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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 1, Episode 7 - Problem at Sea - full transcript

Poirot's Mediterranean cruise is disrupted when an unlikeable passenger is found murdered in her stateroom.

The whole art
of clay-pigeon shooting

lies in the timing.

The trick is
when I say "pull" --



My fault.
Should have warned you there.

Weren't you ready?

Oh, no, it's all right.

I say, they go out
jolly quickly, don't they?

Do you want a go?

No, I think I'll learn
the shooting bit first.

Can you reload that, Pamela?

Oh, I don't know.

They go in here, don't they?

Shall I, miss?

I'm perfectly capable,
thank you very much.

Well, we'll leave
the reloading for a minute.

You see, when I say "pull" --

Morning, Hastings!
Lovely day!

Morning, General!

Morning, ladies!


Well, now, Kitty,
why don't you have a try?

If you don't practice, you won't
be ready for the championship.

It's all set for the 14th.

Ah, morning, Mr. Russell.
Racing, eh?

Good morning, Mr. Poirot.

Bonjour, Captain Fowler.

Good morning, M. Poirot.

Bonjour, Mlle. Morgan.

You're in good voice, eh?

Thanks to your Captain Hastings,
Mr. Poirot.

He's got us all organized.

Captain Hastings
is very good at that.

I thought the general
was awfully good last night,

with his recitations
from Swinburne.

Oh, yes, the general recites
poetry with true military vigor.

Perhaps your niece can also be
persuaded to entertain us

one evening.

Perhaps she will,
Mr. Poirot, perhaps she will.

Excuse me.


Of course, the actual wound
I got was ludicrously minor.

I felt a complete fraud.

I'm sure it wasn't minor.

Oh, I assure you it was.

Mind you, I was convinced
I was going to die.

But that's only
because I'm a coward.

Oh, John.

Oh, good morning, General.

Morning, Reverend.

Good morning, General Forbes.

Morning, Miss Henderson.

Fine day -- little breezy.


Oh, good morning, M. Poirot.

Mme. Clapperton.

Have you seen John?

Ah, yes, he is on the foredeck,

Oh, shall I?

Sit down, M. Poirot.

I didn't see you at dinner
last night.

No, no, no.

It was just a shade choppy,
of course.

Well, no, I was --

I am an excellent sailor.

The one thing I must not do
is overtire myself.

I live so intensely, if you know
what I mean, M. Poirot.

Oh, yes.

As a matter of fact,

I nearly wore myself out
as a girl in the war.

My hospital.

You've heard about my hospital.

Of course, I had nurses and
matrons and that sort of thing,

but I actually ran it.

Your vitality is formidable,
dear lady.

"You're so alive, Adeline,"
they say to me,

but really, M. Poirot,

what would one be
if one wasn't alive?

Dead, madame.

I must find my husband.

You won't find sharks
in the Mediterranean.

Oh, there you are.

Oh, hello, my dear.
I did find you a chair.

Would you like it in
or out of the sun?

Not in the sun, if possible.

Ah, right, there you are.

Are you -- Are you going to be
warm enough?

I'm freezing.

Oh, well, I'll find...

I'd take a hatchet to that woman
if I were her husband.

Bonjour, monsieur.

Ah. How's that?

I knew a woman like that once
in Hyderabad.

Absolutely poisonous.

In '87, that was.

And did anyone take a hatchet
to her?


Last time I saw her,
she was on her third husband.


Position is everything.

If you lose your balance,

you could swing round and shoot
a hole in the mast -- or worse.

Colonel Clapperton?


Such a soldierly looking man.


He was in the Guards,
wasn't he, General Forbes?


Before the war, that fellow was
on the music-hall stage.


Fact -- music-hall stage.

War comes along,
they start letting anyone in.

Hun drops a stray bomb --
pure good luck --

he goes home with a flesh wound
in the arm.

How did he meet Mrs. Clapperton?

Mrs. Clapperton?

Lady Pardot, she was then.


He got into her hospital

Did it have anything to do with
him being wounded, do you think?

Oh, yes, he had to be wounded.

You should get a bit of
exercise, Miss Henderson.

Does you no good sitting
around thinking, you know.

