BBC One has set The Pale Horse as their next Agatha Christie adaptation as part of their long-running deal with Agatha Christie Limited. It follows in the footsteps of previous adaptations And Then There Were None, The Witness For The Prosecution, Ordeal By Innocence and The ABC Murders.
The Pale Horse follows Mark Easterbrook, who, after a mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman, begins an investigation into how and why his name came to be there. He is drawn to The Pale Horse, the home of a trio of rumoured witches in the tiny village of Much Deeping. Word has it that the witches can do away with wealthy relatives using the dark arts alone, but as the bodies mount up Mark is certain there has to be a rational explanation. And who could possibly want him dead?
The novel, which was first published in 1961, is being adapted as a two-part drama by Sarah Phelps. Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited are producing, while Amazon Prime Video is on-board as the U.S. co-producer. Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto is the series producer, while Leonora Lonsdale is attached to direct. The BBC said casting would be announced at a later date. The executive producers are Sarah Phelps, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler, James Prichard, Basi Akpabio and Tommy Bulfin. Endeavor Content will handle global sales.
“The Pale Horse was one of the later novels penned by my great grandmother, written as it was in the 1960s”, said James Prichard, Executive Producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited. “This new drama allows writer Sarah Phelps to continue her exploration of the 20th century through Christie’s stories, with the book’s fantastic, foreboding atmosphere completely suited to Sarah’s unique style of adaptation.”
“Written in 1961, against the backdrop of the Eichmann Trial, the escalation of the Cold War and Vietnam, The Pale Horse is a shivery, paranoid story about superstition, love gone wrong, guilt and grief”, commented Writer and Executive Producer Sarah Phelps. “It’s about what we’re capable of when we’re desperate and what we believe when all the lights go out and we’re alone in the dark.”
“Sarah Phelps’ adaptations of Agatha Christie’s most iconic novels have introduced the author’s work to a new generation of fans”, adds the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger. “The Pale Horse is one of her most unusual and atmospheric works and lends itself perfectly to another stunning screen adaptation from Sarah.”
While Helen Ziegler, Executive Producer for Mammoth Screen, added: “Sarah Phelps has crafted an extraordinary adaptation of Agatha Christie’s celebrated 1960s novel The Pale Horse, where the rational world and dark supernatural forces seem to collide. Asking the question, how far would you go to protect your own happiness? it’s a tale of guilt, terror and witchcraft with we hope will delight and terrify viewers in equal measure!”