Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 2 Episode 5

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 04, 1990 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim

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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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 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.


    • 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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