PIRATES of the Caribbean and Love Actually star, Bill Nighy, is set to star in a new television adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence.
The three-part drama reunites the team behind last December’s The Witness for the Prosecution and 2015’s And Then There Were None, both of which were critical successes for BBC One.
It will be directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Victoria, The Hour, Me Without You) and produced by Roopesh Parekh, (Poldark, And Then There Were None, The Hollow Crown).
Adapted from Christie’s 1958 novel of the same title, the series is set in Christmas 1954. When wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate, Sunny Point, her adopted son Jack Argyll, a young delinquent, is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocence.
Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary, a scientist, walks onto the velvety lawns of Sunny Point claiming to have just returned from an expedition to the Arctic.
Even more extraordinary is his claim to hold the alibi that can prove Jack’s innocence. But Jack died in prison before the case could come to trial, and the Argyll family is reluctant to dig up the secrets of the past.
Rachel’s widower Leo is about to remarry his secretary, Gwenda, and none of Rachel’s other adopted children, Mary, Mickey, Tina or Hester, nor longstanding housekeeper Kirsten, is willing to reopen that most horrendous chapter of their lives.
The shattering implications of Calgary’s story are, however, too big to avoid. If he is telling the truth then the wrong person was arrested for Rachel’s murder, and if Jack was not the killer, then it must have been somebody else at Sunny Point.
Joining Nighy in the cast will be Catherine Keener (Get Out, Capote), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, Downton Abbey), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Loving Vincent), Anthony Boyle (Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams: The Commuter), Ed Westwick (White Gold, Gossip Girl), Luke Treadaway (Fortitude, A Street Cat Named Bob), Morven Christie (The A Word, The Replacement), Crystal Clarke (Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Churchill) and Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Black Mirror).
Says executive producer, Damien Timmer: “Sarah Phelps has excelled herself with this spellbinding adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s most celebrated stories. A gloriously dark deconstruction of an apparently perfect family, we hope it delights and chills viewers when it airs!”
James Prichard, executive producer and executive chairman of Agatha Christie Limited, added: “Ordeal By Innocence was one of Christie’s personal favourites and I cannot wait to see how this outstanding cast will bring her story to life under the skilful direction of Sandra Goldbacher and the Mammoth Screen production team. To have Bill Nighy and Catherine Keener head up this all-star cast really is a testament to the depth and quality of my great grandmother’s writing.”
Ordeal By Innocence continues BBC One and Agatha Christie Limited’s unique production deal that will see ACL and Mammoth deliver seven Christie adaptations.