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Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 7 Episode 1

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 02, 2000 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Poirot has retired to the sleepy English village of King's Abbot to cultivate his garden, but even here murder soon rears its head. Following the apparent suicide of a local widow, rumours run wild to the effect that she had murdered her first husband, that she was having an affair with Roger Ackroyd (a rich business man who lives in the village) and that she was being blackmailed. Poirot remains aloof from all this, but when his neighbour Ackroyd too is killed he is drawn into the hunt for a clever murderer. The suspects include Roger Ackroyd's greedy sister-in-law, his chauffeur, his secretary, and his adopted son, Ralph - who quickly disappears from the scene. When he finds out who the killer is, the whole experience is enough to persuade Poirot to pack up and return to London.moreless

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  • "Murder of Roger Ackroyd" takes place in a little village, where his old friend ends up dead. After then Poirot steps out of his retirement to investigate his death - and its connection to that of Ackroyd's friend, the recently widowed Mrs. Ferrars.moreless

    It is one of the most remarkable novels in all of Christie's collection, not least because of its completely unexpected turntable conclusion. This version moves the story towards the end of Poirot's career to better explain his retirement to King's Abbot, an English village like those that later became so crucial to Christie's Miss Marple mysteries. It is impossible to go into details without giving away who the murderer is. Unfortunately, the restructuring necessary to adapt the story from text to film takes away some of the shock value of Christie's original ending, which caused quite a controversy when the book was first published.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Amazingly, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd led to a motion in the committee of the Detection Club for Agatha Christie to be expelled, as she had supposedly "broken the rules". Only the casting vote of Dorothy L. Sayers, the club's president, defeated the motion.

    • Agatha Christie wrote The Murder of Roger Ackroyd during the winter of 1925-26, based on suggestions by James Watt and Lord Louis Mountbatten. The murderer turns out to be Poirot's assistant, Dr James Sheppard, who is the narrator of the book - a trick which had not been thought of in detective fiction before.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Hercule Poirot: I thought I could escape the wickedness of the city by moving to the country. The fields that are green, the singing of the birds, the faces smiling and friendly. Huh! The fields that are green are the secret burial places of the victims of murders most hideous; the birds sing only briefly before some idiot in tweeds shoots them, and the faces all smiling and friendly: what do they conceal?

  • NOTES (2)


    • The critic Edmund Wilson alludes to this Poirot story in the title of an attack on detective fiction called Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?. But how many people have even heard of it?