Agatha Christie's Poirot

Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989)

15 mistakes in The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Plot hole: The killer has a perfect (in movie logic at least) plan but he amplifies its risks to 1000000% getting caught on purpose with an incriminating item that links him to his secret identity and that is amazingly likely to have him questioned and face the wife of the deceased (who recognizes him in 0.5 seconds) and other witnesses. Even without Poirot it is impossible to imagine a trial happening without him having to appear in some capacity. And in this TV dramatization, the motive of Lowen to hate Davenheim is obvious, but not the other way around, so it appears even more baffling that he'd utterly ruin his perfect escape just to mess with a rival apparently he had a upper hand on. Moreover, the dramatization makes his plan even more absurd, as instead of pawning the valuable ring like in the original and being only marginally involved, here he has it days after the murder, and robs the Inspector chief! Any bobby would do. Finally, here he also wears prosthetics, again drawing attention.

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Other mistake: When Japp and the bobby arrest the pickpocketer, the dialogue says "It was only last week that we put him inside for three months" which obviously does not make sense. In the original story he did the 3 months of jail the year before, and this has to be a flub in the lines of this TV version (it is specified also that he did those in the winter, so the Sergeant can't possibly mean that he was released last week). (00:35:00)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Factual error: At Poirot's, Hastings browses a copy of Speed magazine - but it's the August 1936 issue. The story is set in mid-October 1935 (not just for consistency with the rest of the season, but also because the newspaper brought by Hastings towards the end mentions Duff Cooper as Financial Secretary for the treasury, which is a position held in that year before the elections - which are also mentioned). (00:18:30 - 00:43:40)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Plot hole: The safe is behind a painting that acts like a real door. When Mrs Davenheim spots it, it's wide open. But Japp questioned her in the same room and the painting was in place back then. It really makes no sense that with a story depicted as being so big (it makes the first page of the national newspapers) and with an investigation in place, nobody in a week has checked the safe at all. (00:27:50)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: During the conversation between Lowen, Hastings and Japp through the car window, in his close-ups Tony Mathews moves his torso closer to the window and then back towards the wheel, several times. That is not always reflected accurately in the reverse shot with just the shoulder visible. For instance, right at the end of the scene, he leans in saying "Good God, you don't think you can keep a thing like that secret, surely", but his body is exactly in the same spot in the shots before and after. (00:24:20 - 00:25:10)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Other mistake: Lowen allows Hastings inside his Bugatti, but then leaves to join a member of his staff who beckoned him. We actually see him in front of the staffer and the person with him. Cue Japp, who has then a little comical interlude with Hastings for about 20 seconds. Cut then to Lowen who.is just now being introduced to the guy he came over to greet. Surely he has not been standing in awkward silence all that time. And even if we assume that this conversation is supposed to happen simultaneously to the Hastings and Japp show, it is half as short, meaning it would have cut into their antics when he ends it by yelling at them. (00:23:15)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Factual error: Poirot reads a fake copy of the Daily Express with a big article about the mystery disappearance. What makes it a not so believable fake, besides the odd artwork instead of a picture (a clash of style with the real Express first pages), is that you can make out of the words of the article closest to the camera, and like it happens to other props used this season, it mentions the Abyssinian crisis...but saying that "Mr. Churchill himself made the only speech." Churchill was not in office in the 30s. (00:17:05)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Factual error: It is shown explicitly that the disappearance of Mr. Davenheim includes the fact that before going to his study at 4:30 PM, he starts the record player, with Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture", and that the record stops at 4:45 PM. The problem with it is that Mrs. Davenheim during the whole 15 minutes stayed in the same spot, absent-minded, and in 1935 a recording of that song would have been on a three sided 72 rpm record, since 33 rpm LPs were introduced in 1948. (00:03:15)

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Agatha Christie's Poirot mistake picture

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: The race is presented through actual footage of the era, with a cameraman from Pathe shown, saying that Lowen's car is number 3. But the car shown in the stock footage is different from the one Lowen is driving, which does not even have the number in the same position. (00:33:10 - 00:33:45)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: Japp taunts Poirot, presenting him with the mystery. While he does that, he turns around towards himself the magic book. When he leaves, Suchet reaches for the book that is more distant from him and turned the 'right' way. (00:12:00)

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Agatha Christie's Poirot mistake picture

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: When Poirot at dinner asks the first question (the bathroom one), he does not have his large napkin in his vest. When he asks the second one (the bedroom one), the napkin he had for all the rest of the scene is back. (00:40:15)

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Agatha Christie's Poirot mistake picture

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: When Poirot does the newspaper trick for Miss Lemon, the final reveal has him present the newspaper holding it between index and thumb in the front view, index and middle with the thumb sticking out in the back view. (00:42:10)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Character mistake: The magician's assistant wears a costume that leaves her legs exposed, and the costume itself vanishes. The trick can't go as Poirot describes to Hastings and Japp (and it is made with a TV editing trick). (00:07:05)

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Agatha Christie's Poirot mistake picture

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: Carving the distant relative of his parrot for dinner, Poirot slices one side in the close-up, which turns out to be the exact opposite side in the wider shot. (00:38:35)

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The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim - S2-E5

Continuity mistake: When Poirot's castle collapses, the cards are all in perfect order, but become scattered after the cut to Japp. (00:35:40)

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The Cornish Mystery - S2-E4

Hercule Poirot: A doctor who lacks doubt is not a doctor. He's an executioner. (00:14:40)

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More quotes from Agatha Christie's Poirot

Problem at Sea - S1-E7

Trivia: Poirot in the ship's lounge is reading the actual May 1st 1935 issue of Bystander (recognizable by the cover and with the correct page order, does not seem to be a simple movie prop), roughly consistent with the time frame of the first season and a contest taking place on the 14th. (00:07:50)

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