The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Season 3, Episode 1

The Mysterious Affair at Styles was Agatha Christie’s debut novel, published back in 1920. It was adapted for TV as a tribute for Agatha Christie’s centenary year in 1990 and also to mark the beginning of season 3 of the series. This particular adaptation is considered by many fans to be as close to the original novel as possible. Styles Court, where much of the action takes place, was filmed at Chavenage House, Gloucestershire (pictured bottom right).

The Poirot we see in this episode is younger than previously, as David Suchet and Hugh Fraser present the beginning of the Poirot/Hastings dynamic. Hastings has been sent home injured from the war and is recovering in Styles Court. When a poisoning occurs, Hastings seeks out his old acquaintance Poirot and enlists his assistance. This is one of the few examples of a ‘flashback episode’, another being The Chocolate Box.

The script was written by Clive Exton, Poirot veteran, who also wrote the first episode The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. In fact, Styles even introduces Poirot in the same fashion as in Clapham Cook, focusing first on his pristine footwear and then slowly rising up to his face.

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