Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 2 Episode 5

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim

4
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 04, 1990 on ITV
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
AIRED:

Matthew Davenheim, a rich banker, disappears on a walk from his country house to the village post office, and Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard is put onto the case. Poirot, who has developed an interest in conjuring tricks, bets Japp five pounds that he can solve the mystery without leaving his apartment.

Meanwhile, Poirot has acquired a parrott - which he finds has its uses.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • When a wealthy banker seemingly vanishes into thin air, Poirot and Japp make a bet: Poirot has to solve the case without ever leaving his flat.

    9.5
    "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" is a very strong episode. Unlike some episodes, all the series regulars are present (Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemon) and it has an interesting twist: Poirot solves the case without leaving his flat. He has Hastings collect clues while he stays at home and his "little gray cells" do all the work.



    It is often hilarious seeing Hastings being forced to ask questions for Poirot, such as the color of a certain man's trousers. Hastings's humiliation is priceless, and Hugh Fraser is terrific.



    Meanwhile, staying home all day, Poirot starts doing magic tricks to amuse himself, with Miss Lemon as his audience. Also, a parrot accidentally comes into his hands. But, of course, when the solution comes to him, he is allowed to leave the apartment to catch the criminal.



    The mystery is interesting, and Kenneth Colley delivers a great performance as Mr. Davenheim. So altogether I would highly recommend this episode.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This episode (along with several others) is penned by David Renwick, the creator of the comedy One Foot in the Grave and the magic-related detective show Jonathan Creek. Both comedy and magic tricks feature heavily in this episode.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Delivery Man: Good day, sir. I've got a parrot 'ere for Mr Poyrott.
      Poirot: Poirot. It is pronounced Pwah-roh.
      Delivery Man: Oh, I do beg yer pardon, guvnor. I've got a pwahroh 'ere for Mr Poyrott.

    • Poirot: (as Hastings moves towards parrot) Please, do not fraternize with that creature. I am still training him.
      Hastings: It's only a parrot.
      Poirot: I was talking to the parrot.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The story, while extremely well filmed, is basically a slightly more elaborate version of the Sherlock Holmes tale, 'The Man with the Twisted Lip'.

      There is an amusing incident at the very beginning. Poirot, Hastings and Inspector Japp are watching, from the dress circle of a theatre, an illusionist perform his act. He has a glamorous assistant with a mask over her eyes and wearing fishnet stockings. Poirot gazes at her in astonishment and then looks quickly first at Japp and then at Hastings, neither of whom has noticed anything amiss. The illusionist makes her disappear in a puff of smoke. The name of the actress portraying her does not appear in the cast list, but the obvious reason for Poirot's amazement is that she bears an astonishing likeness to Miss Lemon.

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim, which was part of a collection called Poirot Investigates (1924).

      The story was first published in The Sketch magazine on 28 March, 1923. It also appeared in the U.S. in December 1923 under the title Mr Davenby Disappears.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The American writer Edward D. Hoch (pronounced hoke) later created a fictional detective called Sir Gideon Parrot (pronounced parroe) as a spoof of Hercule Poirot. The name may owe something to the visiting parrot in The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim.

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