No, I know.

Unfortunately, my religion
forbids it at this time of year.



I mean, um -- Well.


Oh, hello, Dermot.

I've been trying to talk to you

ever since you both came
on board.

I don't see that we've a lot
to say to each other, have we?

Oh, surely, after all the...

What do you want?

I was just --

Were you spying on us?

I wanted to clear your trays,

Well, get on and do it, then.

I am a happily married woman,
General Forbes.

It's her family
I feel sorry for.

"No soldier songs," I said,
"no Indian love lyrics."

What does she sing?

"The Army of Today's All Right"
and the "Kashmiri Love Song."

You can't expect no better
from civilians, sir.

We're all civilians now, Bates.

The trouble
with a cruise like this

is you're forced to suffer
amateur entertainment

night after night.

Oh, well, we rather enjoyed it,
didn't we, Molly?

What did you think,
Colonel Clapperton?

John would have been quite happy

to sit and listen to that
dreadful woman for hours.

He has no taste at all as far
as anything artistic goes.

It's true.

Mrs. Tolliver's artistic.

That must be a great solace
to you.

We're really looking forward

to seeing the museum
in Alexandria tomorrow.

John and I won't be going

We never bother
with antiquities.

One must live in the present,
don't you find?

My house has nothing in it
older than three years.

I'll have to be selling my car
next year, then, darling.

My car... I think, John.

Certainly, my dear.
Your car.

Voil ce qu'on appelle
la "pukka sahib."

Twenty past 10:00.

Ah, indeed.

Well, what about bridge?


Yes, bridge.

Come on.
We can use the dining table.

Oh, may we join you?

What about you, Clapperton?

Oh, John won't play --
most tiresome of him.


You can join us if you like.

What was your name again?

Tolliver, Mrs. Tolliver.

And I'm her husband --
Mr. Tolliver.

What a clever arrangement.

-A kidnapping! A kidnapping!

You're coming with us.
It's a kidnapping.

A Clapperton-napping!
To the boat deck!


Don't be foolish, John.

You'll catch a chill.

Not with us, he won't.

We're hot stuff.

Anyway, there's a moon.


Do you ever go down
on your knees

and thank God you didn't have
any children?

Well, as a matter of fact,
we did.

Two --
a little boy and a little girl.

Oh, for heaven's sake,
get on and deal.

I know it's the most awful
romantic clich,

but the moon is beautiful,
isn't it?


It is like
a giant oeuf en cocotte.

M. Poirot.

Honestly, I thought
you said you were going to play.

I want to ask your advice

on a matter
of the English language.

I'm sure you don't need that.

Ah, mademoiselle is too amiable,

But, no, just now,

Mme. Clapperton said
that John won't play bridge.

Is not "can't play"
the usual term?

She takes it
as a personal insult

that he doesn't play, I suppose.

The man was a fool
ever to have married her.

Oh, many odious women
have devoted husbands, eh?

It is an enigma of nature.

Which is perhaps why
the estimable Captain Hastings

has not yet taken the plunge
into matrimony.


You're not entered for the
clay-pigeon championship yet,

are you, Miss Henderson?

Uh, no, I don't think
I really mean to --

Hastings, can't you talk
of something else for once?


No, no, I'd love to talk about
the clay-pigeon championship,

but tomorrow, perhaps?

I have some letters to finish

that I want to post
in Alexandria.

Good night, Mlle. Henderson.

Good night.

Good night, Miss Henderson.

Good night.

Oh, Hastings, Hastings.


Whatever is the use

of me introducing you
to nice young ladies

if all you do is talk about the
shooting of the clay pigeons?

But they like it.

You heard
what Miss Henderson said --

she'd love to talk about it

Oh, Hastings, Hastings,

Now pick a card.

No, don't show me.

Now, remember what the card is
and put it back into the pack.

That's good.

Now, just a little shuffle.

Your card.

Isn't that clever?

I see you enjoy playing cards,

even though
you do not play bridge.

I have my reasons
for not playing bridge.

I'll show you.

Sit down.
We'll play one hand.

You can shuffle the cards,
Mr. Poirot.


