A tenant at the swanky art deco-styled Whitehaven Mansions in London, M. Poirot makes a living using his “little grey cells” for detective work — solving everything from missing objects to murdered persons. Aiding him in most of his cases is the faithful Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), who might not be an overly-bright fellow, but whose heart is most definitely in the right place. Miss Lemon (the wonderful Pauline Moran) — Poirot’s secretary — is also on-hand to show us the latest in ‘30s hairstyles or to just get frustrated over her employer’s unconventional behavior or stinginess. A third regular in the original episodes, Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) — the Inspector Lestrade of this universe — manages to pop up in almost every other case, as well.
As Series 1 begins, Poirot finds himself investigating a missing cook, only to find a greater mystery once he discovers her whereabouts (“The Adventure of the Clapham Cook”). An apparent suicide is brought to the attention of our hero by Inspector Japp in “Murder in the Mews,” followed by the kidnapping of a wealthy family’s young son (“The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly”). How do the consecutive demises of two estranged elderly brothers connect? Hercule finds out in “Four and Twenty Blackbirds,” only to be bored beyond belief after a tepid theatre presentation in “The Third Floor Flat” — a performance that is concluded with a murder in the apartment directly below Poirot’s.
Whilst on a vacation on the island of Rhodes, Poirot gets involved in a murder investigation at his hotel (“Triangle at Rhodes”), which is followed — coincidentally enough — by another holiday: a cruise, wherein there’s a “Problem at Sea” (in this case, a murder). A British industrialist who has created a new fighter plane is on the bad side of the government, though there’s a Nazi sympathizer who is definitely interested in “The Incredible Theft.” Series 1 concludes with “The King of Clubs,” which follows Hercule’s search for the killer of a movie studio honcho, and “The Dream” — where a meat pie tycoon’s recurring nightmare of suicide apparently comes true.