Sunday, January 30, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1936 (July-December)

JULY: Murder on the Links
 

A poster is advertising the 1936 Deauville cycling contest and a calendar in Giraud’s office reads “Mercredi 18 Mai”. “Mercredi 18 Mai” is actually inaccurate, because Mercredi (Wednesday) was not the 18th of May in 1936. 1932 is the closest fit. On the other hand, the Deauville cycling contest is in 1936, so we have to ignore one of them. My suggestion is to skip the date and keep the year, since May 1936 is already crowded (see this post). By moving Hastings's meeting with Bella forward a couple of months, we also solve some of the quirks in the 'Hastings Storyline'.


JULY: After the Funeral

The crucial evidence here is the painting of the Polflexan Pier. According to Susannah Henderson (the missionary), Cora copied:
“I’m sure aunt Cora did copy. I didn’t want to press it with Ms. Gilchrist here. –And why are you sure, mademoiselle? –Well, her paintings are mostly seaside scenes, and there is one of Polflexan, the lighthouse and the pier. But that pier burnt down five years ago. I remember reading about it, and her painting is dated last year. Oh yes, and then in her bedroom I found a postcard of Polflexan, with the pier still in place”.
Later in the episode, Cora’s picture is clearly dated ‘1935’.

Neither George nor the new apartment is mentioned, so the adaptation could be placed in 1936 (before Poirot changes apartments).


AUGUST: Evil Under the Sun

Captain Hastings’s invitation to his Argentinean restaurant (see 'Hastings Storyline') gives the date as “Saturday the 3rd of August 1936”; he and Poirot then spend a couple of weeks at the health resort waiting for Poirot’s medical results to come through.

The difficulty here is that a telegram to Arlena Stuart during her stay at the hotel is clearly shown on the screen and is dated 12/08/36. The telegram is read by Hastings during the first day of investigation (the same day as the murder took place). He explains that the telegram is "dated two days ago", meaning that the murder supposedly took place on the 14th. Counting the number of days of this case tells us that Evil Under the Sun takes place between August 3rd and (possibly) August 18th. However, Hastings supposedly returns from a trip to the Amazon in The ABC Murders on August 22nd, and he has been away for about six months. If we are to take the references in both episodes seriously, he'll have had about four days to travel back and forth, and that is completely impossible (consider the journey from Europe to South America).


My solution is to ignore the year of The ABC Murders and move that particular episode to August 1933, thus solving any time issue in this episode.



CHRONOLOGY: 1936 (January-June)

JANUARY: Death on the Nile

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


FEBRUARY: The Dream

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).



Thursday, January 27, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1935



MAY: How Does Your Garden Grow?

A ticket says “Chelsea Show 1935, Vincent Square London SW1”, with the dates Wed 22nd, Th 23rd, Fr 24th of May. Also, a banner outside the Chelsea Show states "The Chelsea Flower Show 1935". In other words: May 1935.



JUNE/JULY: Death in the Clouds

Poirot hands Japp a paper dated ‘Vendredi 5 Juillet 1935’. The same date is shown in the calendar of Inspector Fournier's office.


JULY: The Adventure of the Clapham Cook

The date July 11th 1935 is given on the cheque from Mr. Ernest Todd. 


JULY: The Veiled Lady

The housekeeper of Mr. Lavington mentions that Fred Perry won again last year. That means it could be placed either in 1935 or 1936 (according to Wikipedia). I choose 1935 for chronology reasons. Month: July. Hastings states that “anyone might have used the fire”, to which Poirot answers: “In July? I don’t think so”.



AUGUST: The Lost Mine

The man pretending to be Mr. Wu Ling writes the date in the reception book (8/2/35). There is also a cheque dated "27th July 1935" (see below).

I had previously placed this in February, but as Michael very rightly points out in a comment to this post, the date is in August. I take the liberty of quoting him here:


The man checking into the hotel pretending to be Wu Ling uses the American format of placing the month first. This is clear from the date above which is written as '2nd Aug'. Poirot later comments on this, as the date format lets him know that the man checking-in had an American accent (he goes on to say Americans are a "very backward people"). So the episode takes place in August, which makes the cheque at the end of the episode dated 27 July 1935 consistent (Miss Lemon confirms it should have been paid in to Poirot's account 'ten days ago').
How I managed to overlook this I really don't know. But I am very grateful for being made aware of the mistake!





