Sunday, December 27, 2015

And Then There Were None (2015)


Just finished watching BBC’s 2015 interpretation of the Agatha Christie classic : And Then There Were None. And I think this is by far the best adaptation of the famed novel. Everything from the screenplay, casting to location of the show was spot on, if this the way they produce such dramas then we are eagerly waiting for more. But I particularly  enjoyed was that they wrapped up the story in three smartly written episodes, a more profit drive producer/director would have stretched the story unnecessarily to at least 10 episodes and destroyed its fabric.


Jolly spot on:

1: The original ending. The novel has been adapted numerous times to stage , films and TV, but most of them have changed the ending so that not all of the visitors to the island die. In order to give the viewer a happy ending many of them changed the story so that Vera and Phillip end up together. But BBC chose the original ending, though they slightly modified some of the methods.

2: Cast.  The cast of this show was spectacular. They got strong , capable actors for every role, even to the flamboyant Tony Marston. Sam Neill of Jurassic Park fame as the colonel and Gorman from Forever as the detective were winners.  But I guesss everyone loved Aidan's Phillip Lombard and Maeve's Vera.

3: Screenplay. The screenplay used flashbacks often , to show the backstories of all the visitors. It was fun going back and forth their stories. I expected multiple flashbacks during the climax, to show the viewers how each victim was targeted. But there were none. Instead, the Judge just talks to Vera and fills in the gaps for us.

4: The set. The island, the house, the setting inside, the cars, train, right down to the clothes and food, it was perfect to tell the story. The actors spoke with different accents, perfectly for their statuses.







I started reading Agatha Christie I think in 1993 (boy, its really been than long ?), when our school got  a new batch of freshly printed paperbacks. Of course, they were all abridged versions, so much of the blood and gore had been tuned down, and the talk of infidelity and affairs were only alluded to. It would be another few years before I chanced upon some original unabridged versions, and really saw the author's craft.  And Then There Were None is my favourite of Christie's work, and I have  watched many adaptations of it. The story is of ten strangers stuck on a deserted island and murdered in a closed room mystery with no explanation. There is even a Hindi language Indian/Bollywood adaptation, but it was peppered with songs and dances, and it was only six people murdered on the island. The 9th was the hero, he lives, and saves the girlfriend (10th), and even the butler and his sister escapes. Truly a lazy adaptation. The 2004 movie Mindhunters was a un-credited , telling of the same story in modern times, very nice watch.

So here's to the next generation of Agatha Chritie fans, and to more adaptations of her work.


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