When a series of apparently minor thefts plagues a university hostelry run by Miss Lemon's sister, Poirot is recruited to investigate. Celia Austin, a pharmacological major, confesses that she is a kleptomaniac and responsible for most of the thefts but denies stealing several objects including a stethoscope, light bulbs, and a student rucksack. Furthermore, she claims to know the other thief and vows to help return the missing items. Unfortunately someone substitutes an overdose of morphine for one of her sleeping powders, and she takes the identity of the thief to the grave. Japp connects the murderer's m.o. with a cold case he had investigated ten years earlier, but the prime suspect in that crime, a powerful statesman, now lies dying in a local hospital. Despite numerous obstacles, Poirot is able to link the killing to an international diamond smuggling ring but not before the murderer claims more victims. Written by
The adaptation fails portrays the youth hostel as a multicultral hub for both students and travellers, which is how Christie presented things in the original novel. Understandably several racially stereotyped characters were removed, these include Chandra Lal an Indian student, Achmed Ali from Egypt, and Akibombo an African man with a "black woolly head". See more »
Although set at the time of the Jarrow march of 1936, the rolling stock of the London Underground is clearly the "38 Stock" first introduced only in 1938. See more »
Hickory Dickory Dock was a good Poirot mystery. I confess I have not read the book, despite being an avid Agatha Christie fan. The adaptation isn't without its problems, there were times when the humour, and there were valiant attempts to get it right, was a little overdone, and the events leading up to the final solution were rather rushed. I also thought there were some slow moments so some of the mystery felt padded. However, I loved how Hickory Dickory Dock was filmed, it had a very similar visual style to the brilliant ABC Murders, and it really set the atmosphere, what with the dark camera work and dark lighting. The darker moments were somewhat creepy, this was helped by one of the most haunting music scores in a Poirot adaptation, maybe not as disturbing as the one in One Two Buckle My Shoe, which gave me nightmares. The plot is complex, with all the essential ingredients, though not as convoluted as Buckle My Shoe,and in some way that is a good thing. The acting was very good, David Suchet is impeccable(I know I can't use this word forever but I can't think of a better word to describe his performance in the series) as Poirot, and Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran do justice to their integral characters brilliantly. And the students had great personalities and well developed on the whole, particularly Damian Lewis as Leonard. All in all, solid mystery but doesn't rank along the best. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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