Poirot (1989–2013)
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Cards on the Table 

The enigmatic, sinister Mr. Shaitana, one of London's richest men, invites 8 guests, 4 of them possible murderers and 4 'detectives' to his opulent apartment.


Sarah Harding


Agatha Christie (based on the novel by), Nick Dear (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Suchet ... Hercule Poirot
James Alper ... Shaitana's Butler
Philip Bowen Philip Bowen ... Mr Luxmore
Cordelia Bugeja ... Mrs Luxmore
Zigi Ellison Zigi Ellison ... Mrs Craddock
Tristan Gemmill ... Major Despard
Alex Jennings ... Dr Roberts
Lucy Liemann ... Miss Burgess
Lesley Manville ... Mrs Lorrimer
Lyndsey Marshal ... Miss Meredith
Jenny Ogilvie ... Millie
Robert Pugh ... Colonel Hughes
Douglas Reith ... Serge Mureau
Alexander Siddig ... Shaitana
Zoë Wanamaker ... Ariadne Oliver


Hercule Poirot finds himself investigating the murder of his dinner host, Mr. Shaitana, who was stabbed in the heart while his guests played bridge. There are eight guests and Poirot finds himself in the company of three other investigators. The foursome interview each of the other guests in turn but make little headway until Poirot manages to reconstruct the various bridge hands played at the suspects' table. In doing so, he is able to identify one particular action that leads him to identify the killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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English | French

Release Date:

19 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| | (11 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alexander Siddig who plays the opening character goes by the name, 'Mr. Shaitana'. Ironically, this name means 'the naughty one' or 'the devil' in Hindi. See more »


During the party, Shaitana talks to a waiter and pushes him towards Poirot and Mrs. Oliver. When Shaitana pushes him, there is one cocktail glass on the tray carried by the waiter. When he approaches Poirot and Mrs. Oliver, there are two. See more »


Ariadne Oliver: I've no idea who the older lady is, Mrs. Lorrimer, but she and the young one
[referring to Anne Meredith]
Ariadne Oliver: have been throwing glances at each other in the most odd manner. Who's the policeman?
Hercule Poirot: Superintendent Wheeler of Scotland Yard.
Ariadne Oliver: [judging Wheeler's expression] Bowel trouble, that would be my guess. And your friend, from the Foreign Office?
Hercule Poirot: Oh, that is Colonel Hughes.
Ariadne Oliver: Secret Service, is he?
Hercule Poirot: [pointedly] Jen sais pas.
See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely flawed, but it's not without its charms.
2 December 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

It's great that Cards on the Table finally introduced the character of Ariadne Oliver, she was brilliantly portrayed by Zoe Wannamaker, she certainly added a zest and spark to the eccentric character.

The first half scores a ten, it is brilliant, it's lavish, deep, dark and utterly engaging, the second half I'd score a 5, it really does go off the boil. Personally I don't think the multitude of changes from the book benefit the screenplay, there are too many gaps. The biggest problem is with the last half an hour, it feels rushed somehow, and is quite at odds with the beginning.

It is however extremely well acted, Lesley Manville is magnificent as always, Alexander Siddig is excellent in his characterisation of Shaitana, a really different role for him. I really enjoyed Tristan Gemmill and Lyndsey Marshal I'm their respective roles.

Gorgeous costumes and set designs, they make it look decadent, but there are some horrible green screen scenes, which look cheap and amateur.

Suchet is so good as always, that bumps it up to a 7/10, it's not the best, but it has enough good elements to make it watchable.

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