You see, any man who can deal
his partner and adversaries

any hand he pleases

had better stand aloof
from a friendly game of cards.

But how did you do it?

I mean, it all looked
perfectly ordinary.

Ah, the quickness of the hand
deceives the eye.

You could go on the stage
with that, Colonel Clapperton.

Yes. Quite.

Well, I hope I haven't bored you
with my little demonstration.

Goodnight, ladies, gentlemen.

Did I say something wrong?

I don't know, Hastings.

I really don't know.

Oh, we ought to get off now.

You'll come with us, won't you?

You wouldn't let us go ashore
by ourselves?

Hey, miss, miss, miss.

Oh! Please go away.

Genuine bits from the tombs
of the pharaohs.

I don't want any pharaohs' bits.

You see?
Awful things might happen to us.

Well, I certainly don't think
you should go alone.


But I'm not sure
if my wife feels up to it.

I mean, uh -- boo.

She can have a nice, long rest.


Well, I'll go and have a word
with Adeline.

We'll come with you.

Yes, perhaps we can persuade her
to come.

Who's that?

Adeline, my dear, it's John.

The door's locked.

I don't want to be disturbed
by the stewards.

Bonjour, ladies.

We're trying to get him
to ourselves for the day.

Lure him into the suq.

Cajole him into the casbah.

What about coming ashore?

Certainly not.
I've had a very bad night.

I'll stay in bed
most of the day.

Well, I think I might go,

Oh, do as you like,
John, for heaven's sake.

Uh, do you mind if I just
come in and get my Baedeker?

Yes, I do mind.
I'm not getting out of bed.

Do go away, John, and let me
have a little peace.

We can go now.

What about your passport?

In my pocket.

Glory be!

Hey, miss, miss.

No, no, no, please, please,
I really must go.

Real amber bits, miss.

Pharaoh's gold, miss.

How much are those amber ones?


No, that's far too much.

Mine's 100, miss.

100 -- give the missus.

Oh, very well.
Look, I'll take the amber one.

But after that I really must go.

Here -- clear off, you.

You're not allowed down here.

Cheeky blighter.

Ah, Hastings,
are you ready to go?

All set.

Going ashore, General Forbes?

Well, yes, very probably.

I'll see.

See you later.

I think we ought to avoid
the usual sort of tourist thing

as much as we can, Poirot.

Good, good. I am absolutely
in your hands, Hastings.

Be looking fiercer, savage.

No, no, no, no, no, no,

Now you look merely constipated.

It's all very well for you.

This camel's jolly uncomfortable
for sitting on.

It's sharp.

Good morning, M. Poirot.

Ah, bonjour, Mlle. Henderson.

Good morning, Captain Hastings.

Oh, good morning.

Like that.

Harder. Ready.

Doesn't he look dashing?

Oh, yes, indeed.

You know, he looks as if
he is summoning up the courage

to order the second tea cake.

M. Poirot, have you
seen the Clappertons ashore

this morning?

I believe Mme. Clapperton was
spending the day in her cabin.

Ah, and what about
Colonel Clapperton?

Ah, let me think.

He came ashore -- yes, no,
certainly, he came ashore.

It's just that there was
some talk last night

of us all coming ashore


M. Poirot?

Yes, mademoiselle?

Was Colonel Clapperton alone
when he came ashore?

Was he alone?

Let me think.

Maybe someone was with him.

Miss Mooney and Miss Cregan

Ah, yes, yes,
the two little girls, yes.

They're not children, M. Poirot.

Oh, no.

Nor am I.



Very good...

I say, Poirot --
look at these pomegranates.


I don't think they like you
to touch the fruit,

Captain Hastings.


M. and Mme. Tolliver,
what a pleasant surprise.

Are you alone?

Oh, quite alone, yes.

Oh, that nice General Forbes
joined us for a while,

but he had to rush back.

He wasn't feeling at all
the thick.

-Gyppy tummy, I dare say.

Now, we were just about
to take some lunch.

Would you care to join us?


In a native place, you mean?

I say.

Why not, Molly?
Let's give it a go.

Count me out, Poirot.

I think I'd better be getting
back to the ship.

