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Murder in the Mews is the second episode of series 1 of the ITV British television drama series Agatha Christie's Poirot featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, first broadcast on 15 January 1989 in the UK. The episode is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie short story of the same name and was directed by Edward Bennett with dramatisation by Clive Exton.

Synopsis[]

"A good night for a murder," says Hastings while he, Inspector Japp and Poirot are enjoying the festivities of Guy Fawkes night. For no one would hear a shot among fireworks. And so it proved, when a young woman named Barbara Allen is found dead in the neighbourhood.

This is only the second episode in the series and like the first, "The Adventure of the Clapham Cook", this adaptation is very faithful to the original story except for the addition of Hastings as a character and the deletion of some minor witnesses.

Comparison with Original Story[]

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

  • In the original story, the gun was found in Barbara Allen's right hand and was free of fingerprints, with a wound on the left temple. The overall impression was that of a murderer trying to fake a suicide but doing it very clumsily.
  • In the adaptation, the gun is in Barbara's left hand (the correct hand for inflicting the wound). It was free of prints except for a thumb and forefinger. This was consistent with someone pressing the dead woman's hand onto the gun. The impression was therefore someone faking the suicide but doing it slightly less clumsily.
  • Instead of Poirot and Japp, it is Jameson and Japp who go to interview Eustace. The interview does not take place at his service flat on the Cromwell Road, but at a club, which apparently he is manager of. The interview runs along the same lines as the original and ends with Eustace being arrested.
  • There is one additional scene where Poirot goes back to 14 Bardsley Gardens Mews by himself. He meets Mrs Pierce. She allows him to search the house and look into the cupboard under the stairs. He notices the golf clubs he saw the previous day is gone. He asks Mrs Pierce which golf course Jane Plenderleith uses.
  • Unlike the original story, in the adaptation Poirot and Hastings actually follow Jane Plenderleith onto the golf course. Poirot actually plays. He asks simplistic questions that suggest he has never played golf before and everyone is very condescending but he takes his first drive and lands a one on.
  • Later Hastings and Poirot actually witness Jane throw the briefcase into the pond and they recover it.
  • The denouement is the same. Barbara was actually left-handed but Jane had tried to convince the police that her friend was right handed. She had however missed important details like the arrangement of the writing instruments and the wristwatch. But why not also transfer the gun to the right hand as part of the fakery?

Cast[]

Tropes and Themes[]

  • Hasting's passion for cars. While Poirot and Japp are interviewing witnesses, he is outside working on his car with the help of Freddie.
  • Poirot's quirks
    • Poirot's obsession with orderliness. He rearranges things while dictating a letter.
    • Poirot's fear of visiting the dentist. The death of Barbara Allen provided just the excuse he needed to cancel his dental appointment.
    • Poirot's concern about the starching of his collars. He is not interested in turned-down collars--that is the first sign of the decay of the grey cells. Hastings thinks turned down collars are more the thing but Poirot is not interested in "thingness".
  • Golf - Hastings and Poirot play a round at Wentworth because Jane is somewhere on the course and they must catch up with her to see what she is doing. Poirot appears to be playing for the first time but tees off and manages a one-on.
  • Art Deco 1930s - 14 Bardsley Garden Mews - especially the interior of Jane Plenderleith's house.

Filming Locations[]

  • Cambridge Gate Mews, London - Bardsley Garden Mews (to be confirmed)
  • Chester Gate, London - Poirot, Hastings and Japp walk down Chester Gate, around No. 3 (51.5276776, -0.1451259). Hastings says it is a good night for a murder.
  • 8 Carlton House Terrace, St. James's, London (Royal Society) - Laverton West's office exterior
  • The Lansdowne Club, Mayfair, London, England, UK - swimming pool
  • The Atheneaum Club, London, England, UK - Scene of Poirot leaving interview with Laverton-West

Gallery[]

Promotional Videos[]

See Also[]

References[]

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