Agatha Christie: Poirot: Season 6, Episode 4

Dumb Witness (31 Oct. 1996)
"Agatha Christie's Poirot" Dumb Witness (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Crime
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Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

An elderly woman confides to Poirot that she fears one of her relatives is trying to kill her for her money. He persuades her to disinherit her heirs, but she is murdered anyway.



(novel), (dramatized by)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Morrish ...
Emily Arundel
Patrick Ryecart ...
Kate Buffery ...
Paul Herzberg ...
Julia St John ...
Norma West ...
Jonathan Newth ...
Dr Grainger
Pauline Jameson ...
Isabel Tripp
Muriel Pavlow ...
Julia Tripp
Pat O'Toole ...
Geoffrey Freshwater ...
Sgt Keeley
Jestyn Phillips ...
Tobias Saunders ...


Hastings is invited by his friend Charles Arundell to be at hand when he tries to break a water speed record on a Berkshire country lake, but his boat's engine fails him. At a subsequent reception at the estate of Charles' well-to-do aunt, Poirot and the other guests witness her refusal to continue to underwrite Charles' expensive hobby, and he threatens her. Later, when she is almost killed in a freak accident involving her pet fox terrier Bob, she confides to Poirot that she suspects a family member of trying to kill her to gain part of her estate. The detective advises her to disinherit her grasping relatives and name a friend as beneficiary. Despite this precaution, she dies abruptly under questionable circumstances, but the local authorities refuse to authorize an autopsy. Suspecting foul play, Poirot looks to his wits as well as the Arundell dog, who remains a silent witness to murder. Written by G. Taverney (DUKE1029@AOL.COM)

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Release Date:

31 October 1996 (USA)  »

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| (14 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The portrait painting of General John Laverton Arundell also features in Agatha Christie: Poirot: The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (1991) in two scenes within the Military Club. See more »


A modern mercury vapor street light is briefly visible as a man is pushing a cart along a town street towards the camera as it pans right, just before Emily meets with Jacob in the coffee shop. See more »


Hercule Poirot: You forgot the Sisters Tripp.
Captain Arthur Hastings: Oh those two? They're batty, yes, but not murderers surely?
Hercule Poirot: What is murder but a kind of madness, mon ami?
See more »


Referenced in Monk: Mr. Monk and the Dog (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Suchet almost upstaged by Bob
23 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though David Suchet stars as Poirot in another wonderful adaptation of Christie's, "Dumb Witness," the true star of the film and the one who gives Poirot the final clue is Bob, played by Snubby, one of the most adorable dogs ever to hit the screen.

Poirot and Hastings are invited to watch Charles Arundell, a friend of Hasting's, to watch as he attempts to break a water speed record on a lake. Unfortunately, his boat's engine falters, and he has to jump out.

At a reception later, the guests overhear Charles' aunt refuse to give him any more money for the boat. That night, she is nearly killed when she falls down a flight of stairs. Her dog Bob's (Spunky) ball on the stair is blamed.

Aunt Emily tells Poirot that she's afraid one of her heirs is trying to kill her. He advises her to change her will and leave all of her money to a friend, not tell the friend, but tell the relatives. This way, they won't hurt her, hoping that she will change her mind at some point.

Emily takes his advice, but dies very suddenly. Poirot believes she was murdered and undertakes to investigate, since the local authorities refuse to do an autopsy. Poirot temporarily becomes Bob's owner as well. It's a good match. Poirot believes the dog knows who killed his owner and in time, will give him the evidence he needs.

Clever and entertaining film, and who knew that fastidious Poirot could be fond of a dog, albeit an irresistible one? The Fox terrier breed was popular in the '20s and '30s. It's odd how breeds go in and out of fashion.

There are plenty of suspects, and you'll go from one to the other as Poirot sits through a couple of séances, learns of another murder, and finally refuses to leave for London until a very important matter is settled.

Delightful episode, and a real favorite of mine.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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