Poirot was not on hand to observe this). David Soul as the unpopular Mr. Bennington is perfect in the scene when Poirot exposes his wrongdoings. Then in the climax when Poirot displays to everyone who is guilty, and how he/she did it, Suchet shows superior confidence in his own portrayal, and so a great episode ends on a supreme note.moreless
  • Well Adapted Classic.

    You can`t beat Poirot, you really can`t. ;)

    Death on the Nile, a classic book is finally adapted in this great show and it`s all came out pretty much perfectly.

    Ok, at start, it was pretty dull but introductions are important. The story is captivating, with some curious characters.

    The drama on the boat is perfect, we get Poirot and the colonel along with some very intriguing characters...each very interesting. Several events takes place , attempt to murder, murders etc...all adding to the big puzzle. It`s tough to solve it...impossible... the crime is almost perfect....but there is no perfect crime when Poirot is around. The conclusion to this story was as always unpredictable...Poirot got me again.moreless
  • This episode is one of my favourites. I can't find any faults!

    This episode is amazing! I have it on DVD and it never fails to appeal to me. Firstly, David Suchet plays Poirot superbly. Secondly, there is so much humour in this episode. It is smashing and never fails to amuse me. Also, the plot is absolutely superb! How the murderer commits the murder is so sneaky and so difficult to guess! The actors play brilliantly and fit into the roles perfectly. Also, the music fits the episode perfectly and it is set in the beautiful Egypt. Altogether, an excellent episode, based on Agatha Christie's excellent book. It is most certainly well worth watching and it deserves 10/10!moreless
  • My favorite Poirot book finally gets the David Suchet treatment...and it's been worth the wait.

    Death on the Nile was a book that I always wanted to see made for the series. Peter Ustinov had done a very good movie version of it, but I wanted to see how Suchet would adapt it. The result is definitely worth the wait.

    The cast is wonderful, led by David Suchet, of course. Other notable performances include David Soul as Andrew Pennington, Emma Malin as Jacqueline de Bellefort, Alastair Mackenzie as Mr. Ferguson, James Fox as Colonel Race, and Frances de la Tour as Mrs. Otterbourne, who manages to make the role hers, no easy feat after Angela Lansbury gave such a great performance in the 1978 film. The actors all fit their roles to a T, and though, regrettably, some characters have been cut out, it is difficult to imagine better casting.

    The cinematography is wonderful, the script is mainly true to the book (though there is a scene that suggests something about Tim and his mother), and the film manages to convey some real emotion, especially the ending and the scene where Poirot confesses how much he has missed in life. Overall, Death on the Nile is a very successful attempt to adapt the book for television.

James Fox

James Fox

Colonel Race

Guest Star

JJ Feild

JJ Feild

Simon Doyle

Guest Star

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt

Linnet Ridgeway

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • During the interview between Poirot and Allerton on the top deck, the shots of Poirot show the boat is moving along the river. In the shots of Allerton, there is no movement at all.

    • Gwyneth Paltrow was originally rumoured to be playing the part of Linnet Doyle, but Emily Blunt replaced her.

    • Agatha Christie said of Death on the Nile: "The book is one of the best of my foreign travel ones. I think the central situation is intriguing and has dramatic possibilities, and the three characters, Simon, Linnet, and Jacqueline, seem to me to be real and alive."

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Poirot: Has life been unfair to you mademoiselle?
      Rosalie Otterbourne: You've met my mother.

    • Cornelia Robson: I'd love someone to dance with me.
      Miss Van Schuyler: But who on this planet would want to dance with you?

    • Ferguson: A spoiled brat, a domestic parasite, and a drunken old bat: who cares whether they're dead or not?
      Cornelia Robson: You really are the rudest young man.
      Ferguson: It's the future that matters, woman, not the past.
      Cornelia Robson: Did you ever consider for one moment that someone out there might be grieving for that poor maid? Or how distraught Rosalie might be? And as for Linnet Doyle, well, she was just so beautiful.
      Ferguson: Do you know that Cornelia's father was practically ruined by Linnet's old man, and all she can say is how beautiful she was!
      Cornelia Robson: I thought you said it was the future that mattered, not the past.
      Ferguson: Touchee. Will you marry me?
      Cornelia Robson: What?
      Ferguson: It's against all my principles, I know, but I think you should, so how about it?
      Cornelia Robson: It is a disgusting idea. You are opinionated, unreliable, and utterly, utterly irritating!
      Ferguson: Well, apart from that?

    • The Murderer: It's terribly easy, killing people, Monsieur Poirot. You begin to think it doesn't matter.

    • Ferguson: Amazing, isn't it? Millions unemployed, a lunatic about to take power in Germany, and all we read about is how some spoiled brat stole her best friend's fiancé.

    • Rosalie Otterbourne: Linnet Doyle's very beautiful, and very rich. I don't think I've ever hated anyone so much on first sight.

    • Jacqueline de Bellefort: I want to hurt her. To put my gun against her head and gently pull the trigger.

    • Colonel Race: We'll get to the bottom of it.
      Poirot: Oh, I know I will.

    • Joanna Southwood: Isn't it awful when one's friends fall on hard times? One simply has to drop them.

    • Poirot: Love is not everything, mademoiselle.
      Jacqueline de Bellefort: Oh, but it is, it is! You must know that. Surely you understand?
      Poirot: It is terrible, mademoiselle, all that I have missed in life.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's book Death on the Nile (1937). Eight years later, Agatha turned Death on the Nile into a stage play called Murder on the Nile, but (as with the other three Poirot books she adapted for the stage) Poirot himself was cut out of the story!