Accompanying Inspector Japp to Brussels, who is receiving an award from the Belgian government, Hercule Poirot tells him a case from 20 years before. Poirot was a young policeman at the time and at the request of Virginie Mesnard, agrees to investigate the death of rising young politician, Paul Deroulard. The courts had already ruled that he had died of a heart attack, but she believes he was murdered. Poirot believed Deroulard had been poisoned, likely from a box of chocolates he had been given by an aristocrat, Xavier St. Alard. In the end, Poirot identified the killer, even obtaining a confession, but chose not to make it public, for reasons that he explains to his colleagues. Written by
The filming locations are carefully chosen as some of the finest in Brussels. However, when Poirot and Japp arrive in "Gare de Bruxelles" - Brussels station, it is actually filmed in Antwerp. Brussels South station, as it would have been for Poirot to arrive from England, has been demolished in the 1950s. Other locations include the Grand Place (bronze statue of t'Serclaes), the tramway museum in Brussels Woluwe, the Cinquantenaire park and triumphal arch, the St-Jan and St-Stephanuschurch. Furthermore the court scenes were filmed in the Brussels Palais of Justice, which was the biggest built in the 19th century in Europe at the time. See more »
Can't you understand! It's our future and Belgium's future that I'm thinking of! The Catholic church has narrowed your mind, Marianne, just as it has my mother's.
But don't you see, Paul? You keep asking me to choose between *you* and my *faith*.
I can't believe what you're saying, Marianne. You mean fresh ideas have no place in your mind? My God, we're into a new century, but you are *stuck* in the last! Just like your damned clergy.
Attacking the church won't help Belgium, Paul. ...
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Somehow I missed this episode when it ran on television the first time. It's very nice to get out of the clichés of the series - as much as I enjoy them - and see Poirot in his homeland. It's almost like you're getting a feature film version of the television series. The settings are wonderful, and the acting is the usual high quality.
I do have one quibble. The director made the decision to have Poirot speak as he always does in England. Which, of course, makes no sense. As Poirot investigates the case in the flashbacks, he's speaking French, of course - it's translated by the actors for our ears. So you have the other Belgians speaking the King's English, but Poirot is still inserting 'merci's.' Once I realized it, I could only think of Inspector Clouseau and his bad French accent in the Pink Panther movies. Only that was a joke. Here, the director must have decided that the audience is used to hearing Poirot mix French with his English, so he would have to do so here. There is a logic to the decision, but I think it assumes that the audience can't deal with Poirot speaking English like the other French-speaking characters. Personally, I would have trusted the audience, and had Poirot speak proper English during the flashbacks. No doubt, some will disagree.
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