While accompanying his friend Hastings to a dig in Iraq, Hercule Poirot becomes involved in the murder of an archaeologist's wife. The victim, Mrs. Leidner, had been receiving threatening letters signed by her first husband, who was known to have been killed in a train wreck. Did he survive? Was it his younger brother who was avenging his memory? Did Miss Johnson get rid of her rival for her employer's affections? Did Richard Carey kill the woman he publically announces that he hates? Is the French priest really who he pretends to be? And how many deaths will occur before Poirot unmasks the murderer? Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When in the Bagdad hotel Superintendent Maitland and Poirot enter the room with the "dead" body of Joseph Mercado, you can see the actor of Mercado just open his left eye preparing the subsequent close shot of his face. See more »
[excavating the body of a child]
Poor little beggar! He's about... six years old I'd say. Sent into the next world with nothing but a little pot and a couple of bead necklaces.
Perhaps that is all any of us need, Mademoiselle Johnson.
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Thanks to the Archeological Site of Oudhna. See more »
Decent on its own merits, but a mediocre adaptation of Chrisite's novel
This episode of David Suchet's Poirot series is entertaining enough, but strays quite a bit from Dame Agatha's novel. Nurse Leatheran is removed from her role as narrator and assistant to the great detective, similar to that of Dr. Sheppard in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (the same adjustment is made in the TV adaptation of that book). The assistant role is then mostly filled by Captain Hastings, who does not appear at all in the novel. At least two members of the archaeological team (and therefore that many potential suspects) are removed from the story, and some that are left in (including the main victim) are not developed even to the degree that they are in the novel. Christie is always fairly minimalist in her character development; characters are explained only as much as the plot requires, and this adaptation falls short even to that degree. To satisfy TV's blood lust, I guess, there is also an additional murder in this adaptation. Most of the changes to the story have the effect of granting Monsieur Poirot additional screen time and importance, which is understandable for TV, especially given how good Suchet is in this role, but is very far from the novel, in which Poirot does not appear until after the first murder, well into the story.
Those who have problems with the more recent Geraldine McEwan "Miss Marple" series might not like this very much either, though it does at least resemble the original in most important plot points. It's not bad, but in my opinion, the story as originally written was much more interesting.
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