BBC One has pacted with Agatha Christie Productions Ltd for seven further adaptation of classic Christie titles over the next four years, TVWise has learned. The first project being pursued under this seven project commitment is Ordeal By Innocence.
Originally published in 1958, Ordeal By Innocence deals with the psychology of innocence after a convicted murderer, who all along protested his innocence, dies in prison and, years later, the family must deal with the consequences as the truth slowly comes out.
Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy, The Cormoran Strike Mysteries) is on-board the pen the script for the adaptation, which will be produced by Endeavour and Victoria indie Mammoth Screen, in asscoiation with Agatha Christie Productions Ltd. The executive producers are Hilary Strong, James Prichard, Karen Thrussell, Damien Timmer and Matthew Read.
This bumper commission from BBC One further extends the relationship between the BBC and Agatha Christie Productions Ltd. The two previously inked a production deal in 2014 that saw them commission and air a number of successful Christie adaptations including And Then There Were None, which was also penned by Sarah Phelps and aired last Christmas. New adaptation The Witness For The Prosecution – starring Kim Cattrall, Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough – is also currently in production.
“These new commissions continue BBC One’s special relationship as the home of Agatha Christie in the UK”, said the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore, who commissioned these seven new adaptations. “Our combined creative ambition to reinvent Christie’s novels for a modern audience promises to bring event television of the highest quality to a new generation enjoyed by fans old and new.”
In addition to Ordeal By Innoncence, other adaptations in development include The ABC Murders, a Hercule Poirot story that follows the Belgian detective, Captain Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp as they race against time to stop a serial killer who is operating across 1930s Britain; and Death Comes As The End, a groundbreaking murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt. The ABC Murders has previously been adapted for television as an episode of ITV’s long-running Poirot series, which was toplined by David Suchet.
“And Then There Were None was a highlight of the 2015 BBC One Christmas schedule, and we are truly delighted to be building on the success of that show, first with The Witness For The Prosecution, and then with adaptations of seven more iconic Agatha Christie titles”, added Hilary Strong, Chief Executive Officer of Agatha Christie Limited. “What Sarah Phelps brought to And Then There Were None was a new way of interpreting Christie for a modern audience, and Agatha Christie Ltd is thrilled to be bringing this psychologically rich, visceral and contemporary sensibility to more classic Christie titles for a new generation of fans.”