L.B. Tysoe is in serious need of an editor (or: bizarre news stories in The Big Four)

*Spoilers as always!*

I’ve heaped praise on various locations and props used in The Big Four. Time for some criticism!  😉

In this (loose) adaptation of The Big Four, a journalist named L.B. Tysoe receives communications from a mysterious source about the sinister motives of the so-called “Peace Party.” The party is, allegedly, a cover for an international conspiracy headed by four super-criminals. However– sorry, there’s no nice way to put it– Tysoe seems to be singularly terrible at writing, and not just because he’s prone to sensationalism and doesn’t check his sources. Judging by what’s printed, he actually seems to have no grasp of the English language.

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Observe this little article snippet below. Only part of it is visible, but note the fragments “He suffering blows” and “was found with by his throat brutally slit.” WHAT.

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But wait, it gets worse. Click on the Savaranoff article and you can zoom a bit, if you dare. I had actually typed it out in all of its incoherent, badly-constructed, and poorly-punctuated glory, but finally decided that you shouldn’t have to suffer twice over on my account…

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But there’s more. Having no originality, Tysoe actually plagiarizes parts of his own dreadfully-written articles.

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The horrendous journalism continues with the “unmasking” of Number Three. Mme (or Madame; he can’t decide) Olivier’s friends were “taking her to dinner with at Clarridges.” Hyphens are apparently an optional form of punctuation. And during a quiet spell, the Big Four “seized to act.” AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!

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Tysoe even gets some of his basic facts wrong here. His article asserts that Olivier was last seen at 3 o’clock at her interview with Poirot and Japp, but the clock deliberately freezes at 4 o’clock, in reference to the Big Four, during her interview. Something similar actually happens in the book.

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Finally, there’s Tysoe’s article about Poirot’s death. It’s probably the best of a bad lot, writing-wise, but there is still some poor construction as well as a few suspicious details. It is curious that Tysoe refers to Poirot’s exile from Belgium as taking place in the context of “the First World War.” The episode is set in 1937, before the Second World War officially began. The “First World War” would have been referred to as “the Great War” at that time.

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I realize that these particular graphics were not meant to be seen for more than a few seconds on-screen. It is fiddly and daft of me to freeze, read, and critique them. But I’ll be honest– I cannot understand why these things should be so badly written.  Why was such poorly-written horror allowed to be displayed at all?

Why…??

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4 thoughts on “L.B. Tysoe is in serious need of an editor (or: bizarre news stories in The Big Four)

  1. Whoever wrote those blurbs likely didn’t expect anyone to pay too much attention to them. But I’m wondering now, if said ‘journalist’ is one of the series’ writers who wanted to be a journalist, or someone else (maybe the actor playing the journalist) wrote the articles.

    Poirot would be proud of your skills of detection. 🔎

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      • I wonder if it was purposely written that badly based on the fact that the guy also didn’t check his sources. Heck, even Japp had to give the guy advice; “CHECK YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU PRINT!” This guy was careless about his fact checking, so his writing was clunky. It’s likely he was right out of journalism school and was overly ambitious. But the writing for the show was solid, so I’m in favor of believing that this guy’s articles were purposely written the way they were. Heck, maybe his dad owned the paper!

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      • What I’m trying to figure out, as far as The Big Four seems too 21st century, but, how do you have a funeral without a death certificate? How do you have a death certificate without a body? Out of the ‘five’ murders, there are only four bodies. I’m guessing Poirot somehow agreed to giving that poor bum his casket, but that’s a real puzzle.

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