Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 5 Episode 3

The Yellow Iris

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 31, 1993 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Yellow Iris

Poirot is caught up in a coup d'etat in Argentina and arrested as a spy, which hinders him from solving the murder of Iris Russell at a French restaurant owned by an Italian in Buenos Aires.

Two years later, in London, a dinner-party at a restaurant of the same name marks the second anniversary of Iris's death. The atmosphere is so charged that we almost expect the victim to come back from the dead. And, of course, Poirot traps a killer.


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  • Six people sit at a table, one is poisoned. What a concept!

    This idea, of course, has been done many times over, and a lot of those were from Dame Agatha. Some might argue with holes in the story, like why did the police not arrive to investigate and interview everyone, but that is a liberty given to the mystery genre as a whole. In this case, we follow along and try to catch all the clues. For those not familiar with the book, this is a great whodunit. The actors are superb, and the characters given enough depth that we can draw our conclusions. Poirot discovers enough about each suspect to keep us off balance until the obligatory climax. Set in a backdrop of political turmoil, financial misdoings, and selfish corruption, it is a treat for the eyes and ears. I could almost taste the potassium cyanide in the champagane. It doesn't get any better than this.moreless
  • Cyanide in the champagne - how very Christie

    A good episode, with a little insight into Poirot's past too and one of his few failures (not his fault, of course!)

    A new restaurant is opening in London, and event that sparks off memories of a case years ago in South America, just as a coup was about to happen. A young woman is taken to a party, and during the champagne toast, promptly drops dead. Poirot is present and tries to investigate, but before he can he is hauled off by the authorities as a spy and deported!

    The bereaved husband is determined to hold a similar event years later in London in her memory. But events seem about to take a very familiar turn.

    It's all wonderfully ludicrous, but evocative, with a clever murder method that Christie has used more than once. The acting is fine for the most part, if a little overdone here and there. Production values are of the usual high standard. The story doesn't stand up to a lot of analysis, but then Christie did seem to churn these out at a rate of knots.moreless
Stefan Gryff

Stefan Gryff

General Pereira

Guest Star

Dorian Healy

Dorian Healy

Anthony Chapell

Guest Star

Carol Kenyon

Carol Kenyon


Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Poirot: The English do not have a cuisine. They have food. Overcooked meat, boiled vegetables, inedible cheese. And the day they invent English wine, I am retreating to the Continent.

    • Hastings, (reading a newspaper): There is a new restaurant opening. Says here, 'the best French food in London'. Le jardin de cygnes. The garden of....scenes?
      Poirot: Swans, Hastings. Swans.
      Hastings: Well, maybe they'll be on the menu, then.

    • Pauline Wetherby: Are you really a kind of Sherlock Holmes and do wonderful deductions?
      Poirot: Ah, the deductions - they are not so easy in real life. But shall I try? Now then, I deduce - that yellow irises are your favourite flowers?
      Pauline Wetherby: Quite wrong, Monsieur Poirot. Lilies of the valley or roses.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Poirot and his friends hear the song I've Forgotten You at the Jardin des Cygnes:

      I've forgotten you,

      I never think of you,

      The way you walked, the way you talked, the things you used to say,

      I've forgotten you,

      I never think of you,

      I couldn't say for sure today,

      Whether your eyes were blue or grey.

      I've forgotten you,

      I never think of you,

      Your smile, your touch,

      Which meant so much,

      Somewhere along the way.

      I've forgotten you,

      I never think of you,

      I changed my mind, my love was blind,

      Now I've forgotten you.

      I'm through, thinking of you.

      Oh, what a lie!

      I shall think of you,

      Think of you,

      Think of you,

      Till I die.

    • Don't miss... after Pauline has supposedly been murdered in a restaurant, and Poirot is with the other guests in a back room, the camera passes over a large Amazon macaw in a cage.

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's story Yellow Iris, which was published in The Strand magazine in January, 1937, and turned into a play for BBC Radio the same year. Yellow Iris was later published as part of a collection called The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939).