Ah, must you desert us,

Ah, one or two things
to catch up on, you know.

Very well.

M. and Mme. Tolliver and I
will see you back on board ship

late afternoon.


We'll let the two girls go first

because they're
the least experienced.

Then it better be
General Forbes.

He's an old hand
at this sort of competition.

We can't do it in the middle
of Alexandria harbor, sir.

Oh, I don't see why not, Bates.

If we shoot in the general
direction of the open sea,

there's nothing much parked
out there.

Moored, sir.


Well, I'm sure the harbor master

will have something to say
about it, sir.

Started in India, you know.

Beg your pardon?

Had its origins in India --
clay pigeons.

Oh, really?

In the 13th century.

it was bows and arrows then.

And they didn't have
that catapult thing.

Just had these fellows
with tremendously strong arms.

Oh, best to leave her to it,
I think.

Yes, she probably will.

Come along, Pamela!

Ah, Mlle. Mooney
and the Colonel Clapperton,

you had an enjoyable day ashore,
I trust?


Come on, Pammy!

I'll see you at dinner, perhaps.

I hope so.



Adeline, my dear?


Huh. It's locked.

You do not have your key?

I'll find a steward.


-Ah, Poirot.
-Uh, steward!

We seem to be having
some trouble

with the clay-pigeon


It was originally planned, you
see, to take place on the 14th,

but it seems that we dock
at Haifa on the 13th.

And that's one of those places

where we more or less have to go
ashore and look at the ruins

while they revictual the ship.

Now, that leaves the 15th,
the 16th, and the 18th.

The 17th is no good

because that's the night
of the captain's party.

Oh, my God!

My God!

She -- She's dead.

Fetch the captain, mon ami.

Look at this, Poirot.

One of the souvenir sellers
must have dropped it.

The devils.

Colonel Clapperton,
what a tragedy.

Can you help us with this,
Mr. Poirot?

I want to avoid involving the
Egyptian police, if possible.

Yes, Captain, perhaps I can.

Is anything missing,

as far as you can tell,
Colonel Clapperton?

My wife always keeps -- kept --

always kept some cash

in the second drawer
of the dressing table.

It seems to have gone.

How much was that?

Between 20 and 30.

Anything else?

Her jewels.

There weren't very many.

Most of them were in
the captain's safe.

Well, perhaps you could let us
have a description of them?

Well, I'll try.

I don't know if I can remember
them very exactly.

No, no, no, no.

I know the headband thing she
was wearing last night has gone.

What can you tell me about this?

That's not my wife's.

You're quite sure?

Quite. She'd never wear
a thing like that.

It was found on the floor,
between the two beds.

Then someone
must have dropped it there.

Would you say that your wife had
any enemies?

Certainly not.

Colonel Clapperton,
you have been most helpful.

Thank you very much.

May I offer you my condolences.

If there's anything we can do,

Thank you, Captain.

There's nothing.

Nothing can bring Adeline
back again.

Good God.

Murdered, General Forbes.

Good God above.

You were acquainted with Mme.
Clapperton before this voyage,

I think?

I knew Adeline
when she was Lady Pardot.

I knew her before that,
when she was Adeline French.

I was ADC to her father back in
'92, when she was 7 years old.

Good God,
I can hardly believe it.

I was in love with her
for years.

She was not always
the silly woman she became.

You must not incriminate
yourself, monsieur.

Incriminate myself?
How could I?

M. and Mme. Tolliver tell me

that you came back to the ship
before lunch.

What of it?

Saying that you were ill?


All right, no.

I came back to talk to Adeline.

I hadn't seen her for 17 years,

not since the war,
just after Pardot died.

I thought there might be
a chance for me yet.

But I didn't, uh...

I mean, she was in mourning.

Of course, that didn't deter
a man like Clapperton.

You came back to the ship
to talk to Mme. Clapperton?


Tell me what happened
when you got back to the ship.

Well, nothing happened.

I went to her cabin and knocked,
but she didn't reply.

So I went back to mine...

and had a nap.

Well, what do you say,
Mr. Poirot?

One cannot hurry
the little gray cells, Captain.

You rounded up
the souvenir wallas yet?


