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** When suggesting ways to get the waitress Milly Higley to tell them what she knows, Poirot suggests that Donald Fraser [[HoneyTrap flirt with her]]. When the latter rejects this, Franklin Clarke offers to "try his hand" with her instead, saying that he has wide experience in the area. [[spoiler: Later, it's revealed that that was exactly what he did with Betty Barnard, flirting with her in order to lure her into a spot where he could kill her.]]
** Early in the book, Hastings mentions offhand that most of the crimes he and Poirot see are "private crimes", between family members and such, rather than the apparently "public" crimes of ABC. [[spoiler: Later on, it's revealed that the true crime was between brothers over inheritance, and the others were committed to conceal that this was, indeed, a very "private crime."]]


* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: The murderer tries to commit suicide after TheReveal, preferring to go out quickly rather than go through the inevitable execution, but Poirot prevents this, saying that he doesn't deserve an easy death.

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* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: The murderer tries to commit suicide after TheReveal, preferring to go out quickly rather than go through the inevitable execution, but Poirot prevents this, saying that he the murderer doesn't deserve an easy death.

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* [[spoiler: InheritanceMurder: The murders are ultimately an elaborate case of this. The murderer is currently his brother's heir and decides to kill him before he can remarry and perhaps have a son. The other murders are to divert attention away from him as a suspect.]]


* RedHerring: There's a SerialKiller who nicknames themselves A.B.C. There is also a suspicious character who not only have A.B.C. as their initial and has been in the murder locations during the time of the tragedy. Of course, they're just a scapegoat used by the actual killer to cover their tracks.

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* RedHerring: There's a SerialKiller who nicknames themselves A.B.C. There is There's also a suspicious character who not only have has A.B.C. as their initial and initials, but has been in at the murder locations during the time of the tragedy.murder. Of course, they're just a scapegoat used by the actual killer to cover their tracks.



* UnwittingPawn: The killer "hires" Cust to sell silk stockings, and sends him a list of "potential customers" to ensure that he'd be seen on the crime locations when the tragedy takes place. [[spoiler:Poor Cust is a suggestible epileptic who suffers from frequent blackouts, and believes himself to commit the murders while unaware.]]

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* UnwittingPawn: The killer "hires" Cust to sell silk stockings, and sends him a list of "potential customers" to ensure that he'd be seen on the crime locations when the tragedy takes place. [[spoiler:Poor Cust is a suggestible epileptic who suffers from frequent blackouts, and believes himself to commit be committing the murders while unaware.]]


!!The 2018 BBC adaptation provides examples of:

* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: This adaptation's Poirot is a tortured soul who's career is at a low point and who's faith is severely damaged, even going so far as to avoid confession out of a belief that he's unworthy of communion.
* AdaptationalBackstoryChange: [[spoiler: In the novels and every other adaptation, Poirot was a detective on the Brussels police force before he came to England as a refugee during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. In this series, while Poirot still claims to be a former policeman, his stated backstory is revealed to be a lie. Poirot was a priest in the Belgian countryside who watched all his parishioners burned to death by invading German troops. The guilt stemming from not being able to save their lives led him to renounce priesthood and reinvent himself as a detective when he came to England, so that he would be able to bring justice to other victims.]]
* AdaptationDistillation: No messing about with a cinema and an innocent fall guy in the BBC adaptation - the alleged 'mistake' the ABC killer makes is to kill the person in the same room as Dexter Dooley, the supposed fourth victim. The victim is not painted in a bright light before or after the event either, unlike the completely innocent person in the novel or the ITV adaptation.
* AdaptationalJerkass: Happens to a lot of characters. Betty Barnard in the book was a flirt, but in this version we see her as a cruel and manipulative woman. Her boyfriend, Donald Fraser, who was merely described as 'jealous' in the book but was otherwise a pleasant chap, is here a sexist control freak. Thora Grey, who is merely accused of being a GoldDigger in the original, is depicted as an actual one in this version, in addition to being intensely arrogant.
* AdaptationalVillainy:
** The motive of the killer is revealed to be a lot more unhinged and vile than in the novel. [[spoiler:While Franklin of the novel was motivated by greed only, this version of the character starts to enjoy his role as ABC so much that he continues murdering people to continue the "game" with Poirot. He only frames Cust because the latter's illness would prevent him from continue traveling, which implies that, unlike the novel, Franklin really ''was'' willing to go through the entire alphabet.]]
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Thora Grey. Towards the end it's revealed that she acted as an accomplice to Franklin by providing an alibi for him. However, this revelation is almost immediately followed by a flashback that shows that she was not aware of Franklin's crimes until he approached her while covered in his own brother's blood, and then threatened to kill her unless she played along.]]
* AdaptedOut:
** Captain Hastings. Presumably done to heighten Poirot's feelings of isolation in keeping with the overall DarkerAndEdgier tone of the adaptation.
** Mary Drower, Alice Asher's niece in the novel, is nowhere to be found.
* AgeLift:
** Played with in Poirot's case. His age in the novels has been ambiguous due to a degree of ComicBookTime being applied to the series, however David Suchet was 46 when he portrayed the character in the original adaptation. In this version, he is portrayed by a 65 year old John Malkovich.
** The Clarke family - Sir Carmichael, Lady Hermione and Franklin - are all markedly younger than they were in the novel and original adaptation.
** Alexander Bonaparte Cust is significantly younger in this version.
* TheArtifact: The fact that the fourth victim was supposedly a case of MurderByMistake does not serve any purpose in the adaptation. In the novel it's a clue that [[spoiler:the killer doesn't care about the ABC pattern at all and just wants their FallGuy arrested as soon as possible. The series changes it into an actual mistake, as the killer has no intention of stopping anytime soon. They only frame Cust after the next murder, and the mix-up has no relevance to the case.]]
* AssholeVictim:
** Betty Barnard is mourned by her parents... and nobody else - the few scenes she appear in make the viewer glad that it is all but stated she is going to die. Even her fiancee is having tea with her mother shortly after the event, which Poirot thinks is a bit much. [[spoiler:Subverted in the final episode when Betty's mother and fiancee try to convince Betty's sister Megan to marry the fiancee, who had dumped Megan in the first place in favour of the more glamorous Betty, for their own very obviously selfish reasons. Megan later has a flashback of Betty telling her she did her a favour by stealing her boyfriend and that one day Megan will realise that. As Megan then packs her suitcase and sneaks out of the house using the same route Betty used to use it looks like she was right.]]
** The risque comic who dies in Dexter Dooley's place is shown being deliberately dickish and interferes with Dexter's ventriloquist dummy.
* BaitAndSwitch: Cust is apparently paying his landlady's daughter for something. It is highly implied to be sex, as she is strongly indicated to be providing such "extras" to other male tenants. [[spoiler: It isn't, she is digging her heels into his back to the point of drawing blood.]]
* BilingualBonus: One so subtle it might be a translation error. In the flashback to Poirot's arrival in Britain he gives his profession in French as "gendarme" - a uniformed, stereotypically not very bright, protector of public order. A Francophone police detective proud of his intellect would describe himself as a "policier" or "agent de police", and be insulted to be called a "gendarme". [[spoiler:This might be a deliberate clue that he was never really a police officer.]]
