When Prince Farouq of Egypt foolishly lets a tart wear a fabulously valuable royal ruby, she simply walks away with it. With Hastings away in Scotland for the Christmas holidays, Poirot finds himself spending Christmas with the Lacey family. Colonel Lacey, a well-known Egyptologist, was one of the few people who knew the ruby was in England. As Poirot investigates, he learns that the Colonel is having financial difficulties and also that one of the house guests, Desmond Lee-Wortley, may not be of the soundest character. With the help of the children in the household, Poirot sets a trap for the thief. Written by
David Suchet was a guest at a lunch with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. When Suchet chose a mango from a fruit bowl but didn't know the proper way to peel it, the Duke demonstrated. Suchet later asked the scriptwriters to include the incident. On screen, Poirot peels the mango, and says, 'A certain duke taught me'." See more »
The cook had prepared two plum puddings, a large one for Christmas and a smaller one for New Years. The larger one was dropped while being cooked and it was stated that the smaller one was served at Christmas but during the meal it was obviously the larger pudding served. See more »
For the most part, this is an entertaining episode. There were not too many extra frills necessary to fill this out, but I did appreciate the way they used Egyptology to connect Poirot to King's Lacey, (although, the prince being from Egypt, I don't see why they couldn't have made more of a connection there). I enjoyed Poirot's playfulness here, from his initial reaction to the Belgian chocolates, to his mango cutting demonstration, to his willingness to play along with the little "show" the kids were putting on for him, to the gracious way he treated the maid who tried to warn him. (Annie Bates? Didn't the maid from the Adventure of the Clapham Cook also have that name? And didn't she also get similar treatment from Poirot? Coincidence?) In the original story, the villain was shown to be a very unpleasant fellow, I wish they had spent a little more time with that here. But mostly, I was unhappy with the way they portrayed the prince as such a childish brat. That was unnecessary, I thought.
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