Monday, April 28, 2008


I once wrote about how the Doctor of the 'Doctor Who' TV series and that of the many novels - no matter which incarnation - are from different universes. The proof of that was in the last season, in connection to the stories 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood' and 'Blink'. The original novel for 'Human Nature' was written for the Seventh Doctor; Sally Sparrow in the original short story from which 'Blink' was adapted was about 12 years old.

That same argument can be made for Hercule Poirot as well, because of the novel "Cards On The Table" and its adaptation starring David Suchet as the Belgian detective.

In the novel, Poirot was assisted by three other - "for want of a better term" as Ariadne Oliver said - sleuths in solving the murder of Mr. Shaitana. Ms. Oliver, the mystery novelist, Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard, and Colonel Race of the Foreign Office. (That's probably code for "MI6 Spy".)

Colonel Race had appeared in a 'Poirot' production before "Cards On The Table"; he was played by James Fox in "Death On The Nile". However, Fox was not available for this continuation of the role, so the producers - bless their pea-picking hearts! - chose not to turn Race into a recastaway (and thus spared Toobworld Central the headache of splainin it away). Instead, the character's name was simply changed to Hughes and Robert Pugh - recently seen as the adult Jonah Bevan in the 'Torchwood' episode "Adrift") played the part.

(By not recasting the role, 'Poirot' is more "realistic" than shows like 'Seinfeld', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'The Sopranos'.)

There was another alteration as well. Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard became Superintendent Wheeler instead. And therefore, the worlds of literary Poirot and televised Poirot were sundered.

By the way, Poirot was portrayed on radio by John Moffatt (with Donald Sinden as Colonel Race) and that would be an entirely different universe as well - not just another dimension.

Toby OB

"Never trust the Welsh."
Ariadne Oliver
'Poirot: Cards On The Table'

That quote just seemed to jump out at me for some reason.... Bwahahaha!

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