Retro-review: Collected in a new THE BEST OF AGATHA CHRISTIE Vol.1 Collection from Acorn; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!


Directed by Craig Viveiros, Basi Akpabio, Rebecca Keane
Written by Sarah Phelps, Agatha Christie (original story)
Starring Maeve Dermody, Charles Dance, Toby Stephens, Burn Gorman, Aidan Turner, Harley Gallacher, Miranda Richardson, Paul Chahidi, Sam Neill, Charlie Russell, Tom Clegg, Noah Taylor, Catherine Bailey, Ben Deery, Rob Heaps, Douglas Booth, Joseph Prowen, Daisy Waterstone, Christopher Hatherall, Anna Maxwell Martin, Margot Edwards

While I can appreciate the extensive and detailed adaptation as much as the next guy. I think that the HBO series adapting THE WATCHMEN would be awesome and even appreciated the attention to detail Zack Snyder realized in his overlong and flawed, but still entertaining adaptation of the same thing. Bu tI think the extended length of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, ends up shooting itself in the foot in the long run.

The story is well known. Ten people are invited to a remote location—in this case it’s an island. And while all of them believe to be strangers with one another, it turns out they are all connected in some mysterious way. Soon people start dropping like flies and it isn’t until two are left that the real truth comes to light.

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE has a stellar cast. With veteran actors Charles Dance and Sam Neill, and Noah Taylor adding thespian heft, the miniseries also highlights up and coming heavies Toby Stephens, the moustache twirling (even when he doesn’t have a moustache) Burn Gorman, and chiseled Aidan Turner, and introduces new stars in the making Maeve Dermody. If you’re a fan of DOWNTON ABBEY or other PBS Masterpiece works, the acting caliber maintains that standard of excellence. Everyone is polite, biting, and direct, which makes for some interesting verbal wordfighting when the cast is all gathered together. Dermody in particular is fantastic as the central character, a nanny who feels out of place among the other guests who are considered the upper crust and adds a little bit of accessibility to the story as a whole.

The problem with AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is that, being a miniseries, it must fill out three entire hours with a story that I think could have been told in a stronger manner in half that time. I understand there are a lot of details that are in the book and scenes that are fleshed out like never before, but in the end, I feel that the point would have been made with a whole lot more clarity, not to mention with a whole lot more watch-ability had this been a regular lengthed film. I can’t count the times I ended up looking at my phone to see what time it was while watching this film.

We go to an Agatha Christie mystery for the mystery, the fun and shady characters and the twists and turns taken before the truth is revealed. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE has all of this, but it just takes way too much time to get to it all.

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