To celebrate the crime novelist Agatha Christie’s 125th anniversary the BBC decided to go dig in to her archives of over 80 novels and short stories to produce a 3 part mini-series of her 1939 novel ‘And Then There Were None’.
Set in 1939 this 3 part mini-series sees ten strangers with dubious pasts called to an mansion on an island off the coast of Devon only approachable by boat. Now in the large mansion and their hosts mysteriously absent they only have each other to keep company. As they begin to question the motives of why they are there a recording is played throughout the mansion announcing each of their crimes which now they must pay the price.
This rhyme is key to the story and is even eerier as the mini-series goes on:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Indian boys going in for law,
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
On got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Indian boy left all alone;
He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
I thought this adaptation of ‘And Then There Were None’ by the BBC was excellent. Beautifully shot throughout, the island that the guests visit becomes a character of its own. Foreboding and isolated the mansion itself would be a perfect place to commit murder if one chose to. I think the actors were picked perfectly to play their roles as you become invested in their search for the truth throughout this 3 part mini-series. If you was looking to try out a Agatha Christie adaptation this would be a perfect one to start with.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder’ Hopkins