London & Scottish bank officer Mr. Shaw is scheduled to ride the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary to transfer $1 million in Liberty Bonds to the banks branch in America. But when Mr. Shaw is first almost run down in the street, and then poisoned, the assistant bank manager must take the bonds instead. The bank hires Poirot to accompany the bonds, so he and Mr. Hastings are able to ride the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary, much to Hastings delight. But when the bonds are stolen, suspicion falls on the assistant manager who has a history of large gambling debts. Written by
In this episode, as in a few others of the series, Poirot has been on the scene of the crime as it took place, instead of trying to solve it after it happened, as happens in the original story. In this particular case, there is no harm done by this particular change, since the screenwriters decided to set the crime on the Queen Mary (I assume they traveled to California to get those shots, since the ship is no longer seaworthy). The scenes on board ship are the only ones that save this episode from having a lower rating.
Once again we have an episode that suffers somewhat for the details that the screenwriter added to the original story. In the original story there was no gambling addiction, no attempted murder, and definitely no accomplice. The gambling addiction and the attempted murder I find to be rather silly but not too unreasonable, but I couldn't get past the addition of the accomplice. Not only was it evident that this extra person was going to play a crucial role from this person's first appearance on screen, and every subsequent appearance as well, but the explanation given at the end just did not work for me. Why did there even need to be an accomplice in the first place? Wasn't it enough that the criminal would have gained a million dollars by being successful? It just left me with a sour taste in my mouth, that no amount of creme de menthe would remove. Ugh.
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