Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 10 Episode 1

The Mystery of the Blue Train

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 01, 2006 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Mystery of the Blue Train
Poirot meets the beautiful Katherine Grey in a London restaurant and agrees to keep her company on a journey on the Blue Train to the south of France. Katherine has recently inherited a lot of money and has been invited to visit some relations there, but she feels socially intimidated. Also on the train is Ruth Kettering, the daughter of the American oil tycoon Rufus van Aldin, not to mention the husband Ruth has just left (Derek Kettering) and also her lover - but Ruth gets brutally killed on the train, and her famous ruby is stolen. Later, Katherine Grey survives a murderous attack. Luckily, Poirot is on hand to solve the mysteries.moreless

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  • Poirot is back

    Sure, Inspector Japp, Miss Lemon and above all Captain Hastings are missed. But none of those characters were in the book either so plot wise they wouldn't belong anyway. David Suchet is as ever perfect as Poirot, though he seems to have gained just a little weight! He's now almost Peter Ustinov size! The sets are theatrical-movie quality, it's full of period atmosphere, and the casting is almost perfect. I especially liked Georgina Rylance as the shy yet too smart to be taken advantage of Katherine Grey, and Lindsay Duncan as the wacky Lady Tamplin. The only rather flat performances were by Elliot Gould, and Jaime Murray whose work I love from Hustle but had admittedly a rather small role (even though she is the main victim) here. Ruth Kettering sure is a born victim though!

    All in all a welcome comeback of the great Poirot series, and I can't wait for the next one.moreless
  • It's got great production values, acting, and cinematography. Yet there's this inescapeable feeling that something is missing....

    The Mystery of the Blue Train is an OK Poirot episode. However, "OK" for this series is superb compared to many other programs.

    There's no denying that the cast is uniformly excellent. I think that the most impressive performances are that of Georgina Rylance as Katherine Grey and James D'Arcy as Derek Kettering (and of course David Suchet). It's also nice to see Nicholas Farrell, who over 10 years ago played Donald Fraser in The ABC Murders. The cinematography is also first-rate. There are many beautiful images of the French Riveira and the train as it makes the journey throughout France.

    However, there is something that is distinctly missing. As much as I miss Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemon, it is not them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the book was just an expansion of the short story The Plymouth Express, which has already been adapted. There are also some pointless changes (such as a subplot about Ruth's mother being alive) that add nothing to the film, and this could be a part of the problem.

    Altogether, though, this feeling passes when you watch it again. You begin to appreciate its merits and enjoy it as it is.moreless
Elliott Gould

Elliott Gould

Rufus Van Aldin

Guest Star

Jaime Murray

Jaime Murray

Ruth Kettering

Guest Star

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay Duncan

Lady Tamplin

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Poirot: I shall be your avuncular.
      Katherine Grey: Oh, yes, an avuncular, that's exactly what I need.
      Poirot: Papa Poirot, he is at your disposal.

    • Derek Kettering: Excuse me, gentlemen. If I may interrupt proceedings for a moment? La Roche, there was something I was meaning to give you. Ah, yes, here we go.
      (punches La Roche)

      Derek Kettering: (to Ruth Kettering) I've never thought of you as a cow. Perhaps as a horse - in the betting sense.

    • Lady Tamplin (meeting Poirot): This is so exciting, I can hardly breathe!

    • Poirot: There is something about that gentleman which displeases you?
      Van Aldin: I see no gentleman. I see Derek damn Kettering, my damn gold-digging son of a bitch son-in-law!

    • Poirot: Monsieur Van Aldin, may I have a moment?
      Van Aldin: No! Damn it, Poirot, I've had it with your moments!

    • Lady Tamplin: Ah, here they are at last! Katherine, this is my daughter Lenox. And this infant is my husband.
      Lenox: He's not my father, obviously.
      Corky: Oh, no!
      Lenox: That would be the astonishment of science.

    • Poirot: The greatest jewel thief in living memory, without a doubt. But do not be the mere lunatic.

    • Mirelle: I was in bed all night. If you seek corroboration, interrogate my pillow.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's book The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928), which was an expanded version of her short story The Plymouth Express (part of the collection The Underdog and Other Stories, 1926) - so of course the two Poirot episodes based on them have similar plots.

    • The Mystery of the Blue Train was first broadcast on A & E in the U.S., on December 11th, 2005, before its first U.K. screening on New Year's Day, 2006.

    • Agatha Christie described The Mystery of the Blue Train as "easily the worst book I ever wrote".


    • Katherine Grey: I'm going on to Vienna. I'm catching the Orient Express. The idea thrills me, but I suppose you've been on it millions of times.
      Poirot: Not once. But I must!

      This reminds us of Agatha Christie's famous Poirot book, Murder on the Orient Express, which has not yet been adapted for this series. Perhaps it will be filmed soon?

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