Mrs McGinty's Dead is the first episode of series 11 of the ITV British television drama series Agatha Christie's Poirot. It was filmed in 2007 and first aired on 14 September 2008. Besides David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, the episode also featured Zoë Wanamaker in her second appearance as Ariadne Oliver (who first appeared in Cards on the Table) and Richard Hope as Superintendent Spence (who first appeared in Taken at the Flood). The feature-length episode is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nick Dear, and the episode was directed by Ashley Pearce.
Comparison with Original Novel
The adaptation is fairly faithful to the novel, albeit with the deletion of several characters and a few small changes:
- The Burches moved in to Abigail McGinty's cottage after her murder. As such, the Kiddle family is not featured.
- The Sunday Comet article only talks about two women: Lily Gamboll and Eva Kane, instead of the original four.
- The Wetherbys are not featured so there is no Dierdre Henderson as a potential love interest for Bentley. As such Maude Williams' affection for James Bentley is made more prominent. Maude does admit liking Bentley in the original novel but this is played up in the show. At the end of the story, Poirot pairs Bentley up with Maude. In the original he had decided to pair him up with Dierdre because Maude was too energetic for him.
- Maude Williams also helps Poirot like in the novel. However, here she does not pose as a domestic help in the household of the Wetherbys. She pretends to be doing real estate surveys and while at the Carpenter's, discovers a picture of Eve Carpenter in her former occupation as an exotic dancer.
- Dr Rendell is not suspected of having murdered his wife. Here Poirot hears rumours that he once performed euthanasia on a number of terminally ill patients. However Poirot found that he did not appear to benefit financially from his actions and decides to leave the matter be.
- It is Shelagh Rendell and not Dr Rendell whom Poirot suspects had pushed him under the oncoming train at the station.
- The character of Edna is not featured. Instead, the witness who saw a woman entering Mrs Upward's house is now the postmistress Mrs Sweetiman. She is having an assignation but this is now with Joe Burch and not with Charlie Masters. For this purpose, she becomes Miss Sweetiman and not Mrs.
- David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
- Joe Absolom as James Bentley
- Simon Molloy as District Judge
- Richard Hope as Superintendent Spence
- David Yelland as George
- Sarah Smart as Maude Williams
- Raquel Cassidy as Maureen Summerhayes
- Richard Dillane as Major Summerhayes
- Simon Shepherd as Dr Rendell
- Emma Amos as Bessie Burch
- Billy Geraghty as Joe Burch
- Ruth Gemmell as Miss Sweetiman
- Mary Stockley as Eve Carpenter
- Zoë Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver
- Paul Rhys as Robin Upward
- Siân Phillips as Mrs Upward (as Siân Philips)
- Catherine Russell as Pamela Horsfall
- Amanda Root as Mrs Rendell
- Richard Lintern as Guy Carpenter
- Philippa Burt as Court Attendant (uncredited)
- Alex Dee as Sommelier (uncredited)
- Leighton Haberfield as Sergeant (uncredited)
- Lexie Lambert ... Eva Kane (uncredited)
- Richmond Theatre - Robin Upward's play is performed here
- The village of Hambleden in Buckinghamshire - Broadhinny
- Horsted Keynes Station on the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex as Broadhinny Station
- St Ann's Court, Chertsey, Surrey - Carpenter's house
- Harpsden Court, Henley-on-Thames - Longmeadows
- Hertfordshire House, Coleshill Lane, Amersham, Buckinghamshire - Crossways