BBC blunder sees character in Agatha Christie drama play clairvoyant

The greatest Poirot mystery yet… BBC blunder sees character in new John Malkovich version of Agatha Christie novels play unwitting clairvoyant

  • John Malkovich and Rupert Grint star in the new Poirot drama The ABC Murders 
  • The production set in 1933 does contain one minor anachronism, as a character whistles Somewhere Over the Rainbow which was first published six years later
  • The three-part Agatha Christie adaptation starts at 9pm on Boxing Day on BBC1

Viewers of the new Hercules Poirot drama will no doubt be trying to crack his cases from the sofa. 

But only the most perceptive among them will spot the blunder in the BBC’s three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders.

John Malkovich stars as the famous detective – although without his trademark moustache and exaggerated accent – in the production set in 1933. 

Perceptive viewers of the new Hercules Poirot drama will notice an anachronism – although it is set in 1933, a character whistles a song that was released six years later

Yet the character of Lily Marbury can distinctly be heard whistling the tune of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

The much-covered song, written for the Wizard of Oz and made famous by Judy Garland, was first published in 1939. 


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Asked how Marbury could possibly know a song six years before it was released,  Alex Gabassi, the director, admitted it was a simple human error.    

‘Anya chose to do that by herself and then it felt right,’ he told The Mirror. 

John Malkovich stars as the famous detective – although without his trademark moustache and exaggerated accent

‘I tried to look for other songs but we couldn’t get the permission for them. This one we could.’

The BBC’s ­Christmas whodunnit sees Poirot hunting down a serial killer and also stars Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint. 

The ABC Murders starts at 9pm on Boxing day on BBC1.

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