Actually, one of them identified
Miss Henderson

as having bought
an amber necklace.


Come in.

Yes, Bates?

I've carried out my examination
of the body, sir.



The deceased died from a knife
wound to the upper thorax, sir.

Good God, Bates, we can all see
that for ourselves.

I'm sorry, sir, but I've
only got me first-aid book,

haven't I?

At what time did she die,
M. Bates?

Oh, it's difficult to say, sir,

what with the weather being
so warm and --

Never mind about that, Bates.

What we want to know is -- what
time was Mrs. Clapperton killed?

About 10:00 this morning, sir.

10:00, eh?

Give or take an hour or two,

Oh, dear God.

It's all right, Kitty.

You weren't to know, old thing.

Who is it?

It is I, Hercule Poirot.

All right, Kitty.

Oh, hello, M. Poirot.

Bonsoir, Mlle. Cregan.

May I come in for a minute,


I-I only have one question.

No, it's just that Kitty's
making such a blessed racket.

Oh, dear, dear.

She blames herself, you see.

Well, and me.

But how can she blame herself?

Well, we did say some pretty
dreadful things about her.

My dear Mlle. Cregan,

if everyone on board

who had said unpleasant things
about Mme. Clapperton

were to make as much noise
as your friend,

this vessel would become
a danger to shipping.


You hear that, old girl?

What was the one question?

Oh, it is quite simple, really.

You both left the ship
this morning at 9:30

with the Colonel Clapperton,

You know we did.
You saw us.


So, please tell me --

was Colonel Clapperton with you
for the whole day,

until you got back to the ship
at 4:00 this afternoon?

Yes, absolutely,
every minute of the day.

He doesn't think --

Oh, no!


Every minute of the day,
you say?




Well, we went to a caf
for some tea at about 12:00.


And he --
Colonel Clapperton, that is --

Well, he went to the, you know,
for a couple of minutes.

Ah, I understand.

But just for a couple
of minutes, you say.

Well, one doesn't time it.

Oh, no, you don't!

You've got one or two questions
to answer, my lad,

unless I'm very much mistaken.

I didn't kill her.

You had her jewelry.


She was rich.

What did it matter to her?

Come, M. Skinner!

Mme. Clapperton is dead!

You are caught red-handed by
my colleague, Captain Hastings,

trying to sell the jewelry
of Mme. Clapperton!

You admit that you let yourself
into her cabin --

She was dead already.

I shouldn't have took it,
not when I saw she was dead.

If I'd known
there'd be trouble...

Do you believe him?

Yes, I think I do.

Me too.

So, we're back
to the souvenir hawkers.

Why do you not consider
one of the passengers, Hastings?

The passengers?

Well, who?

Colonel Clapperton?

Got a watertight alibi.

General Forbes?

What about Mlle. Henderson?


Well, I think perhaps
she has the motive, no?

She's a lady, Poirot.

And you think, mon ami, that
ladies do not commit murder?

Ladies don't get found out.

Mme. Clapperton had been
dead for at least five hours

when she was found.

A small amount of money
and some jewelry had been taken.

A string of beads was on
the floor, near to her bed.

The door was locked
and the key missing.

And the hatch which gives
onto the deck was open.

What are you driving at, Poirot?

Mme. Clapperton had locked
the door from the inside.

We actually heard her say so

If Mrs. Clapperton
could lock the door,

she could unlock it, too,
I suppose.

Prcisment, precisely,

which leads us
to the inescapable conclusion

that Mme. Clapperton unlocked
the door

and let in the murderer.

Miss Henderson,
I hope you don't mind me asking,

but you bought an amber necklace
yesterday, didn't you?

Yes, I did.

How did you know that?

The captain mentioned it.

He just happened to mention it.

Would you mind
if I had a look at it?

I'm afraid I've lost it.

I must have dropped it
somewhere, put it down.

I don't know.

Yes. Right.

Of course.

I thought Mrs. Clapperton

a very unpleasant woman.

In fact, I don't think anyone
on board ship really liked her,

but, surely, who would have
reason to kill her?

Mademoiselle, it is the opinion

of every person on board
the ship

that the Colonel Clapperton
would have been quite justified

in taking a hatchet to her.

