Agatha Christie is, of course, the undisputed queen of crime and murder mystery novels, so you just know a series is destined to be excellent when it’s based on one of her popular books.
This time round, the BBC is adapting Christie’s classic novel Murder Is Easy, which follows officer Luke Fitzwilliam as he investigates a string of murders in a quiet, sleepy English village.
The major new adaptation will be produced by Mammoth Screen (The Serpent, World on Fire) and Agatha Christie Limited (And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile) for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, in a co-commission with BritBox International.
The two-part thriller is set to begin filming this summer and is adapted for the screen by screenwriter Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre and directed by Meenu Gaur (Zinda Bhaag, World on Fire).
The drama will be set in England in 1954 and if you’re familiar with Christie’s adaptations, it’s set to be a tense (and murderous) affair. As per the synopsis: “On a train to London, a man going by the name of Luke Fitzwilliam meets Miss Pinkerton, who tells him that a killer is on the loose in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe.
“The villagers believe the deaths are mere accidents, but Miss Pinkerton knows otherwise – and when she’s later found dead on her way to Scotland Yard, Luke feels he must find the killer before they can strike again. Because for a certain kind of person, murder is easy…”
Murder Is Easy will be the latest in the ongoing series of Agatha Christie adaptations made by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited for the BBC. Previous acclaimed productions include And Then There Were None, The Witness for the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence, The ABC Murders and The Pale Horse.
Speaking about the new series, screenwriter Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre said: “I’ve watched every Agatha Christie adaptation out, because Christie wrote for the world and the whole world loves her back. But somehow I’d never read one of her novels. When I first read Murder Is Easy, I couldn’t believe how daring, experimental and furious the book was. Nothing like I’d expected.
“From the first read, the book was shouting at me how to enter and adapt it, and what’s so exciting is having everyone at Mammoth Screen and ACL jump right in there with me. It’s like going on an extended train journey with a genius sat next to you, whispering the secrets of storytelling into your ear.”
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Director Meenu Gaur also commented: “I am part of the worldwide club of Agatha Christie’s fans and followers and therefore thrilled to be shaping one of her works for the screen. I was drawn to the sassy, cool, witty, and not to be messed with women of Murder Is Easy and blown away again by how delightful her characters are.”
Director of BBC Drama Lindsay Salt added: “Agatha Christie on the BBC has become a classic combination, and in Murder Is Easy we have one of the queen of crime’s finest page-turners in a new adaptation that both speaks to us today and honours her incredible talent for brilliantly entertaining, skilfully-told mystery. BBC One and iPlayer viewers will be gripped.”
As of now, there isn’t a confirmed release date for Murder Is Easy but we do know that filming will kick off this summer and casting will be announced in due course.