Agatha Christie: Poirot: Season 3, Episode 8

The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (17 Feb. 1991)
"Agatha Christie's Poirot" The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Crime
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 345 users  
Reviews: 6 user

Poirot is asked to protect a woman from her violent husband, but events take a turn when the husband soon becomes the victim of a gruesome murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colonel Curtiss
Caroline Langrishe ...
Marguerite Clayton
Major Rich
Edward Clayton
Antonia Pemberton ...
Lady Chatterton
Sam Smart ...
Edward Clayton ...
Metin Yenal ...
Richard Cawte ...
Young Officer
Victoria Scarborough ...
Party Dancer
Christopher Lamb ...
Party Dancer


Lady Chatterton asks for Poirot's assistance when she comes to fear for the safety of her friend, Marguerite Clayton. Specifically, she is convinced that Marguerite's husband Edward Clayton, known for his violent temper, will kill her. Poirot is invited to a party in order to meet Clayton, but he never shows up. The next day, Poirot finds himself being interviewed by Inspector Japp when Edward Clayton's body is found hidden in an elaborate Spanish chest located in the same room as the party the previous evening. When Marguerite's friend Major Rich is arrested for the murder, Poirot correctly deduces the true nature of the crime and the identity of the culprit. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 February 1991 (UK)  »

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(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


Hastings & Poirot pass a portrait when leaving the Military Club after meeting Colonel Curtis - the camera actually moves in on it - and again later, when Poirot visits the club a second time. This same portrait is used to represent General John Laverton Arundell in Agatha Christie: Poirot: Dumb Witness (1996). See more »


Chief Inspector Japp: [to Poirot] I don't know why I bother sometimes. I may as well stay at home and do my garden. Who do you want me to arrest now?
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User Reviews

Agatha spoons another horror from the stock of nightmares.
6 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

As I recall this episode it pulls shivers up my spine. The episodes in the television adaptation of Poirot were a bit hit-and-miss, but the particularly brutal murder method in this episode found solid anchor in my brain and still lies tethered thirteen years later. It's so memorable that the mere mention of the series or a even just a glance at another episode brings back this horrid mish mash of Nyctophobia, Claustrophobia and ghoulish ocular trauma.

Imagine yourself trapped inside a trunk -- though matchbox coffin might be more apt. You know the lid isn't locked in place. You could leave if you really wanted, but to escape would reveal yourself to a room that would find you so socially abhorrent that you can just about ignore the nagging compulsion. Light intrudes through a keyhole and those cramps in your constricted limbs, begging for the closest release, persuade you to peer into the glaring stream. As your eye adjusts at a distance that allows unobstructed survey of the room, a long thin object blocks your vision; it punctures your cornea, pushes swiftly through your retina and follows the optic nerve deep into your brain. Here you will remain, undiscovered until the morning, in what you correctly identified as your coffin.

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