Now, that was an expression
I actually heard used.

But he had an alibi.

He was onshore all day
with the two girls,

and he did not return to the
ship until 4:00 that afternoon,

by which time Mme. Clapperton
had been dead for many hours.

Seems to me we're back
to General Forbes

as our only suspect.

Ah, bonsoir, Mlle. Morgan.

I want, please, to ask a favor
of your niece.

Our niece?

Very well.


Good evening, Ismene.

I want to borrow somebody
from you, if I may.

Uh... ladies and gentlemen...

tonight I shall offer you
a garland

from our national poet,
Mr. Rudyard Kipling,

starting with "The Ladies."

"I've taken my fun
where I've found it,

I've rogued an' I've ranged
in my time.

I've 'ad my pickin'
o' sweet'earts.

An' four o' the lot was prime.

One was an 'arf-caste widow.

One was a woman from Prome.

One was the wife
of a jemadar-sais.

An' one is a girl at 'ome.

"Now --"

Pardon me, Mr. Russell.

Oh, that's all right.

Uh -- "Now I aren't no 'and
with the ladies.

-For, takin' 'em all --"
-I'm sorry.

I-I have to make
an announcement.

If you'll be good enough
to sit down, sir.

You come and join us,
Mr. Russell.

Ladies and gentlemen,

you all know what a tragedy
occurred yesterday.

And I am sure you will all
want to cooperate

in bringing the perpetrator
of the foul crime to book.

As you know, we are fortunate
enough to have on board with us

Mr. Hercule Poirot,

who is probably known to you all

as a man who has wide experience
in such matters.

I hope you'll listen carefully
to what he has to say.

Mr. Poirot.

Thank you, Captain Fowler.

Mesdames et messieurs,

what I am about to do
may surprise you a little.

It may occur to you that
I am eccentric, perhaps mad.

Ah, you may say,

"The little Belgian detective is
taking leave of his rocker," eh?

But I can assure you,
behind my madness is,

as you English say...




A suitcase.

How uninteresting.

Nothing is less interesting
than a suitcase, yes?

And you are right, except...

suitcases have contents.

It's a doll.

Yes, a doll.

Except this doll...

is an important witness...

to the truth of who killed...

Mme. Clapperton.

But how is it this doll
can tell us what it knows, huh?

But this is a doll...
that can speak.

You have not heard of dolls
that can speak?

Yes, of course you have.

All we have to do is put this
doll back in the suitcase --

ah --
where we cannot see her.

She does not like to be seen,
this little lady.

Do you, ma petite?


Now, can you tell us anything

about the death
of Mme. Clapperton?

What is it, John?

Door's locked.

The door's locked.

Don't want to be disturbed
by the stewards.

I don't want to be
disturbed by the stewards.

Y-You --

Stop him, somebody.


Take him to my quarters.

Ladies and gentlemen,
if you would clear the room.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Did I do it right, Mr. Poirot?

Oh, yes... ma petite.

It was you, General,
who gave me a valuable hint

with your mention
of the music-hall stage.

I puzzle, eh?

I think.

And then,
the evening before the crime,

Colonel Clapperton pretended to
give himself away.

He wanted us to believe
that he was a conjurer

because then it would
never occur to us

that he was, in fact,
a ventriloquist.

And that's what he did

when you heard him talking
to Mrs. Clapperton

through her cabin door.


And by then,
she was already dead.

Excuse me.

What about the necklace
on the floor?

Was it Miss Henderson's?

No, it was put there
to make us think

that some native thief
was the killer.

But that it cast suspicion on
someone who really cared for him

was the cruel irony.


I am sorry, mademoiselle.

He didn't do it for me.

It was those girls' youth.

It made him feel his slavery.

He wanted to be free
before it was too late.

We all have such dreams.

When did you guess it was him?

His self-control
was too perfect.

No matter how galling was
the conduct of his wife,

it never seemed to touch him.

That either meant
that he was so used to it

that it no longer stung,

or else he knew his bondage
would soon be over.

It was a cruel, dirty trick
you played, M. Poirot.

I do not approve of murder.