Christmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocenc... Read allChristmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocence.Christmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocence.
Why the huge difference? Because I knew the story before we started watching and she didn't.
This is NOT an Agatha Christie adaptation. This is taking an Agatha Christie title, using the same characters, starting out with the same opening of a son convicted of killing his mother ..... and then changes pretty much everything that follows.
I could almost accept that. What I can not accept is having reached the final episode and expecting character "A" to be revealed as the killer in the closing scenes because I knew the original story but instead finding out that in this 'adaptation' it is actually character "B" that did the deed because the screenwriter knows better than the incomparable Agatha Christie.
Imagine if you were going to an 'adaptation' of a Shakespeare play about a couple of star crossed lovers. You know the story. You know what to expect. You are confused by a few of the director's changes as you watch and you are doubting your memory of the original story but then you get to the final scene and the boy ... let's call him Romeo ... rushes to the girl's tomb ... let's call her Juliette ... to find her apparently dead. Surprisingly (because you KNOW the story), he decides to join her and kill himself but ... just before he can plunge the sword into his chest, Juliette awakens in the nick of time. Furious at being so cruelly deceived into thinking his beloved was dead, he stabs Juliette instead and then launches into a long soliloquy on the tyranny of women before fleeing the stage. Would you be happy with the rewrite?
An adaptation of Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence? It is nothing of the sort.
However, if this had been given a completely different title, with different unrecognizable characters, set in a different time and place, I probably would have enjoyed it.
As it was, I was left immensely frustrated by the writer, director and producer's decision to capitalize on the Christie name and not willing to let the production stand on its own merits.
In future Christie 'adaptation' by the BBC, I'll be carefully checking the screenwriter and avoiding it if it has Sarah Phelps name on it.
On the other hand, if I see an original production where Sarah Phelps is the writer, I'll give it a go because, as I said, other than the con of presenting it as an Agatha Christie it wasn't too bad.
- Apr 28, 2018