In Christie’s story, “Murder in the Mews,” we have this quote from Poirot…
“That man is now in prison, he will serve a long sentence for other matters. Do you really wish, of your own volition, to destroy the life– the life, mind– of any human being?”
In the television episode of Poirot, we have this interesting variation on the quote…
“The man you wish to trap is already in prison. Do you really wish to destroy him? Do you really wish to destroy the life– the mind– of any human being?”
The word “mind,” you may have noticed, is being used in two completely different senses. Christie has Poirot saying “the life, mind [you]”; Suchet delivers the line as though Poirot is speaking about the destruction of the human mind by murder.
So the mystery is: accidental or intentional? Did the script writer misread the story and write the script exactly as it was delivered? Did Suchet misread the script and deliver an alternate meaning by accident? Or was it a deliberate choice on the part of either of those people to depart from Christie slightly, and have Poirot equate the tragedy of murder with the destruction of that most prized faculty, the human mind?
I will never have the guts to ask, so I fear I shall never know.