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1934



APRIL: The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan

No references. Mrs. Opalsen’s pearls are said to have been used in 1908 (in an actual clip from Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”), but there's no mention of how much time has elapsed. 


MAY: The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb

Poirot’s newspaper in the beginning of the episode reads June 1934 (possibly 1936). Hasting’s newspaper in New York reads January 1934 (possibly 1936). So the episode contradicts itself. Therefore, I choose to place it in early spring 1934, ignoring the references.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1933

MAY: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Lord Edgware Dies seems to follow this episode. However, Mr. Ackroyd says of Poirot’s visit to the factory: “I can’t understand why you haven’t come here before. You’ve been here nearly a year now”. So it can’t possibly take place in 1936, his busiest year in the TV chronology. I’ve chosen to ignore the subtle retirement references in Lord Edgware Dies and place it here. This makes it possible for Poirot to be retired from July 1932 to May 1933, almost a year.


 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER: The ABC Murders
All the letters Poirot recieve are dated in August 1936, and the murders cover a period from 21st August – 9th September.  The problem with a 1936 setting is that Hastings returns from a holiday in the Amazon on the 22nd (The ABC Murders), and if he was with Poirot throughout Evil Under The Sun, he’ll have had four days to get out there, bag a cayman and get back (see 1936 post and 'Hastings Storyline'). There is also a rather curious incident taking place between Hastings and Poirot in the taxi:
Hastings: "How have you been these last six months? Busy?"
Poirot: "No. The little grey cells, I fear, they grow the rust. When the day approached for your return, I said to myself: NOW something will arise! We will hunt together, we two."
Considering that 1936 must have been TV-Poirot's busiest year ever, a 1936 setting is quite simply impossible. Also, Hastings can't possibly have been away for six months (see 1936 post). And dare I say, if the producers really were serious about placing all the episodes in 1936, how could they allow such a reference? Sigh.

The solution is to place it in August 1933, following Poirot's retirement in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (see 'Poirot Timeline'). This would also make the dialogue above seem somewhat less out of place, if we imagine that it's been about six months since Poirot and Hastings saw each other last (and considering his retirement, that is more than likely). The fact that he complains of a lack of cases can hardly be taken literally, as Poirot is always complaining that he has too much leisure time.





OCTOBER: The Kidnapped Prime Minister
The spy plot in the original short story is replaced by an Irish independence storyline (‘Erin go bragh’). The Treaty of Versailles (Paris) in the original short story is replaced by a League of Nations Disarmament Conference (supposedly still in Paris – the historical event of the conference actually took place in Geneva). The PM needs to be present to stop Germany from rearming. Since Hitler withdrew Germany from the League in October 1933, this story could supposedly be set then. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1932

JANUARY: Problem at Sea

No references, except a character mentions not having met another character in seventeen years, “not since the war”. If we assume that a meeting took place in the middle of the war, 1915, this story would be set in 1932. Since Poirot often travels to warm places in winter, January is possible.


FEBRUARY: The Adventure of the Western Star
No references. Poirot is established in Whitehaven Mansions. Looks like winter/early spring.

© ITV

JULY: Dumb Witness
There's no mention of Bella or the Argentine, so it could be set before Murder on the Links.  Charles Arundell is attempting the world water speed record, which wasn't officially established as a record category until 1928, so it's probably after that (according to Wikipedia). Wikipedia also says the last serious UK challenge of the 1930s was made in July 1932 by Kaye Don, so this might be the Poirot universe's version of that.


CHRONOLOGY: 1931

SEPTEMBER: The Third Floor Flat

No references. Poirot has a cold. Probably early autumn. The song they are singing in the stair case, "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries", was released in early 1931, so I suggest an autumn 1931 placement of the episode. Also, the marriage certificate is dated in 1930 (as Poirot points out). Of course, the marriage might have been much longer than a year, but for the sake of a fairly even distribution of episode along the timeline, I think we can safely place the episode here, especially since it is not specified how much time is supposed to have passed between now and the marriage.









Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1930

FEBRUARY: The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge

No references. The action takes place on the moors (not anywhere near Poirot’s office). Snow is melting on the ground, so probably late winter / early spring.



©ITV
AUGUST: The Plymouth Express

No references. Very green landscape, probably spring or early autumn. An economically successful case for Poirot. He is established in Whitehaven Mansions.


OCTOBER: The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim

No references. The month is given by Poirot (“It is now the middle of October” - about the Davenheims sleeping in separate bedrooms). The racing course used is called Brooklands (1907-1939).










 © ITV

NOVEMBER: The King of Clubs 

No references. It's raining and there's leaves on the ground, so definitely autumn. Two magnificent 1930s houses are used (“High & Over” in Buckinghamshire, built 1929, is one of them).


CHRONOLOGY: 1929

JULY: The Cornish Mystery
No year mentioned, but a date ("10th July") is visible on Alice Pengelley's coffin. Poirot mentions that he will have the case solved before the August Bank Holiday. Poirot is established in Whitehaven Mansions.

CHRONOLOGY: 1928

APRIL: The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
No references. But the name of a song (“Nobody’s Sweetheart”, 1924) is mentioned (and described as “modern”), and Poirot is dancing Charleston (origin: mid-twenties). This setting would also fit with the other cases I have placed in the late Twenties and early Thirties. Poirot either knows someone (having helped them solve a crime earlier, e.g. Lady Chatterton, Prince Paul of Maurania), is introduced to them through Hastings (e.g. Hunter’s Lodge) or takes on seemingly trivial matters (the kidnapping of Johnnie Waverly, the husband poisoning his wife in Cornwall).


SEPTEMBER: The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly
No references. The weather indicates autumn. Poirot is established in Whitehaven Mansions. This episode makes a point of referring to Miss Lemon's project of creating the perfect filing system. It would thus make sense that Poirot has just moved into Whitehaven and recently acquired Miss Lemon's services.

© ITV

Thursday, January 06, 2011

CHRONOLOGY: 1917

JUNE: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
A date, 7th of June 1917, is visible in a film Hastings is watching. I can’t make out whether this is “present” news or an old clip, but the nurse in the reception says “the new film’s arrived”. Moreover, the coroner mentions the date 'Monday June 18th' in his questioning of Mr. Inglethorpe.


CHRONOLOGY: 1900s

1900s/1934: The Chocolate Box

The separation of church and state debate is an important issue, plus Poirot mentions it in Peril at End House (the book, chapter 15). In the adaption, the “language law” is mentioned (possibly the Law on Equality, 1898?). Paul Deroulard tells his wife that "we're into a new century, but you are stuck in the last!".

The year 1934 is chosen because Poirot says “20 years and you look the same” when meeting an old friend. Assuming he left Belgium in 1914, 20 years would be 1934. (The actual case of the chocolate box is also stated as taking place “just before the war”). Finally, in Cards on the Table, Poirot tells a suspect that his last mistake was 28 years ago. As you will see, Cards on the Table probably takes place in 1937. Assuming that The Chocolate Box was his last mistake, this means that the story would have to take place in 1909. How Poirot would have had time to become head of the Belgian police by 1914 (see timeline) if he was "a young police officer" in this episode, is another question. I haven't quite decided myself yet, but in my mind it would sound better if The Chocolate Box was set at the turn of the century (ca. 1900). Furthermore, I think it's debateable to what extent Poirot made a "mistake" in this case, so "28 years ago" may just as easily refer to another case.

© ITV

Here We Go!

I’ve decided to post the complete chronology from beginning to end, following my Poirot timeline. Since I want this to be as informative and interesting for you as possible, I’ll write as thorough explanations and reasons for each episode as I possibly can. If you don’t agree with my decision, I’ll be delighted to hear your suggestions! That’s why I’ll publish all contradicting evidence as well – so you can make up your own minds. 

I will try to post the chronology year by year, although in some cases I might split the year in two (e.g. 1936).

