After Poirot pays a routine visit to his dentist, the doctor apparently shoots himself to death a short time later. Chief Inspector Japp appropriately recruits the detective as both witness and consultant.
Poirot pays what appears to be a routine visit to Dr. Morley, his dentist, but shortly after he leaves the clinic, the doctor is found dead with a gunshot wound to his temple, an apparent suicide. Poirot suspects foul play, and all those who entered the doctor's offices after Poirot left are suspect. They include Alaistair Blunt, a prominent and very influential bank director, Frank Carter, a young fascist thug with a personal grudge against Morley, Mr. Amberiotis, an enigmatic recent arrival from India suffering from a toothache, and Mabelle Sainsbury-Seale, a charity worker also recently returned from India. When Amberiotis is found dead in his hotel room from an overdose of Novocaine and Sainsbury-Seale disappears, Poirot rightly expands his list of suspects and connects the crime to events that occurred in India 12 years earlier. Written by
G. Taverney (email@example.com)
Philip Jackson who played Japp in this TV adaptation, also played Japp in a BBC radio 4 production of One Two Buckle My Shoe. Poirot was played by John Moffatt See more »
As Alastair Blunt visits Mabelle and Gerda in their dressing room (in India in 1924) a stage hand is rigging a Strand Pattern 23 lantern outside the door - these were first manufactured in 1953. See more »
Except for two elements, I found this among the better of the David Suchet versions. Its a remarkably complex mystery and it is sketched out well enough. The business about the open appointment book could have been made clearer earlier.
The characters are less outrageously drawn than usual. Its perhaps less entertaining that way, but when it is done, it distracts from the core value of the project. Timing, diversions and deception and incredible planning all hallmarks of the best Christie. The sets astound me every time I see these. Its amazing the trouble they go through on exteriors.
What I disliked was the way they bludgeoned us with the title. In the books, such things are subtle. Here, perhaps 20 times we see two schoolgirls playing hopscotch, often overlain on events. Its absolutely frustrating, and one wonders about how stupid the adapter thought we were.
The other absolutely superfluous think involved lengthy old newsreels about the prince visiting India. It was of no consequence in world affairs then, some nitwit on tour. But it has nothing whatever to do with this story. None. None whatever.
Now that I write about its flaws, maybe this isn't among the best.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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