Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 1 Episode 4

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 29, 1989 on ITV
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Episode Summary

Four and Twenty Blackbirds
At a London restaurant where he often goes to eat, Poirot notices that another of the regular customers has dramatically changed his diet. Meanwhile, old Anthony Gascoigne lies dying in Brighton, and his estranged twin brother Henry falls to his death. A tragic accident, or murder? Poirot sees connexions and he decides the answer to the mystery lies in a blackberry pie.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)

    • 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).


    • 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.