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Hastings Storyline

 
© ITV
The producers have really given me a lot of difficulties with poor Hastings – a storyline that should have been so simple to work out! Here are the main problems, all from 1936:
                                                                                                                                                                                
Murder on the Links – May 1936
Murder on the Links is one of the most essential episodes of the whole series in terms of chronology.  A poster advertising the 1936 Deauville cycling contest is shown on screen. In addition, a calendar in Giraud’s office shows the date as “Mercredi 18 Mai” (Wednesday, May 18th). Wednesday, however, was not May 18th  in 1936. The closest fit with the calendar is 1932. But we’ll assume that the producers wanted the episode to be set in 1936. It is in this episode that Hastings first meets Bella Duveen (or Dulcie Duveen in the books).

The Million Dollar Bond Robbery – May 1936
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 join this voyage. Wikipedia says this was May 27th 1936, which gives us a date. But that gives us a problem with Murder on the Links (May 18th 1936) – and Mystery of the Blue Train (May 17th 1936) for that matter. Hastings also fancies one of the culprits, so he can’t possibly have met Bella Duveen yet… 

Lord Edgware Dies – June/July 1936
Carlotta Adams’ letter is dated June 29th 1936. Hastings is supposedly back from the Argentine, having lost the farm in financial difficulties (stock speculation). Then he can’t have been at Lord Astwell’s house in The Underdog the same month (June 23rd). Or visited Cambridge in The Case of the Missing Will (June 15th). And how could he have had time to move to the Argentine in the first place, when he only met Bella a month earlier? It's all very peculiar.

The ABC Murders – August/September 1936
First of all, Hastings has been with Poirot at the health resort in Evil Under the Sun almost up until the first letter. Someone on the Agatha Christie 'Have Your Say' forum has worked out that since the murders takes place between August 22nd and September 9th, he would only have had four days to “bag a cayman” in the Amazon and get back again in time for the first murder. Secondly, Hastings asks Poirot "how have you been these last six months?", implying that they haven't seen each other for ages, which is quite frankly impossible, considering that he has been involved in almost all Poirot's cases in 1936 (even more peculiar, of course, is the fact that Poirot replies that his grey cells "grow the rust"! I mean, it's his busiest year ever!).

Yellow Iris – September 1936/1934
The main story takes place in 1934, during a General Strike in the Argentine (where did that come from?). There is a coup d’├ętat, and Poirot is deported back to Britain. Then the story repeats itself “two years, almost to the day”. This day is probably in spring or early autumn, but for the sake of chronology, I place it in September. The reason for Poirot being in the Argentine in the first place is said to be Hastings: “You will recall, Hastings, that you once asked me to visit you when you were living in the Argentine? – Yes, two years ago, but you cancelled in the last minute”. Poirot also explains that he was “due to travel to las pampas and your ranch”. How can Hastings have a ranch in the Argentine in 1934 – before having met Bella in Murder on the Links? (I must admit this particular reference error annoys me more than the others, considering that these two episodes had the same script writer, Anthony Horowitz, who for those who know his later work, the excellent Foyle's War, is known for historical accuracy). 

The Incredible Theft - 1936 (autumn)
The Foreign Secretary, Sir Anthony Eden, is mentioned. He assumed office on 22 December 1935, so the episode will have to be set after that. The episode has a very autumnal feel, which would suggest autumn 1936. However, Hastings is seeing a female student of architecture, so he can't have met Bella yet.

Curtain - 1949
Curtain is set in October 1949 and February 1950. Hastings has a daughter, Judith, who is an adult woman. Since Hastings met Bella in 1936, she can't possibly be older than twelve or thirteen. In other words, Judith has to be given a new backstory...

