*** Read my review, and very spoilery articles / episode re-caps here ***
Hugh Laurie! Emma Thompson! Archie the inventor from Balamory! A suspect called Roger Bassington-ffrench!
I love Agatha Christie, luckily for family harmony. My dad was a massive AC fan and in 1982 took me to see Evil Under The Sun at the cinema for my 11th birthday treat simply because he wanted to see it.
Now Hugh Laurie has adapted Christie’s 1934 whodunnit Why Didn’t The Ask Evans? into a three episode series for Britbox. He has also directed, with an all-star British cast that had me fainting elegantly onto a chaise longue in my drawing room: Will Poulter, Lucy Boynton, Conleth Hill, Emma Thompson, Miles Jupp, Jim Broadbent, Paul Whitehouse, Morwenna Banks, and Laurie himself.
Here’s the synopsis:
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? opens with a fine Agatha Christie enigma: a man lies dying at the foot of a cliff, apparently the victim of an accidental fall; with his final breath, he utters the mysterious question of the title and promptly expires. Some people – perhaps most people – might shrug at the impenetrable oddness of the words and move on with their lives. But Bobby Jones and his childhood friend, Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent, are not most people. They resolve to honour the dead man by deciphering, and then answering, his final question. In so doing, they hit upon a dark conspiracy of deceit, betrayal and – perhaps unsurprisingly – murder.
You can check out the clip below — The show is out on 14 April 2022 on Britbox.
Joining Poulter and Boynton on the series are Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) as Bobby’s friend and mentor, Dr. Thomas, and Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) as Roger Bassington-ffrench, target of the amateur sleuths’ early suspicions. Maeve Dermody (The Secret Garden), plays Moira Nicholson, troubled wife of the domineering Dr. James Nicholson, and Jonathan Jules (Small Axe) appears as Ralph “Knocker” Beadon, one time shipmate of Bobby, and good man in a tight corner.
Miles Jupp (The Durrells) joins as Roger’s elder brother Henry Bassington-ffrench, squire of Merroway Court, the family seat in Hampshire; Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) as Sylvia Bassington-ffrench, Henry’s American wife, socially adrift in the English countryside; and Alistair Petrie (Sex Education) as Bobby’s father, Rev. Richard Jones, hard-working vicar in Bobby’s home town of Marchbolt. Rounding out the cast are Paul Whitehouse (The Death of Stalin), as Mr. Askew, landlord and dispenser of wisdoms at a country tavern; Morwenna Banks (Breeders), as Mrs. Cayman, the deceased man’s sister; Ricard Dixon as the apparently jovial Mr. Cayman, and Joshua James (Black Mirror) as Frankie’s dependable young ally, Dr. George Arbuthnot.
In addition to directing, Hugh Laurie will also portray Dr. Nicholson, the Clinical Director of the sanatorium near Merroway Court.
The series is commissioned by BritBox North America and produced by Mammoth Screen≠ and Agatha Christie Limited.
About BritBox UK
BritBox is a digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV. The service brings the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place for £5.99 per month in HD. British TV boxsets from All 4 and British films from Film 4 are also available. The service includes high quality factual and entertainment content from Channel 5 plus original British comedies from Comedy Central UK. BritBox features the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, and brand new commissions for British production companies specifically created for BritBox. BritBox also offers expert curation and playlists that will enable viewers to easily find programmes they know and discover new favourites via web, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and streaming devices including Fire TV, Apple TV, Freesat, Chromecast and Roku. Content on BritBox can be downloaded and viewed offline where rights allow.
About BritBox North America
BritBox is a digital video subscription service offering the largest collection of British TV in the U.S. and Canada. Created by two British content powerhouses—BBC Studios, the commercial subsidiary arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster—the service features exclusive premieres, often day and date with their UK premiere, and iconic favorites all in one place. BritBox is available on multiple platforms, including via the web, mobile, tablet, streaming devices and connected TVs.