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And Then There Was A New Adaptation Of A Christie Classic

A dark and stormy night, a cup of tea, and six degrees of separation of British actors. All three fit well with the new BBC adaptation (distributed by American Public Media) of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but the miniseries offers much more than a secluded island and a cast of characters each hiding a secret. Unlike many of its predecessors in television, film, radio, and stage form (Christie’s works have been favorites for years), the 2015 series paints a bleak portrait of choices made at times of crisis without the embellishments of true love and heroes.

 
The cast of And Then There Were None on Soldier Island

A worthy addition to Thursday evenings on Georgia Public Broadcasting (don’t worry, Agatha Christie’s Marple will still follow each episode of the three-part series!), And Then There Were None takes classic Christie and creates an engaging screen adaptation where keen-eyed mystery and drama lovers can easily point out favorite actors (or at least pay a visit to IMDB to question: “Where have I seen them before?”). The basic story is as follows: ten strangers are lured to Soldier Island, located off the coast of Devon, England, all invited by mysterious hosts known only as Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen. to stay at their manor. While the guests are all strangers to one another, they find that they have several things in common: each of their rooms has the poem “Ten Little Soldier Boys” framed inside, none of them have met their hosts before, and, while at dinner, a gramophone reveals that each guest and the new newly hired servants have all been accused of murder. As the island’s inhabitants begin to die one by one, it becomes clear that as they are trapped in a “locked room mystery” and that one of their party must be the killer.

And Then There Were None Agatha Christie Episode 1

Similar to another Christie work recently adapted for the screen, Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None features a variety of characters with shady pasts, allowing some of the UK’s most prominent and rising stars to fill the roles. Masterpiece fans will be especially thrilled to see the return of Poldark’s Aidan Turner to their TVs as Philip Lombard, a soldier of fortune and a stark contrast to Ross Poldark. The cast also includes Maeve Dermody, Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter), Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle), Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim), and Douglas Booth (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).

And Then There Were None Agatha Christie Episode 1

Naturally, this latest version of Christie’s classic story faces scrutiny, both in comparison to the original book and its predecessors. With Agatha Christie named the World’s Bestselling Author by the Guinness Book of World Records (more than two billion copies of all of her works have been published in 44 languages), the standalone stories as well as the cases solved by Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple have been adapted and re-adapted to a variety of mediums. For fans of the book, it’s likely the miniseries will be a satisfying version, barring a few differences in how the murders are played out. But for fans of the stage show and other film adaptations, the miniseries offers a darker take on familiar characters, particularly in their backstories and the growing infatuation between Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard. Overall, the three-part adaptation does an excellent job heightening the tension while allowing a peek into each character’s unique inner turmoil with secrets they can no longer conceal.

And Then There Were None premieres on GPB on Thursday, March 29th at 8 p.m. Part 2 airs Thursday, April 5th at 8 p.m. with part 3, the conclusion, airing Thursday, April 12th at 8 p.m.

 
Rachel Buchman Guest Blogger

Rachel Buchman serves as the Social Media Community Manager at GPB. She earned her degree in English Language and Literature from The University of Chicago and has been contributing to GPB’s social media platforms since 2016. She is an avid British and Australian TV fan with a love for all things Masterpiece Theatre. Outside... more