No sooner had we featured Miss Marple in our weekly #TBT (the Joan Hickson incarnation) yesterday (click here if you want to read), the BBC announced today some exciting news for all Christie fans – not only are there two new adaptations in the pipeline, but the network is claiming that it will be ‘the new home of Agatha Christie’.
Let’s deal with the two new commissions first. First up is Christie’s most successful work, And Then There Were None. Adapted by Sarah Phelps (the writer who brought us Great Expectations, The Crimson Field and The Casual Vacancy back to the small screen recently), And Then There Were None tells the story of 10 strangers marooned on an island. Sure enough, in true Christie style, one by one start to perish.
Sarah Phelps said:
And Then There Were None is Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, a brilliant, unsettling, forensically precise psychological thriller about guilt and paranoia, crime and punishment. It is as sharp as a scalpel, as gripping as a steadily tightening noose, its darkness interspersed with the blackest of black wit. I am thrilled to be working on this and very excited to be bringing it to the small screen and to audiences both familiar with and totally new to Agatha Christie’s unique vision.
Next up is Partners In Crime, which features duo Tommy and Tuppence fighting crime in 1950s Britain. It’ll be a six-part series, with the first three episodes telling The Secret Adversary story. Award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris is set to adapt the three-parter, while Claire Wilson will work on N Or M. What’s more, David Walliams has signed on to play Tommy, one half of the crime-fighting duo.
This is what Walliams had to say about the news:
In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters. I was first drawn to the delicious notion of a married couple solving crimes together, and the more I read of the Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories I realised they are among Christie’s very best work.
All exciting, mouth-watering stuff, but the news that really intrigues us is that the Beeb has now gone (back) into partnership with Agatha Christie Ltd, which will see BBC One roll out more Christie adaptations in the future. ITV has done a good job with recent Marples and, especially, Poirot, but to many Agatha Christie and the BBC are a match made in crime drama heaven. And, in 2015 – the year of Christie’s 125th anniversary ‘celebration year’ – it ensures that the great lady’s legacy is safe for a new generation.
Here’s what Christie’s grandson and Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd, Mathew Prichard had to say:
We are delighted to unveil these two major new dramas for BBC One. They are an integral part of our plans for the Christie brand and demonstrate the scale of our ambition at Acorn Productions Ltd, for the portfolio of works that we own. With Christie’s 125th anniversary next year, we are developing innovative new content on all platforms – publishing, digital and theatre – with new adaptations of her timeless stories and channeling new energy into this iconic brand.