Poirot (1989–2013)
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The Theft of the Royal Ruby 

Poirot reluctantly agrees to help an Egyptian prince recover a valuable royal ruby that was brazenly stolen from him during the Christmas holidays.


Andrew Grieve


Anthony Horowitz (dramatized by), Clive Exton (dramatized by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Suchet ... Hercule Poirot
Frederick Treves ... Colonel Lacey
Stephanie Cole ... Mrs Lacey
David Howey ... Jesmond
Antony Zaki Antony Zaki ... Prince Farouk (as Tariq Alibai)
Helena Michell Helena Michell ... Sarah Lacey
John Vernon John Vernon ... David Welwyn
Nigel Le Vaillant Nigel Le Vaillant ... Desmond Lee-Wortley
Robyn Moore Robyn Moore ... Gloria
John Dunbar John Dunbar ... Peverill
Alessia Gwyther Alessia Gwyther ... Bridget
Jonathan R. Scott Jonathan R. Scott ... Colin (as Jonathan S. Bancroft)
Edward Holmes Edward Holmes ... Michael
Siobhan Garahy Siobhan Garahy ... Annie Bates
Susan Field Susan Field ... Mrs Ross


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder mystery | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

24 February 1991 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


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 duke taught me'." See more »


The shot of Annie the maid during the family's introduction to Poirot is a stolen shot from the final scene where Poirot tells her she has his eternal gratitude. See more »


[first lines]
Prince Farouk: One of my father's most valued possessions. From the reign of the Pharaoh Pherisees.
[Waiter empties Champagne into his glass]
Prince Farouk: Some more.
Waiter: Yes, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: And some coffee for the woman.
Waiter: Very good, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: [as Iris rises] Where're you going?
Iris Moffatt: Just going to powder my nose; won't be a minute.
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Deck the Halls
Traditional tune, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant
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User Reviews

Rather obvious but with much to redeem it
26 June 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I have always been a big Agatha Christie and Poirot fan, so naturally I do love the Poirot ITV series. The Theft of the Royal Ruby is not one of the jewels of the series(After the Funeral, Sad Cypress, Five Little Pigs and Wasp's Nest) but hardly one of the bad eggs either(in fact none of them are actually terrible as such, but there have been three or four disappointments like Taken at the Flood, Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Adventure of Johnnie Waverly and Cards at the Table). I do agree that in regards to the story there are far more ingenious entries to the series, the story here doesn't hold that many surprises in regard to the perpetrator's identity and there seems to be a lot of coincidence also. However, the adaptation is very sumptuously made, as ever elegant and evocative with lots of attention to detail, and the music is of the hauntingly beautiful quality you'd expect. The dialogue has many droll and intelligent moments, and the acting is very good with David Suchet as always impeccable as Poirot. But what also made the episode worth watching was its sense of warmth and atmosphere for the Christmas season, it does have a likable and heart-warming feel to it which I loved. In conclusion, not one of the best but worth watching all the same. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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