My solution

1933: The ABC Muders (August)
After much thought, I've decided that it is absolutely neccesary to ignore the year of this particular episode (1936). See 1933 and 1936 posts for more details. The main argument in favour of this solution is a) the fact that Poirot and Hastings cannot possibly have been apart for almost the entire year in 1936, and b) there is no way Hastings would have had the time to go on a four-day holiday to the Amazon between Evil under the Sun and this case. Also, both the bizarre comment on the six month absence and the trip to the Amazon would work better in a 1933 setting. Since Poirot has been retired between July 1932 and May 1933 (see 'Poirot Timeline'), the fact that they haven't seen each other for six months is far more likely. Moreover, since I've decided Hastings's interest in South America is a storyline of its own in the TV series (see The Double Clue, Evil under the Sun), it would make sense that it is this long holiday that sparks the first idea of farming in Argentina to become a fixed idea from The Double Clue onwards.


1934: The Double Clue
In this episode, Poirot meets Countess Rossakoff and is distracted both from his friends and the investigation. Troubled, Miss Lemon and Hastings discuss what they’d do if Poirot decided to marry her. Hastings explains that he has always dreamt of farming in the Argentine (an idea sparked by his holiday the year before, maybe?). In my chronology, this (sort of) solves the problem of The Yellow Iris; Hastings puts his dream into action in 1934, going on a long vacation (Sep-Jan perhaps), renting a farm in the Argentine and inviting Poirot. Like his trip in The ABC Murders, this would also help explain his decision to move to Argentina with Bella later in life - he falls in love with the place.

1936: The Incredible Theft (February/March), The Million Dollar Bond Robbery (May), Murder on the Links (July), Evil Under the Sun (August)
In 1936, Hastings helps Poirot solve 'The Incredible Theft' in February/March. He later goes on the Queen Mary with Poirot and solves the robbery case. I've kept its setting. Murder on the Links has been moved to July (which also suits the scenery in the episode better), thus ignoring the calendar in Giraud's office (which is barely visible on screen). By moving the episode, Hastings can fancy the culprit in Million Dollar Bond Robbery and join Poirot for his investigations in June.

© ITV

In France, Hastings meets Bella Duveen. The two of them plan to move to Argentina. This takes a lot of time and planning, so they don't leave England until January 1937. Within this period, Hastings even opens an Argentinean restaurant in order to have enough money to buy the farm (Evil Under the Sun). He also finds the time to help Poirot out on his cases. I'll ignore the fact that his restaurant is closed down by the health authorities by the end of Evil Under the Sun - or at least imagine that Hastings was able to solve the problem and reopen. We might imagine that he has received financial support from Poirot as well, and his narratives of Poirot's cases (see 'Poirot Timeline') may have earned him a decent income.

1937 cont.: Lord Edgware Dies (June)
Hastings and Bella Duveen have been in Argentina since early in 1937, but Hastings returns in June, having lost the farm in financial difficulties (stock speculations). Poirot, who has been in a semi-retirement mode since he left, is re-establishing himself in Whitehaven (see 'Hercule Poirot Timeline'). After having solved the Edgware case together with Poirot, he receives financial support in the form of the Duke of Merton’s payment for Poirot’s services (see 1937 post).  He uses the money to buy back the restaurant he opened in Evil under the Sun (I imagine he sold it before they left/lost it in the financial difficulties) - or buy back his Argentinean farm - and moves back to Argentina some time later, having saved up enough money to buy the farm. This marks the end of his appearances in the series so far – apart from a holiday with Poirot the year after in Murder in Mesopotamia (we must assume they’ve kept in touch). He reappears in The Big Four, set in 1939, having lived in Argentina in the intervening year(s). After Lord Edgware Dies, he and Bella also adopt an orphaned young girl called Judith. They raise her as their own flesh and blood, and Hastings grows very protective of her. Judith and Hastings help Poirot with his final case, Curtain.

Sigh. That’s the best solution I’ve found. I’ve ignored only three specific references (the month of the calendar in Murder on the Links, the year of Carlotta’s letter in Lord Edgware Dies and the year of the ABC Murders), but I hope you agree that it makes some kind of sense.

1936 - A Spot of Bother

1936 is the year in which most of the Poirot episodes have been set by the script writers and producers. Consequently, it’s the year that has given me the most trouble. It’s definitely the busiest year in TV-Poirot’s life. How can I possibly make it fit, with cases/episodes following each other almost nonstop – some even overlapping or taking place at the same time! My solution has been to follow the references of the producers as far as possible, and make some drastic changes to the chronology when needed. I hope you agree with my decisions – I have at least tried to make choices that correspond in the best possible way with both Christie’s stories and the television series.

