Sunday, January 30, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1936 (January-June)

JANUARY: Death on the Nile

January 1936 is clearly shown on Pennington’s travel ticket for the SS ‘Normandie’.


No definite references, but Mr. Farley states “In 1935, we sold more pies than ever in our history”, so the story has to take place the following year. Looks like early spring, could be February.

MARCH: Dead Man’s Mirror 

The date of the second will says '23rd March, 1936' (the first will is dated 25th of April, 1935).

APRIL: Hickory Dickory Dock

Mrs. Hubbard puts up a notice advertising Poirot’s lecture that says “Thursday 5th April”. The closest fit is 1934, but the Jarrow March (mentioned in the episode) took place in 1936, admittedly in October. Since the producers have clearly attempted to set the episode in 1936, even if they've made a major mistake by keeping the date from the novel (I presume), I suggest the date could be April 1936 instead, thus keeping the important 1936 Jarrow March  reference almost in place. Another possibility would be to ignore the Jarrow March setting and place it in April 1934, I guess, but since the Jarrow March is so well known as a 1936 event, I think the date is more likely to be an error than the march itself.

MAY: The Million Dollar Bond Robbery

First of all, Hastings and Miss Lemon mention the case of The Lost Mine, set in 1935:
Miss Lemon: Mr. Poirot had some problems with his bank last year. Its chairman was arrested.
Hastings: Yes, I remember. It was Poirot who put the man behind bars.
Secondly, the Queen Mary (ocean liner) is mentioned. Hastings reads aloud from an article in the Times about the “maiden voyage”, and Poirot and Hastings both take the boat in the same episode. Wikipedia says this maiden voyage was the 27th of May 1936, which gives us a date. That would give us a problem with Murder on the Links (18th of May 1936) and The Mystery of the Blue Train (17th of May 1936), see this post. Also, Hastings fancies one of the culprits, so he can’t have met Bella Duveen yet… My solution (see July 1936) is to keep this episode in May and ignore the date and month in Murder on the Links. As earlier mentioned, The Mystery of the Blue Train has already been moved (see 1937 post).

JUNE: The Case of the Missing Will

Introduction takes place on New Year’s Eve 1926 (mentioned by characters). Card reads “Cambridge 10 years later”. Day/month/year stated in doctor Pritchard’s report (15/6/1936).

JUNE: The Underdog

Year stated several places, but most significantly in one of the reports on Lord Astwell’s desk. Month/day (June 23rd) stated in the reception book. There's also a reference to Hitler in Lord Astwell's newspaper, once again highlight the 1930s backdrop.


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