I've just finished watching the 2015 BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. It's a minor point, but there's one thing I couldn't understand: why did Philip Lombard keep calling Sergeant Blore by the nickname "Tubbs"?

He started as soon as he knew Blore was a policeman, when the latter dropped the pseudonym of "Davis", so I assume it's some sort of police-related reference. Obviously Lombard was doing it to annoy Blore, but why that name in particular?


4 Answers 4


It seems to be a play on his name; William Tubbs was an actor during the pre and post-war period.

Lombard: You're letting the booze and powder do the thinking for you, Tubs.

Blore: I've told you to stop calling me that!

Vera: Your first name's William, isn't it?

Episode 3 : Transcript

  • Please note that I haven't been watching the show and this is pure guesswork based on a 30 second google at the show transcripts. Downvote according if this turns out to be nonsense :-P
    – user7812
    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:48
  • You could go and watch it - it's on BBC iPlayer :-) Thanks for the answer, but I don't think the William line is related to the Tubbs line: Lombard (really? I thought it was Vera) asks him about his first name so that they can refer to him more familiarly. And anyway, why "Tubbs" in particular, rather than "Shakespeare" or "Gladstone" or anybody else called William? Dec 29, 2015 at 1:55

As Blore seems to be a closet case, and Lombard has good instincts about people, I thought it was probably some reference to homosexuality, perhaps having to do with gay bathhouses. (The Savoy Turkish Baths were open 1905-1975, and were famous for gay assignations.) That seems awfully subtle, but I don't know what else it can be. Lombard doesn't call Blore 'Tubs' in the book or (as I recall) the play, and in earlier versions it isn't suggested that Blore is a repressed gay person. For what it's worth, in the captions it's rendered as 'Tubs,' not 'Tubbs.'


There is an old Yorkshire slang of "mucktub". It was used for someone always getting dirty. Maybe Lombard is saying that Blore is a dirty cop.


Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs was part of the team of Crockett and Tubbs, the two main characters from Miami Vice. Being that Blore was an officer, it was most likely a chide from Lombard to compare him to the famous TV character.

  • 2
    "On a hot day in late August sometime in the late 1930s..." - Um, that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 23, 2016 at 14:03
  • @NapoleonWilson On the other hand, the TV series was made this year. Maybe a deliberate anachronism? Mar 23, 2016 at 14:28
  • 1
    @randal'thor Maybe, but still not what the answer says.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 23, 2016 at 14:29

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