The BBC bring us an all star adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famed play and short story Witness For The Prosecution. The two-parter, previously filmed in 1957 by Billy Wilder with Marlene Deitrich starring, is from the same team who had such a success last Christmas with the Aidan Turner led Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None.
Leading the cast are Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough and Kim Cattrall and the action takes us back to 1920’s London where murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous and rich Emily French.
All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily’s dedicated housekeeper Janet McIntyre stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence.
Tasked with representing Leonard is his solicitor John Mayhew and King’s Counsel, Sir Charles Carter KC. The 1957 version was a real bravura piece from Wilder this promises to be a more faithful Christie-esque production.
UK / BBC One – Mammoth Screen – Agatha Christie Productions – A+E Networks – Acorn Media Enterprises / 2 episodes /Broadcast 26-27 December 2016
Story: Agatha Christie / Producer: Colin Wrattan / Executive Producers: James Prichard and Hilary Strong for Agatha Christie Productions; Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen; Matthew Read for BBC and Sarah Phelps / Director: Julian Jarrold
Andrea Riseborough as Romaine
Toby Jones as John Mayhew
David Haig as Sir Charles Carter QC
Billy Howle as Leonard Vole
Kim Cattrall as Emily French