The latest and greatest TV and film adaptations of Agatha Christie’s novels

It’s no surprise that Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction writer of all time, and her books are ripe for television and film adaptation.

Whether set in an exotic location like Egypt or a quiet country village, Christie’s timeless stories of greed, love and murder always provide a thrilling escape – and a gripping finale as the killer – or the killers – are revealed.

Ever since the publication of his first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, demand for his quintessentially English mysteries has been high. In 1928 the first film adaptation of a Christie story, The Passing of Mr Quin, was released and they have been coming ever since.

In 2017, Kenneth Branagh directed a dotted adaptation of Christie’s favorite Murder on the Orient Express, and followed it up with that year’s Death on the Nile. Hugh Laurie, meanwhile, chose a lesser-known Christie title – Why didn’t they ask Evans? – ready to use to adapt and make an entertaining mini-series for BritBox.

In total, Christie – who died in 1976 aged 85 – wrote 66 novels and 14 short stories, many of which found their way onto screens big and small. We take a look at the pick from Agatha Christie’s recent crop of adaptations.

Why didn’t they ask Evans? (2022)

Based on the 1934 novel of the same name, this charming adaptation was written and directed by actor Hugh Laurie who also plays a minor role.

The mystery begins with the death of a man whose dying cryptic words, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” ‘, sparked a winding story of murder and subterfuge. Bobby Jones, son of the honorable but penniless vicar, and the fiery Lady Frances become entangled in the case and decide to solve the mystery by themselves.

The three-part drama stars Will Poulter and Lucy Boyton and includes cameos from Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent and a well-chosen role for Paul Whitehouse as the owner of Angler’s Arms.

Why didn’t they ask Evans? now on BritBox

Death on the Nile (2022)

A sumptuous second adaptation of Agatha Christie by Kenneth Branagh who once again dons the fabulous mustache to embody the Belgian detective.

Joining a honeymooning couple and their entourage on a Nile cruise, Poirot must soon solve a handful of murders and unravel a tale of deceit and greed.

With Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Russell Brand, Sophie Okonedo, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

Watch Death on the Nile on BT Player

The Pale Horse (2020)

The fifth and final adaptation of Christie by screenwriter Sarah Phelps for the BBC has a very sinister air, between 1960s London and the spooky country village of Much Deeping, a place with more than a hint of The Wicker Man in this subject.

Rufus Sewell plays Mark Easterbrook, a grieving husband who unfortunately finds himself married to Hermia, a former friend of his first wife.

The world of Easterbrook is turned upside down for the second time when her name appears on a list found on a murdered woman. The other names on the list are dead – could Easterbrook be next? And could this be the supernatural work of witches? Zachariah Osbourne, played by an unrecognizable Bertie Carvel, certainly thinks so, but this is Agatha Christie and all is not always as it seems.

Also stars Kay Scodelario and Claire Skinner.

The Pale Horse is available for purchase on Prime Video

ABC Murders (2018)

Hollywood star John Malkovich stars as the aging Hercule Poirot, a once beloved detective now out of favor with the police and the general public.

Sarah Phelps’ screenplay and Malkovich’s presence bring gravity to the role and it features a moodier character than other portrayals of the Belgian sleuth.

The action takes place in 1933, when Poirot receives a letter, signed with the letters ABC, detailing a murder that is about to take place. At first, the police think it’s an April Fool’s joke, then suspect Poirot knows more than he’s letting on. Meanwhile, we see a bumbling traveling salesman by the name of Alexander Bonaparte Cust visit all of the victims before their murders.

With the police proving useless, it’s up to Poirot to solve the murders and regain his standing in a ruthless and suspicious pre-war Britain.

With John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, Shirley Henderson and Andrew Buchan.

The ABC Murders is available to buy on Prime Video

Ordeal by Innocence (2018)

When Rachel Argyll is bludgeoned to death, her adopted son Jack is arrested after his fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. However, he dies in custody before the case can go to trial.

Ordeal by Innocence takes place 18 months after the murder. Widower Leo Argyll, played by Bill Nighy, is about to marry his secretary Gwenda Vaughan. His four surviving adopted children gather to prepare for the wedding just as scientist Arthur Calgary returns from the Arctic with information to prove Jack’s innocence.

But if he’s innocent, who is Rachel Argyll’s killer?

Sarah Phelps is once again behind this thrilling production which stars Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode, Anna Chancellor, Morven Christie, Alice Eve and Eleanor Tomlinson.

Ordeal by Innocence is available for purchase on Prime Video

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Kenneth Branagh directed and starred as Hercule Poirot in his first film adaptation of a Christie story.

On the way back to London on the famous Orient Express, Poirot’s deductive skills are put to the test when a passenger is murdered. When the train journey is interrupted by an avalanche, the killer is trapped but Poirot’s little gray cells go into overdrive when he discovers that everyone on the train seems to have a motive.

With Kenneth Branagh Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman and Willem Dafoe.

Watch Murder on the Orient Express in BT Player

The Crooked House (2007)

A lavish film adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s personal favourites. The screenplay was written by Julian Fellowes who, as the creator of Downton Abbey, knows a thing or two about majestic dramas.

The story begins when a former diplomat turned private detective is hired by an ex-girlfriend to investigate the brutal murder of her grandfather. But dark family secrets come to light with more than one motive revealed and it’s a race against time to catch the killer.

With Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Christina Hendricks and Terrence Stamp.

The Crooked House is available to buy on Prime Video

Witness for the Prosecution (2016)

This multi-layered adaptation from screenwriter Sarah Phelps once again brings her sense of dread and foreboding to a murder mystery.

When a wealthy woman is brutally murdered, all fingers point to her young companion, Leonard, who is to inherit her fortune. His lawyer, convinced of his innocence, must convince Leonard’s girlfriend to present his alibi, but nothing is simple in this twisted story of greed and betrayal.

With Toby Jones, Kim Catrall and Andrea Risebourough.

Prosecution witness available for purchase on Prime Video

And Then There Was No More (2015)

A claustrophobic atmosphere surrounds this adaptation, the first from screenwriter Sarah Phelps. Ten apparent strangers are invited to a remote island off the coast of Devonshire. Cut off from the mainland due to bad weather, guests begin to be knocked down one by one. They all have a troubled past but who among them is the murderer and what is their motive?

With Aidan Turner, Charles Dance and Miranda Richardson.

And Then There Were None is available for purchase on Prime Video

Other Agatha Christie adaptations to watch:

Partners in Crime – Series 1

David Walliams and Jessica Raine play Tommy and Tuppence, a suburban couple whose desire for adventure leads them into trouble again and again.

Partners in Crime is available for purchase on Prime Video

Poirot

David Suchet portrayed the Belgian sleuth for 24 years between 1989 and 2013 in this ITV series which, by the time the last episode aired, had adapted every novel or short story starring Poirot for the small screen.

All 70 episodes of Poirot are available on BritBox.

marble

Geraldine McEwan and then Julia McKenzie played famous elderly detective Miss Marple in 23 feature films for ITV between 2004 and 2013, and there’s star-studded programming in all of them.

Every episode of Marple is now available on BritBox.

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