Creating the Chronology

© ITV

Welcome! My primary goal with this blog is to help fellow fans of the ITV Agatha Christie’s Poirot series create a reasonable and believable chronology of all the 65 episodes (so far). The posts on this blog will tell the story of my ‘journey’, re-watching episodes and double-checking details. I have tried to make a complete chronology, while at the same time providing you as readers with all the details I've been able to find, so that you can make up your own minds as to what is correct and not in chronology terms (or, what works and what doesn't).

This project began over a year ago, when I first read a post in the ‘Have Your Say’ forum at the Agatha Christie web site (www.agathachristie.com) titled ‘Poirot TV Chronology’. The title caught my attention immediately. Did the television series really have a chronology at all? I had seen the ITV documentary called Super Sleuths: Agatha Christie’s Poirot (2006), in which the presenter claims that the producers of the series decided to set all Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels and short stories in 1936. But with the number of short stories and novels in mind – 54 and 33 respectively – I was struggling to see how this could be possible. Or rather, I knew it wasn’t possible and wanted to know if the producers really could have been that thoughtless! So I read the forum posts, and I soon realized that a few of the forum members were actually trying to make sense of it all, carefully reporting back on findings in the different episodes.

As far as I know, the discussion on the forum was  never completed, and I more or less forgot the whole thing. But then, last spring, I decided I wanted to examine to what extent the Poirot producers actually had been able to stick to some sort of a chronology. So I took my time, re-watching ALL the episodes, looking specifically for any signs of dates, years, historical and social references. My plan was to put all the references in order and create a chronology of my own.

Is this an impossible task? Yes, to a very large extent. And I might as well say it: I haven’t completely succeeded. As you will see, I have taken some enormous liberties with some episodes – especially the ones with any reference to Captain Hastings’s marriage and the Argentine (see the 'Hastings Storyline'). I suspect most of the series' writers haven’t given chronology a thought at all (and I guess most viewers haven’t either). And that’s – of course – completely OK. The trouble is that some writers definitely have – without  double-checking the references they give. And that’s not OK. At least not for anyone trying to make sense of what they have written (like me!). Anyway, the bottom line is that I have run into some difficulties. Yet difficulties are there to be solved, aren’t they? So, Ive managed to make a reasonable chronology (at least to me). See this post and this post for more information on my specific difficulties.

Finally: Isn’t this just a complete waste of time? Of course it is! I don’t deny doing this is completely insane. In fact, I would go as far as to say that anyone attempting to do this is on the border line of having far too much leisure time. Still, I defend the fact that I’ve done it. I think it was caused by a combination of curiosity and – yes – a slight obsession with the series itself. I love Christie’s books, the television series and the 1930s. So, all in all, it was an easy decision to make. I had the motive and I had the opportunity.



NB! I would like to make it perfectly clear that no copyright infringement is intended. This is a blog made by a fan for other fans, with no other purpose than to make sense of the chronology of the TV series we all love so much. The chronology has been made with care and affection for Agatha Christie, the TV series, the cast and crew. All pictures on the blog are screencaps taken by me from the different episodes (© ITV), unless other sources are stated.

3 comments:

  1. What a wonderful discovery! I was looking for which Poirot episodes took place in winter and happened across your post here. I'm quite excited to read in more detail. How fun that you actually went through and watched each episode again with chronology and such details in mind.

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  2. Thank you for your "insane" work. I am also a big fan of Poirot. When I was a teenager, many years ago, I read all Agatha Christie's books. Those readings instilled in me a huge interest to know more about the English culture and customs (I am from Brazil). Unfortunately, the ITV series did not arrive in Brazil until the 2000's in DVD format. I congratulate and thank you for adding information and beautiful pictures of Poirot to his fans.

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