Hallowe'en Party is the second episode of series 12 of the ITV British television drama series Agatha Christie's Poirot featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, first broadcast on 27 October 2010 in the UK. The episode is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name and was directed by Charles Palmer with dramatisation by Mark Gatiss.
A girl, who claims to have witnessed a murder, is found drowned at a children's Halloween party.
Comparison with Original Novel
(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)
- Omitted from the adaptation are the characters of Ann Reynolds, Superintendent Spence, Alfred Richmond, Elspeth McKay, Miss Emlyn, Harriet Leaman, Dr Ferguson, Mr Goby, Nicholas Ransom, and Desmond Holland, along with the location of The Elms School, and the investigation into Charlotte Benfield's death.
- Reverend Mr Cottrell and Frances and Edmund Drake are new characters to the story – Cottrell ran a program that supplied au pairs, including Olga, which went downhill when Olga disappeared; Frances and Edmund are Rowena's children, with Frances having been involved in a relationship with Leslie Ferrier
- The garden in the novel is changed from being built in an abandoned quarry, to being a part of the estate owned by Rowena.
- Mrs Goodbody is more involved in the story – she is consulted by Poirot over deaths that happened over the past few years, that could have been murders witnessed by Joyce.
- Certain events and clues were changed – Joyce's appropriation of stories is revealed by Cottrell; Mrs Oliver witnesses Rowena purposely dropping the vase of water near the library; Oliver is bedridden for most of the case following the party, until the end; the fake codicil is revealed by Mr Fullerton, while the real one is found in a picture frame in Lesley's possession; Leopold's body is found by Elizabeth Whittaker, and the scene visited by Poirot; Rowena comes to Poirot twice, before and after Leopold's murder, to give false reasons for her dropping the vase and where he was during the party.
- Janet White's first name is changed to Beatrice, and her death was a result of suicide by drowning, due to personal issues–-she could not deal with people commenting about her sexuality, and so decided to end it all, leaving a note to Whittaker, who had loved her. Whittaker hid the note to prevent Janet being given an unconsecrated grave.
- A major number of changes were made for the final scene, including the denouement:
- Judith and Miranda are not taken away by Poirot, but Miranda sneaks out of her mother's home to meet Garfield.
- Garfield is caught by the police while trying to kill Miranda in a pagan fashion at the garden, and does not kill himself with poison.
- Olga's body is found after the arrest of Garfield and Rowena. There is no well or knife found with it. The motive for her murder was modified – Garfield was not her lover, whilst Rowena was confronted about the codicil, as Olga knew she must have had it switched for a fake one and knew she was having an affair with Garfield. Her body was buried by Garfield only, witnessed by Miranda who was visiting the garden at the time of Olga's murder.
- The death of Rowena's husband is explained in the adaptation as being murder, committed by Garfield for Rowena and blamed on young tearaways.
- Rowena learns from Garfield the truth, in that he was only interested in the money and making a new garden, never loving her, and thus quickly hates him as a result.
- David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
- Amelia Bullmore as Judith Butler
- Zoë Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver
- Deborah Findlay as Rowena Drake
- Mary Higgins as Miranda Butler
- Sophie Thompson as Mrs Reynolds
- Georgia King as Frances Drake
- Ian Hallard as Edmund Drake
- Timothy West as Reverend Cottrell
- Fenella Woolgar as Miss Whittaker
- Macy Nyman as Joyce Reynolds
- Richard Breislin as Leopold Reynolds
- David Yelland as George
- Paola Dionisotti as Mrs Goodbody
- Julian Rhind-Tutt as Michael Garfield
- Paul Thornley as Inspector Raglan
- Vera Graziadei (credited as Vera Filatova) as Olga Seminoff
- Phyllida Law as Mrs Llewellyn-Smythe
- Eric Sykes as Mr Fullerton