Sarah Phelps’ third Agatha Christie adaptation, Ordeal By Innocence, has been a sumptuous, delicious period treat with all those key Christie themes juggled expertly to keep us guessing. The big questions for us mere mortals were who killed Rachel Argyll and why, but for hardcore Christieites they would no doubt have had one eye on the ending – Phelps is known for changing things and giving these adaptations a different spin. Who knew what was going to happen?
Last week’s opening episode of Sarah Phelps’ three-part adaptation of Ordeal By Innocence was a delicious, decadent treat for the senses: its colour palette was vibrant, both inside and out of the Argyll’s contradictorily-named Sunny Point (I’m slightly in love with Mary and Phillip Durrant’s emerald green and pink Art Deco bathroom… but this isn’t an interior design website so I’ll shut up now); the patented Agatha Christie whodunit element was as addictive as the morphine in Mary’s bathroom; and the ensemble cast was clearly putting its best foot forward and enjoying itself. Last week, the murder of matriarch, Rachel Argyll, and the subsequent death of the accused – adopted son Jack Argyll – was back in the forefront of each family member’s mind again: a man named Arthur Calgary had emerged, saying that Jack was innocent. So whodunit?
Sarah Phelps’ latest Agatha Christie adaptation started on the BBC last night, and it was generally thought to be a ripper. Ordeal By Innocence has had its problems during production (through no fault of the cast and crew) and extensive reshoots were undertaken. It’s the third Christie adaptation Phelps has worked on and each one has been very different in look and feel. News now reaches us that Phelps will be working on another Christie adaptation, and this time it will feature one of the iconic crime writer’s most beloved characters.
I’ll admit it, I’m not particularly well read when it comes to Agatha Christie, but what I do know is that Sarah Phelps’ two previous Christie adaptations for the BBC have been triumphs. And Then There Were None and The Witness For The Prosecution were real Christmas treats in 2015 and 2016, and Ordeal by Innocence was to be the third seasonal treat for 2017. We all know what happened, so it’s a real thrill – not just for Phelps and the cast and crew – that this lavish, good-looking adaptation has finally reached us. And, wouldn’t you know it, the Christie-Phelps team has pulled it off again.
It was supposed to be the third in Sarah Phelps’ Agatha Christie adaptations, aired over Christmas as a seasonal treat. But it wasn’t to be. Thanks to an accusation of historical sexual assault levelled at US star, Ed Westwick. Westwick’s part was re-shot with Christian Cooke taking over. And now we’re delighted to say that Ordeal by Innocence won’t be a Christmas treat – it’s going to be something special for Easter.
Sarah Phelps’ Agatha Christie adaptations have been a real Christmas treat for the past couple of years, so it was with great disappointment that we read that her latest – Ordeal By Innocence – had been shelved because of accusations against one of its stars, Ed Westwick. Now there’s good news – all is not lost.
The BBC’s Ordeal by Innocence was supposed to be the third BBC adaptation of a classic Agatha Christie novel in succession. The past two Christmases have seen And Then There Were None and last year’s The Witness For The Prosecution, both of which were brilliantly adapted by Sarah Phelps, and this year’s seasonal Christie treat was another Phelps adaptation. It was to be one of the jewels in the BBC’s Christmas line-up, but today the corporation announced that it had postponed the three-part series.