Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 1 Episode 3

The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 22, 1989 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly
Marcus Waverly, an English country squire, calls on Poirot for help in dealing with anonymous letters threatening to kidnap his son, Johnnie. Hastings is deeply shocked by the thought of people going around kidnapping children, and it becomes a race against time to find out who the mystery letter writer is. Of course, there is a lot more to the mystery than kidnap threats.moreless

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  • Who could possibly kidnap a young boy with half of Scotland Yard keeping an eye on him? Agatha Christie!

    It's a strange episode this. A young boy's life is threatened if the parents do not pay an increasing amount in ransom. The kidnapping is stated to take place at exactly noon on a particular day. The police finally move in, along with Poirot and Hastings, but despite their best efforts the child disappears anyway.

    This is one of those episodes that relies a lot on little conceits and bending of the truth.

    It may be only me, but if my child was threatened with kidnap and I knew about it well in advance, I probably would not be in my own house having him play with a toy car. I would take him well away from where the kidnappers might be. (I do know the denouement and why the parents did not do this, but I would have thought the police or someone would have suggested it).

    There is time switching here too, which I suppose might be okay, but does nobody at all have a watch that they are looking at?

    At the time of the kidnap, when a supposed miscreant is apprehended in the grounds of the house, it is feasible to assume that every other policeman would run from their posts (thereby allowing the kidnap to take place under their noses?)

    Just one or two too many plot devices that do not ring true for this to be a classic episode.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (2)

    • 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.