Did anyone else watch the BBC serialisation of Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ over Christmas? If not, you missed a treat, and I’m not just talking about Aidan Turner in That Towel.
Anyone who thinks Christie is all fluff and no substance could do a lot worse than watch this. It’s pure noir, really, with a claustrophobic atmosphere you can cut with a knife, a string of unpleasant characters, and an ending that’s about as far away from Miss Marple as it’s possible to get. Apparently Christie herself said this was the hardest of her books to write, and you can see why.
Hats off to the Beeb for such an excellent production. Yes, they introduced a few eyebrow-raising details such as Bad Language (gasp) and even a hint of lesbian attraction, but none of that felt the least bit out of place. And the pace, filming, locations and acting were all quite brilliant. The latter perhaps most of all. It can’t be easy to make such an unlikeable group of characters the least bit sympathetic, but Maeve Dermody as Vera and Aidan Turner as Philip Lombard managed it surprisingly well. (And no, not just because of That Towel.)
It’s a very long time since I last read the book – I think I was a teenager, and half in love with Lombard’s character (I always did like the baddies!), and not too impressed with the ending. But this was a happy reminder of just how good Christie could be, and I may even be tempted into buying myself a copy and having another go.