While Poirot is staying at an exclusive Cornish resort, he meets a beautiful heiress whose life is in danger.



(novel), (dramatisation)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Magdala 'Nick' Buckley
John Harding ...
Commander George Challenger
Bert Croft
Mary Cunningham ...
Paul Geoffrey ...
Jim Lazarus
Alison Sterling ...
Freddie Rice
Christopher Baines ...
Charles Vyse
Carol MacReady ...
Milly Croft
Elizabeth Downes ...
Maggie Buckley
Godfrey James ...
John Crocker ...
Dr Graham

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While enjoying a vacation at an exclusive resort on the Cornish coast, Poirot and Hastings meet beautiful young heiress Magdala Buckley. Known to her friends as Nick, she confides to them that she has recently survived several events that might have taken her life: a heavy-framed picture dropping on her head, a boulder falling off a cliff, and failed brakes. When Poirot notices a bullet hole in her hat, they put her under their protection and discover that her dead fiance, a noted aviator killed in a tragic accident, had named her as heir in his will. In the interim, his wealthy uncle is found to have died, making her the unexpected beneficiary of a great fortune. Poirot realizes this inheritance is the motive for continued attempts on her life, and in his quest for the the truth, he uncovers a tangled web of greed, forgery, drug addiction, fraud, poison, and murder. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

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Release Date:

7 January 1990 (UK)  »

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| (14 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The first two-parter in the series. See more »


Twice in the episode, Poirot mentions that the murderer failed four times. However, the murderer actually (allegedly) failed five times: the falling painting, the failed brakes, the boulder, the bullet that put a hole in Nick's hat, and the killing of Maggie instead of Nick. Incidentally, the bullet in Nick's hat is never explained in light of the solution. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Hastings: Looks just like a patchwork quilt, doesn't it?
Hercule Poirot: [eyes closed tight, clutching armrest] No!
Captain Hastings: Well, it does to me. Does to everybody else.
Hercule Poirot: Not to Poirot!
Captain Hastings: Oh, I suppose you don't think that looks like a great mass of cotton wool.
Hercule Poirot: No!
Captain Hastings: I don't think you've got *any* imagination at all, Poirot.
Hercule Poirot: [opens his eyes] That is true, mon ami. But fortunately you have enough for both of us; it is extremely valuable to me.
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User Reviews

Wonderful early episode from the series.
18 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I really liked this adaptation of Peril At End House, actually it's one of my favourites. In fact, my only complaints are some slow moments, and they seemed to have left out the character of Frederica Rice's husband. Although the latter is forgivable, seeming as in the book Frederica's husband is only treated as a suspect, and you don't meet him properly until the denouncement. That said, this is one of the more faithful adaptations of the Queen of Crime's brilliant books. Visually it is a marvel to look at, the Cornish coast was like looking at a work of art, and the music is absolutely beautiful. The script and plot are both solid and complex in construction, and so is the acting, with David Suchet impeccable as Poirot and Hugh Fraser and Phillip Jackson sterling as Hastings and Japp. Everyone else was fine as well, but I have to mention the debut of Polly Walker. What a debut it was! Polly looked stunning beyond words, and was a revelation as Mademoiselle Nick Buckley. The part when Nick "comes back from the dead" was one of the most dramatic scenes in the entire adaptation, perhaps even the most dramatic, and it was such an effective scene. Here, there are plenty of poignant moments and some laugh out loud ones too, making this along with Five Little Pigs and Sad Cypress one of the better Poirot adaptations. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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