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DVD Review

DVD cover

And Then There Were None


Starring: Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Maeve Dermody, Burn Gorman, Anna Maxwell Martin, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens, Noah Taylor and Aidan Turner
Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 11 January 2016

Set in 1939 this three-part series follows ten strangers with dubious pasts who are drawn to a mysterious mansion on a remote island off the Devon coast. As the weather turns, they find themselves stranded and their hosts mysteriously absent. They soon discover they are each accused of a terrible crime for which a price must now be paid. When members of the party start to mysteriously die; brutally slaughtered one by one, the ill-fated guests realise they may be harbouring the murderer among them. For if all are destined to die, who can their executioner be...?

And Then There Were None was originally commissioned by the BBC to mark the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth. The three-part series was broadcast over the 2015 Christmas period.

Despite the fact that the show's producers claim this is the first time the book has been adapted for TV, there was a version made by the BBC in 1949 and another by ITV in 1959. That's just the UK. The USA and Germany have also produced TV versions. Now, it could be that these were made-for-TV movies, and the producers are claiming that it's never been adapted as a TV serial. Or it could be that because these previous TV adaptations were entitled Ten Little Niggers, based on the book's original title, that indeed no TV version of And There There Were None has been made before.

While the series is an adaptation of the original book, it doesn't stray too far from Christie's source material, so I'm reliably informed. It might sound odd, but this is one of Christie's books which I haven't read or seen any of the movies based on the original. However, given the fairly early hint that the murder is amongst them it wasn't overly hard to work out who was the killer. To set up such an elaborate and expensive series of events you can rule several of the characters out. Add to that who would possible have a motive and it becomes quiet easy to work out the killer... Or so I thought. When my suspect was neatly dispatched, I was left scratching my head who on earth was the killer. Well played, Christie, after all this time you still managed to pull the wool over the eyes of those in the audience who think they've covered all bases.

The cast are universally superb, as you'd expect given the talent on display. My only slight complaint was that for a group of strangers meeting for the first time they all appear rather brash and caricatures of real people. Yes, we know that they've all done terrible things in the past, but they almost all stick out a mile as pompous and undesirable types. And why someone thought it a good idea to include the "F" word on a couple of occasions is anyone's guess. If you're going to try and stay faithful to the time period then having gentlemen acting gentlemanly is surely essential. It's also very intrusive and detracts from the tense drama.

Extras include And Then There Was Something (41 min, 27 sec) making of featurette which includes a spoiler alert, just to warn off those that haven't watched the series first. It also visits the production as they prepare to run through the first table read. There are also interview with each of the main cast. Also included is a Picture Gallery and a Behind the Scenes Picture Gallery.


Darren Rea

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