Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 1 Episode 5

The Third Floor Flat

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 05, 1989 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Third Floor Flat
Poirot is feeling terribly bored, as he has had no murder cases at all for several weeks. He takes Hastings to see a new whodunnit at the theatre, to relieve the boredom. But just a few hours later, Poirot is disturbed in his own apartment by the strange shooting of Mrs Grant, a resident of his building, Whitehaven Mansions. Two young couples find the murdered woman's body in the third-floor flat two floors below Poirot's, and it soon appears that bigamy may be the key to the mystery. But is it?moreless

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  • The Third Floor Flat This episode from the First Season was on the Biography Channel this afternoon. I had never seen this episode, but I found it to be quite amusing and entertaining.moreless

    Hercule Poirot is one of the greatest fictional detectives/characters of all times. I admire him almost as much as I admire Det. Sherlock Holmes. It seems a little odd to refer to them as dectectives, but that's exactly what they are. In this particular espisode, Hercule isn't feeling too well seems to have a cold and he's bored. He's out one day mailing a letter and Capt Hastings drives up with the top down on his car. Capt Hastings makes a remark to Poirot and Mr. Poirot replies that it's a wonder that he doesn't have a cold driving around with the top down. Hastings responds that his auto wouldn't give him a cold. "It runs like a bird"

    Hercule replied, "Hastings, birds don't run. If you'd been paying more attention in biology class you would have known that".

    I certainly hope that this series is not cancelled. It would be a great loss to those of us who really appreciate

    intelligent detective drama/mystery.moreless
  • Clever, funny and a good mystery.

    I really like this episode. It has the quaint settings, attention to detail and a very good short story to support it.

    My only complaint is that Josie Lawrence wasn't in it long enough. She's best known probably to English audiences as a comic actress and comedienne (and brilliant improvisor). Here she plays very much down as an almost dowdy woman with a mean streak.

    It's a good, if improbable story, based as it is on the one-time predictability of the mail in London - something that long since went by the wayside. The ease of getting in and out of people's apartments via this strange 'dumb-waiter' contraption is also something that I'm pretty glad today's burglars don't have access to.

    I do like the allusion to the criticism often aimed at Christie that she held back information, so it was impossible to solve the crimes. I'm not sure this is true really. Sure, the details were often sketchy and she did take some liberties with what you thought you already knew, but she was mostly fair.

    Definitely one of the better ones.moreless
Suzanne Burden

Suzanne Burden

Patricia Matthews

Guest Star

John Golightly

John Golightly

Removal Man

Guest Star

Josie Lawrence

Josie Lawrence

Mrs. Grant

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The shots of Poirot's Whitehaven Mansions building were taken at Florin Court in Charterhouse Square, near Holborn, London EC1.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Third Floor Flat, first published in Hutchinson's Story Magazine in January, 1929 and later included in the collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950).

    • At the beginning of The Third Floor Flat, Poirot and Hastings go to the theatre to see a whodunit, and during the intermission Poirot confidently names the killer. When at the end of the play this solution proves to be wrong, Poirot complains of being cheated, as the mystery depended on information the audience did not have. But Agatha Christie's sense of mischief is at work, as her story The Third Floor Flat (and thus this episode) proceed to do exactly the same!

    • Poirot begins this episode with his head under a towel, breathing the steam from a basin of hot water, because he has a cold. By the end of the story, which is on the following day, the cold has been forgotten - the business of crime-fighting has done the trick. Poirot even says he had no cold, saying haughtily that he does not get sick! This is competely in keeping with his character: simultaneously dignified and childish.