Tommy Mayfield is a British industrialist who has developed a new fighter plane. Up to now he has paid all development costs himself and he very much wants the government to contribute. It is reluctant to do so because of an apparent indiscretion some years before when Mayfield was supposed to have sold heavy artillery to the Japanese. In order to get back into the government's good books, he decides to lay a trap for Mrs. Vanderlyn, a known Nazi sympathizer and possible spy. The bait is the plans for the new fighter but Mayfield's wife is so concerned that she asks Hercule Poirot to spend the weekend at their house to make sure Vanderlyn doesn't get away with anything. Written by
I have always loved this series for how absorbing the stories are, how well acted the adaptations are and how sumptuously and classily the series is made. This very early episode is not one of my favourites of the series, and is not quite as effective as Four and Twenty Blackbirds from the first series. And it is not because it isn't a good episode, it is, very in fact, but there are a few scenes towards the beginning that take too long to set up. And while the story is clever and generally absorbing, it is not one of Agatha Christie's best, I did have a good idea who the thief was and it was between the main suspect and the one who actually did it. However, it is very classy-looking, the scenery and costumes especially are just gorgeous really capturing the era. The music is of the usual hauntingly beautiful quality and the writing has its suspenseful moments as well as some delightful quirks such as a fun car chase, Japp trying not to look at the female suspect as she undresses and Hastings recalling that Japp talks in his sleep reliving past arrests. David Suchet still delights as Poirot, while Hugh Fraser and Phillip Jackson share the lion's share of the best moments. All in all, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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