Poirot attends the Victory Ball, a costume party where you are expected to dress as someone famous, as himself. However, when two members of a party of six dressed as characters from classical Italian comedy are subsequently found dead, Poirot finds himself working with Chief Inspector Japp to solve the case. The solution to the deaths of Viscount Cronshaw and Coco Courtney is to be found in determining the correct time of death and identifying an impostor at the ball. Poirot takes to the airwaves and reveals the identity of the killer on a live BBC radio broadcast. Written by
This story can be found in a couple of collections of short stories written by Agatha Christie; "Poirot's Early Cases" and "The Underdog and Other Stories". See more »
At 46min:50 sec, Poirot leaves the radio studio through the left brass door and the camera on a tripod as well as the cameraman's reflection is seen on the closed right brass door. See more »
The Harlequinade, ancestor of the English pantomime. Six characters. Garish, grotesque. First brought to life three centuries ago by the clowns and the actors of the Italian fairgrounds. Today, mere costumed characters at a masked ball. Where now their mystery, their magic, their comedy, their tragedy?
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My favorite part of this episode was the connection to radio, which was not in the original story. The story itself is routine; a man is found murdered at a large costume party, and the woman who is initially suspected is found dead herself a short time later. One senses that somebody is going to have disguised themselves as someone else, etc. But, from the first words Poirot speaks in the opening scene, I said to myself, "Wait, Poirot is narrating his own story? He's never done that before." I enjoyed the various references to radio plays throughout the episode, and especially liked the very last scene. As many times as Christie was criticized for the peculiar way she had Poirot speak English, at least he had a good excuse for not speaking BBC English. Japp, on the other hand...
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