Books · Witterings

TV Adaptation – Cat Among the Pigeons – Agatha Christie

Yesterday I posted my review of the book of the aforementioned TV Adaptation. I read the book knowing who had committed the crimes because I had seen the wonderful David Suchet version of Cat Among the Pigeons. If you have not read the book and want to, then perhaps carrying on reading this post with some caution, as I am going to mention plots and changes which may reveal some truths.

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Now for the sake of television, as will all things it does deviate from the book. Poriot in the TV version is in from the very beginning, helping Miss Bulstrode with an opening speech for the girls at the beginning of term but also to help her decide who is the best person to carry on the Meadowbank tradition.

Much of the book which is set abroad is not covered in the programme, probably due to cost and time constraints. This mean the plane crash was changed to a shooting and the presence of one of the teachers in Ramat is not alluded to, although the reason for the teacher is still kept in the adaptation. The story of Mrs Sutcliffe at the beginning of the book is not covered at all in the TV adaptation, and you really do not get a feel for the character of Jennifer Sutcliffe who in the book is rather dreamy.

Characters are missing, Miss Vansittart is taken out of the adaptation, in the book she is seen as the obvious successor to Miss Bulstrode. However, the role Miss Vansittart plays in the plot is taken on by other characters with a similar effect. The other teachers are present, and I feel that they have done justice to the descriptions by Christie. Although Miss Springer is somewhat more vicious and bullying than the character portrayed in the book.

Miss Bulstrode, Hercule Poirot, Miss Springer, Miss Rich, Miss Shapland (L-R)

Although the jewels play an important role in the story, the murderer does not try and get them off Jennifer Sutcliffe directly. In the book they are jewels of many colours, in the TV adaptation my memory recalls them to be all rubies.

Mrs Upjohn & Miss Bulstrode

What did Mrs Upjohn see or think she sees? TV adaptation keeps true to the book here, and Miss Bulstrode an effective Headmistress in tuning out what parents are saying, but something sticks in her mind about the conversation she had with Mrs Upjohn at the beginning of term.

Julia Upjohn and Jennifer Sutcliffe

The girls games of tennis are not up to scratch but what has this got to do with murder?

Despite perhaps the little changes, this is one book where I feel they have pretty much stuck to the plot, the outcome is the same in fact the TV denouement is how I would imagine it to have been set out. The murderer has not been changed and the reasons for murder are the same.

I hope if you have reached this far, I have not spoilt anything for you, although I will say that the name of the murderer is on this post. Now that intrigues you I am sure?

And the reason for the title of the book – Cat Among the Pigeons. Well the saying is defined as “If something or someone puts, or sets or lets, the cat among the pigeons, they create a disturbance and cause trouble”. The school has someone in it that is causing a disturbance and causing trouble it is up to Poriot to find that cat.

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One thought on “TV Adaptation – Cat Among the Pigeons – Agatha Christie

  1. Well observed! I read the book years ago and saw the adaptatation recently. so I’m afraid the only difference I noticed was Poirot’s early arrival.

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