Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013)
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Four and Twenty Blackbirds 

When a reclusive painter is found dead, Poirot finds the vital clue in the dead man's last meal.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Howard ...
George Lorrimer
Tommy Pinner
Charles Pemberton ...
Geoffrey Larder ...
Harry Clarke
Denys Hawthorne ...
Holly De Jong ...
Dulcie Lang
Philip Locke ...
Mrs. Hill
Marjie Lawrence ...
Irene Mullen


The estranged, elderly Gascoigne brothers are found dead within days of each other. The one, Anthony, died in his home in Brighton in circumstances that give no cause for suspicion. The other brother, Henry, an eccentric, reclusive painter, however, has fallen downstairs and been dead for some time before his death is discovered. Poirot had been eating in the same restaurant as Henry just before the death. Henry had been pointed out as a creature of habit, a man who always ate exactly the same meal on every visit. On this last occasion, though, he had had a completely different set of courses, which leads Poirot to suspect foul play. Written by don @ minifie-1

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murder mystery | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

29 January 1989 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


During Poirot's and Hastings' visit to a music-hall, a modern 'EXIT' sign is clearly visible in the background. See more »


[first lines]
Doctor: There's very little I can do for him now, Mrs Hill. He's very weak.
Mrs. Hill: Oh dear! Is there no hope?
Doctor: I'm afraid not. It's more a matter of hours, rather than days, now. Doesn't Mr Anthony have any relatives?
Mrs. Hill: There's a brother, Henry, but they haven't spoken in twenty years.
Doctor: No one else?
Mrs. Hill: Well, yes. There's Mr George, his nephew, in London. I expect he'd want to know.
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User Reviews

Four and Twenty Blackbirds
10 June 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Poirot is having dinner at a restaurant the waitress draws his attention to a old man, an artist with a strict routine.

He eats there on a certain day and has a particular set of dishes but recently he has varied the days he attends and the menu which piques Poirot's little grey cells.

The old artist is soon found dead from a fall, he was an eccentric who did not allow his paintings to be sold. Now he is dead, the paintings are valuable.

Suspicion falls on his twin brother, they both fell out some years earlier over a woman and not spoken since then but he too also dies after suffering a long period of ill health.

As Poirot states, there is a significant lack of suspects in this matter so the suspect is rather obvious. What we do get is Hastings being interested in the cricket score which is a running theme in this episode. The director also pays great attention to period detail with money spent on art production and extras such as the pier scenes.

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