Peril at End House is the first episode of series 2 of the ITV British television drama series Agatha Christie's Poirot featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, first broadcast on 7 January 1990 in the UK. The episode is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name and was directed by Renny Rye with dramatisation by Clive Exton.
Poirot and Hastings are holidaying when they meet Nick Buckley, a young girl who casually mentions that in the last days, she has at least thrice escaped certain death. Poirot suspects that somebody is out to get her, and his suspicions prove true when murder occurs.
The adaptation is fairly faithful to the original story with some embellishments for drama and humour. Some minor characters are dropped and the character of Miss Lemon is added. She plays a relatively major part in the plot.
Comparison with Original Story
(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)
The film is fairly faithful to the original novel with a few differences:
- The character of Freddie Rice's husband is omitted. Because this character does not appear in this adaptation, the note demanding money, which is a clue found at End House in the novel, and which is revealed to be from him, also does not appear.
- Commander Challenger is arrested by Japp at the end of the show instead of being allowed to go free.
- Colonel Weston doesn't appear. Japp is called in earlier than in the book. Many of Weston's lines are given to Japp.
- Miss Lemon goes undercover to unearth details of Dr MacAllister's clinic in Harley Street. In the novel, the information is provided by Japp.
- Poirot does not go to see Mr Whitfield with Hastings. Hastings is sent to London on the errand on his own. He does not carry a letter of introduction from the Chief Constable and from Scotland Yard. Here he has to rely on his old boy's network--he was at school with Mr Whitfield's son.
- Commander Challenger owns a small boat in this adaptation, which is not mentioned in the novel.
- In the novel, the Crofts were wanted by Scotland Yard for forgery. In this adaptation, they did forge the will, but there is no mention of any previous forgeries.
- In this adaptation, after Nick suffers from cocaine poisoning, Poirot is the only one who knows that she survived, and everyone else is led to believe that she has died, including Hastings and Miss Lemon. In the novel, both Poirot and Hastings know that Nick survived, while Miss Lemon does not appear.
- During the seance at End House, Miss Lemon acts as the medium, while in the novel, Hastings acted as the medium.
- David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
- Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings
- Philip Jackson as Chief Inspector Japp
- Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon
- Polly Walker as Magdala 'Nick' Buckley
- John Harding as Commander George Challenger
- Jeremy Young as Bert Croft
- Mary Cunningham as Ellen Wilson
- Paul Geoffrey as Jim Lazarus
- Alison Sterling as Freddie Rice
- Christopher Baines as Charles Vyse
- Carol MacReady as Milly Croft
- Elizabeth Downes as Maggie Buckley
- Godfrey James as Inspector
- John Crocker as Dr Graham
- Geoffrey Greenhill as Wilson
- Joe Bates as Alfred Wilson
- Jane Paton as Hotel Receptionist
- Fergus McLarnon as Hood
- Jenny Funnell as Nurse Andrews
- Janice Cramer as Maid
- Edward Pinner as Pageboy
- Tony Red Richards as hotel guest (uncredited)
Tropes and Themes
- The Art Deco 1930s
- The Salcombe - used as the Majestic Hotel.
- Lavish scenes
- Poirot and Hastings travel to St. Loo by air, on board a vintage 1930s Dragon Rapide.
- Hastings' hobbies
- He takes an interest in the Chevrolet Phantom belonging to Jim Lazarus.
- Poirot's Quirks
- While dining at the Majestic Hotel, Poirot says that he cannot eat the two eggs that are served to him, because they are of completely different sizes.
- The Salcombe - serviced apartments formerly the Salcombe Hotel in Salcombe, South Devon. Used as the exterior of the Majestic Hotel.
- The Moult - house at South Sands in South Devon near Salcombe. Used for exterior shots of End House.
- Salcombe Yacht Club - exteriors of the Grange Nursing Home.