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In the novel The Moving Finger, Colonel Appleton lived in the nearby village of Combeacre. He only makes a single incidental appearance in the book where he was a guest of Richard Symmington and plays bridge there. He is described as "a perfect specimen of the "Blimp type" and about sixty years of age. During the bridge game, Colonel Appleton was facinated by Joanna Burton and kept looking at her.

Portrayals

Appleton is not featured in th BBC 1985 adaptation of the novel which formed part of the Miss Marple series.

In the ITV 2006 adaptation of the novel (Episode 2, Series of Agatha Christie's Marple), the role of Appleton is expanded. He lives in Lymstock and is among the first to receive an anonymous poison pen letter. In it, the writer states that he knows about Appleton's lechery. Appleton's wife also knew about it and it destroyed her. Appleton was believed to have committed suicide after receiving the letter. His death is the event which brought Miss Marple to the village early in the show--she was an acquaintance and had come to pay her respects. Miss Marple thought that Appleton did not strike her as the kind of person to commit suicide on account of an anonymous letter. Later Cardew Pye reads a letter from Appleton in which he explains why he killed himself--because he was concerned the writer of the poison pen letters might reveal his secret relationship with Pye. Here Appleton has the first name "Heracles". The actor who played Appleton is not credited.

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