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Death on the Nile is the third episode of series nine of Agatha Christie's Poirot. It was broadcast on 12 April 2004. The episode was directed by Andy Wilson and the screenplay was written by Kevin Elyot. It was an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.


Poirot embarks on a cruise ship on the Nile, where he gets to know Linnet Ridgeway, a rich American heiress on her honeymoon. The idyllic stay is hampered only by the spiteful presence of her former friend Jacqueline, who vowed revenge after Linnet stole the heart of her boyfriend. Murder is in the air...

Comparison with Original Novel

Spoiler warning: A spoiler is announced! The following section contains details about Death on the Nile novel and adaptation.

This adaptation is very faithful to the original novel.

  • Some minor characters are dropped. Fanthorp's role is partly replaced by Ferguson. Richetti is also not cast and the entire espionage subplot which involved Colonel Race is eliminated.
  • Bowers is not cast and part of her role is merged with Cornelia Robson.
  • Fleetwood is not cast and this removes one possible suspect.
  • Rosalie Otterbourne does not end up with Tim Allerton. She does show her affection but he turns her down.
  • The route of this cruise is different from that in the novel. In the original the boat departs Shellal near Aswan for Wadi Halfa, stopping at Abu Simbel. In this adaptation, the boat departs Luxor and appears to cruise nearby, Karnak, Dendera and Valley of the Kings. It does not go to Abu Simbel. Presumably there are more spectacular filming locations in this region. However Race tells Poirot he wanted to join Poirot as they cruise "upriver". The boat does not really cruise up river. The rock fall incident which took place at Abu Simbel in the original thus takes place at Dendera.
Spoilers end here.


Tropes and themes

  • Spectacular scenery - shot mainly on location, the show includes many of the actual places visited during the cruise.
  • Loneliness - the later episodes in the series explored the topic of Poirot's loneliness. There is a scene of him discussing this with Jacqueline de Bellefort while on the boat looking into the evening sky. See also Mrs McGinty's Dead.
  • Forgiveness - Poirot's compassion in allowing the culprits an honourable or less painful way out. This is also a recurrent theme in the later episodes in the series.

Filming Locations

  • Eltham Palace, Court Road, Eltham, London - As Wode Hall.
  • Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel, Luxor
  • P. S. Sudan - as the S. S. Karnak. Agatha Christie took a cruise on the Sudan in 1933 and this inspired her to write the novel.
  • Luxor Temple
  • Dendera Temple complex
  • Valley of the Kings


Promotional Videos

See Also