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Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Big Four

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 23 Oct 2013
  • TX Confirmed: 

    No
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 43 2013 : Sat 19 Oct - Fri 25 Oct
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    New
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing - in the public domain - until Tuesday 15 October 2013.
 
Four upcoming films will mark the end of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and see David Suchet reprise his iconic role as the world famous Belgian detective for the very last time. After the final film has aired every major literary work by Christie, featuring Hercule Poirot, will have been adapted. 
 
Set against the backdrop of the impending WWII, the first film, The Big Four, plunges Poirot into a world he has never been before – one of global espionage. The public are in panic after the shocking death of Russian grandmaster Ivan Savaranoff (Michael Culkin) and Poirot must try to determine the good guys from the bad, as a complex plot sees a host of international figures used like pawns. 
 
The film welcomes back iconic characters Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Inspector Japp (Phillip Jackson) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran).
 
Adapted by award-winning screenwriter and actor Mark Gatiss and actor Ian Hallard, The Big Four welcomes back iconic characters Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Inspector Japp (Phillip Jackson) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran).
 
 
Episodic synopsis:
 
The world stands on the edge of an abyss as the outbreak of World War II grows ever closer…  
 
In an effort to demonstrate international unity, the Peace Party hosts a grand reception, which re-unites Poirot (David Suchet) with his good friend Japp (Philip Jackson), now Assistant Commissioner of the Met. The illustrious crowd also includes English diplomat Stephen Paynter (Steven Pacey), and the French scientist and Peace Party stalwart, Madame Olivier (Patricia Hodge). The American tycoon, and hearty backer of the Party, Abe Ryland (James Carroll Jordan), fronts the event, which climaxes in an exciting game of chess, where he takes on the reclusive Russian Grandmaster, Dr Ivan Savaranoff (Michael Culkin). 
 
 
But the match has barely begun, when suddenly Savaranoff collapses - dead! Panic quickly spreads when Ryland suspiciously disappears. Daily Comet journalist, Tysoe (Tom Brooke), covers every development in great, sensational detail, claiming the murder to be the work of a group of ruthless political agitators, tagged as the ‘The Big Four’.  
 
Then when Jonathan Whalley (Peter Symonds), the biographer of the Peace Party’s Chinese leader, is also strangely and brutally murdered, the Big Four have the attention of Hercule Poirot and the world.
 
Tysoe is keen to join forces with Poirot, an anonymous source has been feeding the journalist information on the Big Four, apparently a mole from within.  Poirot and Japp decide to pool resources with him when it appears that his informer is murdered – leaving behind evidence, which suggests this dissident and dangerous group is in fact none other than the Peace Party!  A theory only reinforced by the disappearances of Ryland, and then Madame Olivier, shortly after the murder of unassuming conciliator Paynter.
 
Poirot realises that each of these crimes is so dramatic and expertly stage-managed as to be almost theatrical… and the murderer must indeed be a master of disguise in order to pull off such varied and ingenious plans.  Through a scrapbook found at Whalley’s house, he tracks down failing actress Flossie Monro (Sarah Parish), whom he believes may unwittingly be at the root of all this bloodshed.  However, before he can pursue his theories, Poirot himself is also killed! Or is he?  
 
Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) return for the funeral of their old friend, but of course things are never as they seem, and soon the theatrics of the Big Four climax with a deadly final act – but on whom will the curtain fall this time?
 
Cast list:
 
Hercule Poirot - David Suchet
Captain Hastings - Hugh Fraser
Chief Inspector Japp - Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon - Pauline Moran
Madame Olivier - Patricia Hodge 
Flossie Monro - Sarah Parish
Inspector Meadows - Nicholas Burns
Tysoe - Tom Brooke
Dr Quentin - Simon Lowe
Abe Ryland - James Carroll Jordan
Stephen Paynter - Steven Pacey
Diana Paynter - Teresa Banham
Gerald Paynter - Jack Farthing
Dr Ivan Savaranoff - Michael Culkin
Ingles - Nick Day
George - David Yelland
Mabel - Lou Broadbent
Mrs Andrews - Barbara Kirby
Robert Grant - Alex Palmer
Jonathan Whalley - Peter Symonds
Mercutio - Ian Hallard