BBC commissions ‘And Then There Were None’ adaptation from Mammoth Screen

Mammoth Screen is to make a major new BBC1 adaptation of ‘And Then There Were None’ as a bold piece of event television, bringing Agatha Christie’s masterpiece to a new generation in her 125th celebration year.

Dame Agatha Christie, DBE is the best-selling novelist of all time. Since her debut in 1920, Agatha Christie has never been out of print and is currently published worldwide in over 50 different languages. ‘And Then There Were None’ is Christie’s most successful work and has sold over 100 million copies.

Acclaimed writer Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, The Crimson Field, The Casual Vacancy) will adapt a new telling of this extraordinary and ingenious masterpiece, produced by Mammoth Screen (Parade’s End, Poldark) in partnership with Acorn Productions Ltd. The premise is timeless, dark and gripping : ten strangers marooned on an island. One by one they start to die.

Sarah Phelps says: “And Then There Were None is Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, a brilliant, unsettling, forensically precise psychological thriller about guilt and paranoia, crime and punishment. It is as sharp as a scalpel, as gripping as a steadily tightening noose, its darkness interspersed with the blackest of black wit. I am thrilled to be working on this and very excited to be bringing ‘And Then There Were None’ to the small screen and to audiences both familiar with and totally new to Agatha Christie’s unique vision.”

The commission is announced alongside another Christie adaptation, “Partners in Crime”, which will bring back Tommy and Tuppence in a six part adventure series starring David Walliams.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning said : I am delighted that the great British institution that is the BBC is going to have a long term relationship with the works of Agatha Christie – both the BBC and Christie are as brilliantly British as it is possible to get. We are blessed to have found such like-minded partners in Mathew Prichard and Hilary Strong whose ambition for Christie’s work is modern and creative. We’re thrilled to welcome a brilliant new series ‘Partners in Crime’ and a classic adaptation of one of the best-selling novels of all time ‘And Then There Were None’ to BBC1 and we are having lots of exciting discussions about what next.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC ONE said : “I’m thrilled BBC ONE is to become the new home of Agatha Christie in the UK, it’s the start of a great new relationship and a real treat for BBC1 audiences.”

Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and grandson of Agatha Christie said: “It is fantastic that, in her all-important 125th anniversary year, my grandmother is to be welcomed with such enthusiasm to the BBC: a wonderful new home for her much-loved characters and their stories, and one which she would be delighted with. The commitment to these productions from all those involved is great to see, and I’ve no doubt will result in compelling new adaptations, to be enjoyed by fans old and new.”

Hilary Strong, MD of Acorn Productions Ltd, said: “We are delighted to unveil these two major new dramas for BBC1. They are an integral part of our plans for the Christie brand and demonstrate the scale of our ambition at Acorn Productions Ltd, for the portfolio of works that we own. With Christie’s 125th anniversary next year, we are developing innovative new content on all platforms – publishing, digital and theatre – with new adaptations of her timeless stories and channeling new energy into this iconic brand.”

Damien Timmer, Joint Managing Director of Mammoth Screen, said: “We want this to be the definitive adaptation of one of the most strikingly original and infuential novels of the 20th Century, and we’re so pleased to have the extraordinarily talented Sarah Phelps writing the screenplay. And Then There Were None is arguably Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, and it’s a privilege to be bringing it to the screen.