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The Fourth Man 

When 3 learned men: a doctor, a lawyer, and a priest, debate a young woman's recent suicide, they are joined by a 4th man with intimate knowledge of the case.


Michael Simpson


William Corlett (dramatised by)




Episode cast overview:
John Nettles ... Raoul Letardau
Michael Gough ... Sir George Durand
Geoffrey Chater ... Canon Parfitt
Alan MacNaughtan ... Sir Campbell Clark
Prue Clarke Prue Clarke ... Annette Ravel
Fiona Mathieson Fiona Mathieson ... Felicie Bault
Roy Leighton Roy Leighton ... Young Raoul
Barbara Bolton Barbara Bolton ... Mademoiselle
Frederick Jaeger ... The Count
Eric Richard ... Stage Manager
Christopher Wren Christopher Wren ... Annette's Attendant
Stuart Fell ... Juggler
Cy Town ... Porter


A man on a train tells to his fellow passengers the curious, creepy and compelling story of a young dancer dying of consumption and possessing slowly the body of a sturdy,dim-witted peasant girl,permitting so to her spirit a perennial life. Written by igorlongo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery






English | Italian

Release Date:

28 September 1982 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Although John Nettles affects a heavy French action initially, it virtually disappears as time goes on. John Nettles' character is French. When he is relating the story to the three men on the train he is speaking in English, but since he is meant to be a Frenchman speaking in another tongue, he speaks with a French accent. In the flashback scenes he is 'speaking French', and so does not speak with a French accent. So, his French accent does not disappear, it is used to denote the times when he is not speaking in his own language. See more »


Felicie Bault: You made me look ridiculous.
Annette Ravel: [In a mean-spirited manner] I didn't have to try very hard.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Fourth Man
27 February 2019 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

The Fourth Man is an unusual Agatha Christie story. It is a psychological even a a supernatural story delving into a character being possessed.

Raoul Letardau (John Nettles) joins three men in a train compartment to discuss the suicide of a young woman. She strangled herself as she suffered from some kind of multiple personality disorder.

The other men on the train are a doctor, a lawyer and a priest who are left intrigued by the story Raoul recalls. Raoul is a journalist who was present at the lecture the doctor gave. He also knew two women involved in this case since childhood.

Raoul made friends with Felicie and Annette when they were both girls. Annette was clever, pretty and talented. When she grew up she enchanted everyone as a performer but illness cut her life short.

Felice was hardworking and strong. She was not pretty and used to be cruelly mocked by Annette. Time after time Annette could dominate Felice, even after her death.

It took a while to get the story going. I was also distracted because the actresses playing the young girls were clearly too old for the roles. Although they would later also play the older Felicie and Annette.

It needed to be more surefooted at the beginning although it did get better as the story went on. A rather bold story from Christie.

are sharing a compartment in a night train, enjoying some casual conversation along the way. Their order is disrupted by a fourth passenger in the same compartment, who was present at the doctor's latest lecture, and tells them a personal but also related story of growing up, dual personalities, and possible murder. His story is quite absorbing, and his small audience, as well as the bigger one watching this movie, is carried along, trying to guess where it's going. When it arrives at its destination, the nature of the story is left ambiguous: is it about supernatural "possession"? A strong personality dominating a weak one? A girl with excellent acting abilities that has been fooling everyone? This is yet another Agatha Christie tale which shows how ahead of her time she was in many ways, like her questioning and challenging of the "established" authorities in both the religious and the scientific fields. Exceptionally well-cast, unusual and haunting episode. *** out of 4.

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