* CanonForeigner: The series adds an unnamed, fifth victim who is stabbed to death in a public bathroom in Embsay. The man is never identified, but presumably continued the Alliterative Name theme with the letter E.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: [[spoiler: A somewhat downplayed example. While Franklin Clarke's primary motive was murdering his brother for the latter's title and wealth, he was also driven by his obsession with Poirot and a desire to be the perfect ArchEnemy to the famous detective - an obsession that was sparked of by an evening he spent at a dinner party where Poirot played a murder game. Poirot downplays Franklin's argument though. He instead compares Franklin to tinder- someone who'd kill eventually, but Poirot acted as a trigger. Considering how Franklin's deranged plot and how he admits he probably wouldn't be able to stop killing even when the murder of his brother was obscured, Poirot has a point.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: The BBC adaptation has a police force openly hostile to Poirot (at first), even getting a warrant to search his apartment, questioning his past, and with an openly racist organisation featuring as a background element. Plus all the Adaptational Jerkassery above.
* DeathByAdaptation:
** [[spoiler:. In the novel, Inspector Japp is in charge of the investigation. In the series he's retired and drops dead of a heart attack at the end of a brief scene with Poirot. (Given that he's played by Kevin [=McNally=] it's pretty much a case of DeathByCameo.)]]
** [[spoiler:Also Cust. In the book, his blackouts and headaches are caused by epilepsy stemming from a wartime head injury, and he ends the book alive and well and with renewed confidence in himself. In the adaptation, he has an inoperable brain tumour, and we last see him comatose and not expected to regain consciousness before he dies.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the classic Poirot story, and more generally, of the kind of CozyMystery that Agatha Christie and other 'Golden Age' writers were famous for. Malkovich's Poirot was indeed once a celebrated detective who hob-knobbed with the wealthy, much like the character in the novels - but he did so largely by being an entertainer and playing 'murder games' at their country house dinner parties. Anti-immigrant sentiment, coupled with resentment over his constant showing up of Scotland Yard, has led to him becoming persona non grata among the police, who have adopted an openly hostile attitude towards him. Even the media, and public opinion, has turned against him, and his detective practise has been running out of steam. Of course, some of this changes. See {{Reconstruction}} below.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: The killer is rather surprised that Poirot isn't grateful, since the entire case resulted in Poirot's reputation being restored. Poirot doesn't care since 5 people are dead from the maniac's rampage
* EvilCounterpart: The ABC killer explicitly wants to be this to Poirot. [[spoiler: He dresses like Poirot, and commits murders in places that Poirot has previously visited - taking pleasure in watching Poirot try to catch him.]]
* GenteelInterbellumSetting: Averted. Unlike most Christie works and adaptations, this mini-series highlights the rampant socio-economic anxiety and xenophobia of the real-life 1930s.
* JerkAssHasAPoint: As obnoxious as Betty was she was entirely right about Donald being a worthless piece of shit and an all around terrible boyfriend.
* JustTrainWrong:
** In the London Underground scene towards the end of episode 2, the train is obviously the 1972 Tube Stock train kept at the disused Aldwych station for such filming purposes, with its large window panes and brushed-aluminium finish, neither of which would have been seen on any train running in the 1930s.
** In the scene in episode 3 with Cust being chased across the railway tracks, there are some mildly unconvincing CGI trains, including a loose-coupled freight train hauled by an express passenger locomotive which would not have been seen on such lowly work in real life.
* MysteriousPast: Poirot's past is touched on in the BBC adaptation - or rather, the extreme lack of information on it. The Inspector points out there is no information on Poirot's life and police career in Belgium at all, and that lack of information cost the now deceased Japp his reputation when he vouched for Poirot. [[spoiler: Its is eventually revealed that Poirot was in fact a priest, who lied about his profession when he came to England and decided to become a detective, having witnessed the slaughter of all his parisioners by the invading German troops.]]
* NeverTrustATrailer: Some early publicity strongly implied that Poirot would be accused of committing the murders himself. In the serial, Crome accuses him of being a charlatan, and some xenophobic press and members of the public accuse him of intentionally obstructing the investigation, but he's never accused of being the killer.
* {{Reconstruction}}: Poirot is eventually hired to investigate the case by a wealthy aristocrat, Franklin Clarke, just like in the "good old days". He gradually earns the trust and grudging respect of Inspector Crome and forms a new partnership with him, reminiscent of his old partnership with Inspector Japp. In fact, in the end [[spoiler: the murderer reveals that part of his motivation was to 'revive' and 'restore' Poirot to his former glory by being a WorthyOpponent to him.]]
* ShooOutTheClowns: Hastings is nowhere to be found and Japp is written out early on, meaning Poirot has no friends with whom he can play off of or lighten the atmosphere in this adaptation.
* ShovelStrike: In this adaptation, Sir Carmichael Clarke is beaten to death with a spade, when it was a cudgel in the original novel.


** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - it'd be rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X. living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. It's actually a hint that [[spoiler: the murderer never intended to carry his theme all the way through the alphabet, because he only wanted to kill 'C', so he didn't bother finding victims for uncommon letters like X.]]

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** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - it'd be rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X. living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. It's actually a hint that [[spoiler: the murderer never intended to carry his theme all the way through the alphabet, because he alphabet. He only wanted to kill 'C', 'C' and planned on stopping after 'D' (who was really a random victim killed to throw the police off the scent), so he didn't bother finding victims for uncommon letters like X.need to come up with an X victim.]]


** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. In actual fact, this problem [[spoiler: is irrelevant, because the killer only wants to kill up to C.]]

to:

** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - it'd be rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X X. living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. In actual fact, this problem It's actually a hint that [[spoiler: is irrelevant, the murderer never intended to carry his theme all the way through the alphabet, because the killer he only wants wanted to kill up to C.'C', so he didn't bother finding victims for uncommon letters like X.]]


** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. In actual fact, this question [[spoiler: is irrelevant, because the killer is not at all interested in carrying his killings through the entire alphabet.]]

to:

** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. In actual fact, this question problem [[spoiler: is irrelevant, because the killer is not at all interested in carrying his killings through the entire alphabet.only wants to kill up to C.]]


* AdaptationalVillainy: The motive of the killer is revealed to be a lot more unhinged and vile than in the novel. [[spoiler:While Franklin of the novel was motivated by greed only, this version of the character starts to enjoy his role as ABC so much that he continues murdering people to continue the "game" with Poirot. He only frames Cust because the latter's illness would prevent him from continue traveling, which implies that, unlike the novel, Franklin really ''was'' willing to go through the entire alphabet.]]

to:

* AdaptationalVillainy: AdaptationalVillainy:
**
The motive of the killer is revealed to be a lot more unhinged and vile than in the novel. [[spoiler:While Franklin of the novel was motivated by greed only, this version of the character starts to enjoy his role as ABC so much that he continues murdering people to continue the "game" with Poirot. He only frames Cust because the latter's illness would prevent him from continue traveling, which implies that, unlike the novel, Franklin really ''was'' willing to go through the entire alphabet.]]
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Thora Grey. Towards the end it's revealed that she acted as an accomplice to Franklin by providing an alibi for him. However, this revelation is almost immediately followed by a flashback that shows that she was not aware of Franklin's crimes until he approached her while covered in his own brother's blood, and then threatened to kill her unless she played along.
]]

Added DiffLines:

* CanonForeigner: The series adds an unnamed, fifth victim who is stabbed to death in a public bathroom in Embsay. The man is never identified, but presumably continued the Alliterative Name theme with the letter E.


* AdaptedOut: Hastings in the 2018 BBC version. [[spoiler:Presumably to heighten Poirot's feelings of isolation in keeping with the overall tone of the adaptation.]]
** Mary Drower, Alice Asher's niece in the novel, is also nowhere to be found.
* AgeLift: Played with in Poirot's case. His age in the novels has been ambiguous due to a degree of ComicBookTime being applied to the series, however David Suchet was 46 when he portrayed the character in the original adaptation. In this version, he is portrayed by a 65 year old John Malkovich.

to:

* AdaptedOut: Hastings AdaptationalVillainy: The motive of the killer is revealed to be a lot more unhinged and vile than in the 2018 BBC version. [[spoiler:Presumably novel. [[spoiler:While Franklin of the novel was motivated by greed only, this version of the character starts to enjoy his role as ABC so much that he continues murdering people to continue the "game" with Poirot. He only frames Cust because the latter's illness would prevent him from continue traveling, which implies that, unlike the novel, Franklin really ''was'' willing to go through the entire alphabet.]]
* AdaptedOut:
** Captain Hastings. Presumably done
to heighten Poirot's feelings of isolation in keeping with the overall DarkerAndEdgier tone of the adaptation.]]
adaptation.
** Mary Drower, Alice Asher's niece in the novel, is also nowhere to be found.
* AgeLift: AgeLift:
**
Played with in Poirot's case. His age in the novels has been ambiguous due to a degree of ComicBookTime being applied to the series, however David Suchet was 46 when he portrayed the character in the original adaptation. In this version, he is portrayed by a 65 year old John Malkovich.



** Alexander Bonaparte Cust is also significantly younger in this version.
* AssholeVictim: In the BBC adaptation, Betty Barnard is mourned by her parents...and nobody else - the few scenes she appeared in make the viewer glad that it is all but stated she is going to die. Even her fiancee is having tea with her mother shortly after the event, which Poirot thinks is a bit much. [[spoiler:Subverted in the final episode when Betty's mother and fiancee try to convince Betty's sister Megan to marry the fiancee, who had dumped Megan in the first place in favour of the more glamorous Betty, for their own very obviously selfish reasons. Megan later has a flashback of Betty telling her she did her a favour by stealing her boyfriend and that one day Megan will realise that. As Megan then packs her suitcase and sneaks out of the house using the same route Betty used to use it looks like she was right.]]
** Also, the risque comic who dies in Dexter Dooley's place is shown being deliberately dickish and interferes with Dexter's ventriloquist dummy.

to:

** Alexander Bonaparte Cust is also significantly younger in this version.
* AssholeVictim: TheArtifact: The fact that the fourth victim was supposedly a case of MurderByMistake does not serve any purpose in the adaptation. In the BBC adaptation, novel it's a clue that [[spoiler:the killer doesn't care about the ABC pattern at all and just wants their FallGuy arrested as soon as possible. The series changes it into an actual mistake, as the killer has no intention of stopping anytime soon. They only frame Cust after the next murder, and the mix-up has no relevance to the case.]]
* AssholeVictim:
**
Betty Barnard is mourned by her parents...parents... and nobody else - the few scenes she appeared appear in make the viewer glad that it is all but stated she is going to die. Even her fiancee is having tea with her mother shortly after the event, which Poirot thinks is a bit much. [[spoiler:Subverted in the final episode when Betty's mother and fiancee try to convince Betty's sister Megan to marry the fiancee, who had dumped Megan in the first place in favour of the more glamorous Betty, for their own very obviously selfish reasons. Megan later has a flashback of Betty telling her she did her a favour by stealing her boyfriend and that one day Megan will realise that. As Megan then packs her suitcase and sneaks out of the house using the same route Betty used to use it looks like she was right.]]
** Also, the The risque comic who dies in Dexter Dooley's place is shown being deliberately dickish and interferes with Dexter's ventriloquist dummy.



* CreateYourOwnVillain: [[spoiler: A somewhat downplayed example. While Franklin Clarke's primary motive was murdering his brother for the latter's title and wealth, he was also driven by his obsession with Poirot and a desire to be the perfect ArchEnemy to the famous detective - an obsession that was sparked of by an evening he spent at a dinner party where Poirot played a murder game.]]
** [[spoiler: Poirot downplays Franklin's argument though. He instead compares Franklin to tinder- someone who'd kill eventually, but Poirot acted as a trigger. Considering how Franklin's deranged plot and how he admits he probably wouldn't be able to stop killing even when the murder of his brother was obscured, Poirot has a point.]]

to:

* CreateYourOwnVillain: [[spoiler: A somewhat downplayed example. While Franklin Clarke's primary motive was murdering his brother for the latter's title and wealth, he was also driven by his obsession with Poirot and a desire to be the perfect ArchEnemy to the famous detective - an obsession that was sparked of by an evening he spent at a dinner party where Poirot played a murder game.]]
** [[spoiler:
Poirot downplays Franklin's argument though. He instead compares Franklin to tinder- someone who'd kill eventually, but Poirot acted as a trigger. Considering how Franklin's deranged plot and how he admits he probably wouldn't be able to stop killing even when the murder of his brother was obscured, Poirot has a point.]]



* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Inspector Japp in the 2018 BBC series. In the novel he's in charge of the investigation, in the series he's retired and drops dead of a heart attack at the end of a brief scene with Poirot. (Given that he's played by Kevin McNally it's pretty much a case of DeathByCameo.)]]

to:

* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Inspector Japp in the 2018 BBC series. DeathByAdaptation:
** [[spoiler:.
In the novel he's novel, Inspector Japp is in charge of the investigation, in investigation. In the series he's retired and drops dead of a heart attack at the end of a brief scene with Poirot. (Given that he's played by Kevin McNally [=McNally=] it's pretty much a case of DeathByCameo.)]]



to:

* ShovelStrike: In this adaptation, Sir Carmichael Clarke is beaten to death with a spade, when it was a cudgel in the original novel.

Added DiffLines:

* EvilCannotComprehendGood: The killer is rather surprised that Poirot isn't grateful, since the entire case resulted in Poirot's reputation being restored. Poirot doesn't care since 5 people are dead from the maniac's rampage


Added DiffLines:

* JerkAssHasAPoint: As obnoxious as Betty was she was entirely right about Donald being a worthless piece of shit and an all around terrible boyfriend.


* GenteelInterbellumSetting: Averted. Unlike most Christie works and adaptations, this mini-series highlights the rampant socio-economic anxiety and xenophobia of the real-life 1930's.

to:

* GenteelInterbellumSetting: Averted. Unlike most Christie works and adaptations, this mini-series highlights the rampant socio-economic anxiety and xenophobia of the real-life 1930's.1930s.

Added DiffLines:

** Some subtle but very effective foreshadowing is supplied by a psychiatrist whom Scotland Yard consults: the psychiatrist happily wonders how will the killer deal with the letter 'X' - rather difficult to find a person with the initials X.X living in a town the name of which starts with an X in England. Readers will see this as a small bit of characterisation, an absent-minded scientist focused only on his field. In actual fact, this question [[spoiler: is irrelevant, because the killer is not at all interested in carrying his killings through the entire alphabet.]]

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