The main “clashes”

The Mystery of the Blue Train:
Mirelle Milesi’s ticket for The Blue Train is dated “17 MAY 1936”. The story also has to take place before Murder on the Orient Express (see 1938 post).

Murder on the Links: 
There are specific references to the 1936 Deauville cycling contest, and a calendar in Giraud’s office is dated “Mercredi 18 Mai” (Wednesday 18th May). May 18th, however, was not a Wednesday in 1936. The closest fit is 1932. Also, it clashes with The Mystery of the Blue Train, set at EXACTLY the same time.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd:  
Lord Edgware Dies (placed in late June/early July 1936 by the script writers, see below) seems to follow this one in the series. But Poirot has been in King’s Abbot “nearly a year now”, according to Mr. Ackroyd. How could he possibly have been retired in the busiest year of his life?

The Million Dollar Bond Robbery:
Poirot and Hastings travel with the Queen Mary on its maiden voyage, which according to Wikipedia was May 27th 1936. This is really close to Mystery of the Blue Train (May 18th) and Murder on the Links (May 17th). In addition, Hastings fancies one of the culprits, so he can’t have met Bella Duveen yet. 

Lord Edgware Dies: 
Carlotta’s letter is dated June 29th 1936, and Poirot is moving in again, having been retired in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (probably set more or less directly before this episode). In addition, Hastings returns from the Argentine, having lost the farm in financial difficulties. How could he have had time to move to the Argentine in the first place, having met Bella Duveen only a month earlier, in Murder on the Links? And how could he have been with Poirot in The Case of the Missing Will (June 15th) and The Underdog (June 23rd) if he's been living in the Argentine?

Death in the Clouds/The Adventure of the Clapham Cook: 
Again, there's a time and date difficulty. A newspaper in Death in the Clouds reads "5 Juillett 1935" (5 July 1935) and a cheque in The Adventure of the Clapham Cook is dated July 11th 1935. But I guess this is just about plausible, so I won't make any changes here.

The ABC Murders/Evil under the Sun:
The letters Poirot receives (The ABC Murders) are dated between August 13th and September 9th 1936. Hastings returns from a journey to the Amazon on August 22nd, the same day as the second letter. The difficulty here is Evil under the Sun. An invitation to Hastings's Argentinean restaurant is dated August 3rd 1936. Poirot ends up in hospital, and he soon travels with Hastings to the health resort - Miss Lemon has booked him "a room for two weeks". How could Hastings have had time to open a restaurant while at the same time exploring the Amazon? Also, Hastings asks Poirot in The ABC Murders "how have you been this last six months?", a frankly impossible question since he has been with Poirot throughout spring 1936!

Yellow Iris:
Hastings is supposed to have had a ranch in the Argentine two years earlier than he actually does! Or, at least, he was apparently there for some time in 1934, judging by Poirot's story. (see 1934 post).

Cards on the Table/Third Girl:
Here, the issue is simply a weather problem (looks like summer/spring). In order to make it fit, it has to be autumn ("Christmas is coming" in Cards on the Table, and Third Girl has to follow that episode, since the former includes the first appearance of Mrs. Oliver).



As you read the following posts, you will see how I've tried to solve these clashes. Interestingly, what causes the most problems are really three episodes, all produced after the five year hiatus in the late 1990s: Lord Edgware Dies (2000), Evil under the Sun (2001) and Mystery of the Blue Train (2006).  I can sort of understand why these errors have been made. The producers were probably delighted to be back after the hiatus, and they clearly attempted to make the hiatus fit in to the chronology of episodes, hence starting off with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I love the fact that we see Poirot visit his hold flat, and then moving in again in Lord Edgware Dies, as Hastings returns and they visit the health resort in Evil under the Sun. I only wish they had paid attention to the 1936 setting they were trying to create. Anyway. As to the date in The Mystery of the Blue Train, I would excuse that as a simple continuity errror, probably not intentional at all (it's hardly noticeable on screen), and more to be blamed on the production crew than on the script writers.