Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 6 Episode 2

Hickory Dickory Dock

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 12, 1995 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Hickory Dickory Dock
A string of thefts at a student hostel run by Miss Lemon's sister ends in death, and Poirot has a number of plots and sub-plots to untangle, including smuggling and political manipulations. A certain mouse is the only witness to a string of murders and it also features at the climax. Meanwhile, Poirot invites Japp to stay with him while Mrs Japp is away. Hastings is also off on his travels, and the dim police inspector vies with Poirot over the cooking.moreless

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  • Way too obvious...

    I haven't read the novel this episode is based on, but still it was so easy to know who the murderer was. Usually, when Poirot says he knows "who has done it", for a viewer (at least for me) it is not all that clear, but in this case I could tell the killer's name right after the third murder was commited - exactly the same time Poirot realised the truth (statement based on his own words).

    As I already said, I haven't read the original material and don't know if it was interesting reading till the end, but the screen time started to feel like a waste 40 minutes before ending.

    At the end, when Poirot gives his great speech (he does it every time and it is one of the most exciting moments, but not this time), it is so funny to see how director is trying to make a viewer to sit on the edge of the chair and wonder, who is the murderer, this boy or the other one... Camera is showing one guy's face and then another's. Poirot is standing before one of the suspects and is going to reveal the name of the guilty party and suddenly turns to another - to the guy I knew is guilty for oh so long already. "Wow!" moment is spoiled.


    Really, Nigel Chapman's guilt in at least one murder was obvious after the phone call he answered from Poirot's apartment. And I think everyone, who watched the episode closely, came to the same conclusion at the same time as did I.


    This episode is a disappointment, as the most interesting part, the usual Poirot's final speech, is spoiled long before it started.

    Though I should mention, that the first part of the episode is great.moreless
  • A great episode that really keeps you wondering just what on earth is going on.

    I love this episode for some reason, and I loved the book too. Yes there are some definite changes that have been made and some of the clues are rather obviously shown, but it's a good tale with Christie's usual complexity and weaves in plots and subplots that ultimately come crashing together.

    When a series of thefts happens at a students' boarding house, run by Miss Lemon's sister, Poirot offers to help. At first the list of items seems random and inexplicable, but when Poirot comes to the boarding house to speak to the students, the culprit soon owns up. Unfortunately said culprit is then poisoned because of something else she knew, and what seemed like a fairly harmless crime becomes something much much bigger.

    With diamond smuggling, stolen morphine and a couple more murders thrown in, it's again up to Poirot's little grey cells.

    I'm not sure if the revelation of whodunnit is a little obvious - you may well guess who part way through - still it's a good yarn.

    Highlights: the mouse actor! Poirot's cooking (you'll probaby have the same reaction to it that Japp does!) Japp asking Miss Lemon what the bidet's for.

    The only thing I wasn't sure about was that since the owner of the house is killed quite early on, who's taken over? Mrs Hubbard (Lemon's sister) was just running it. I would have thought people might be a bit concerned about whether they'd have a roof over their heads much longer. But hey you don't analyse Christie too deeply, just get swept along with the story.moreless
Paris Jefferson

Paris Jefferson

Sally Finch

Guest Star

Jessica Lloyd

Jessica Lloyd

Celia Austin

Guest Star

Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis

Leonard Bateson

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • There is a reference in this episode to the famous Jarrow March, when a group of unemployed men marched to London from Jarrow in the North of England. This places the events in the year 1936.

    • This episode has been criticized for turning Agatha Christie's colourful and zany household of students into a duller bunch. In particular, the charming African, Akibombo, and the punctilious Indian, Ram Lal, were left out of the production.

    • David Burke, who appears in Hickory Dickory Dock as the dying Sir Arthur Stanley, is better known as Dr Watson to Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in another Granada Television series - see's guide to Sherlock Holmes (1984) .

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Japp: What's that thing in the bathroom, Poirot?
      Poirot: Comment?
      Japp: Like a erm… footbath.
      Poirot: Oh, the bidet.
      Japp: Bidet. It's got a sort of fountain thing in the middle. What's that for?
      Poirot: Ah, it is of no significance.
      Japp (to Miss Lemon): Nearly got a squirt in the eye when I turned it on. (Miss Lemon splutters)

  • NOTES (1)


    • The title of this episode alludes to an old children's nursery rhyme, which goes like this...

      Hickory, dickory, dock!
      The mouse ran up the clock;
      The clock struck one,
      The mouse ran down,
      Hickory, dickory, dock!

      Several times during the episode, we hear and see a handsome grandfather clock ticking away the time - and twice we also see that the little mouse which is practically a guest star in the episode has climbed up and is sitting on top of the clock.