Airdate: Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence

3 part whodunnit was forced to recast and reshoot an entire role, due to one actor.

ABC will screen the 3 part UK whodunnit Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence over the next 3 Sundays.

The cast features Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener, Matthew Goode, Eleanor Tomlinson, Anthony Boyle, Luke Treadaway, Morven Christie, Crystal Clarke, Ella Purnell and Alice Eve.

However the miniseries is also notable for the reshooting of scenes involving Ed Westwick following sexual assault allegations. With actor Christian Cooke recast 45 minutes of footage from 35 scenes was shot over 12 days, similar to the recasting of Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World.

Adapted from Christie’s 1958 novel of the same title, it will be directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Victoria, The Hour, Me Without You) and produced by Roopesh Parekh, (Poldark, And Then There Were None, The Hollow Crown).

Christmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll (Anna Chancellor) is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll (Anthony Boyle), a young delinquent, is arrested for her murder, but vehemently protests his innocence.

Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary (Luke Treadaway), a mysterious scientist, walks onto the velvety lawns of Sunny Point claiming to have just returned from an expedition to the Arctic. Even more extraordinary is his claim to hold the alibi that can prove Jack’s innocence. But Jack died in prison before the case could come to trial, and the Argyll family is reluctant to dig up the secrets of the past.

Rachel’s widower Leo (Bill Nighy) is about to marry his secretary Gwenda (Alice Eve) and none of Rachel’s other adopted children Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson), Mickey (Christian Cooke), Tina (Crystal Clarke) or Hester (Ella Purnell), nor longstanding housekeeper Kirsten (Morven Christie), is willing to reopen that most horrendous chapter of their lives. However, the shattering implications of Calgary’s story are too big to avoid; if he is telling the truth, then the wrong person was arrested for Rachel’s murder. And if Jack is innocent, then it must have been somebody else at Sunny Point. Somebody still out there…

8:30pm Sunday on ABC.

8 Responses

  1. The BBC weren’t forced to do it by Westwick, he in fact criticised the decision. The BBC chose to do it to avoid criticism and protect revenue from overseas sales.

  2. Agatha Christie fans beware – this adaptation takes enormous liberties with original plot. It seems Sarah Phelps felt she knew better than the highest selling author of all time.

      1. ITV changed the ending of many off Colin Dexter’s Morse novels. A large section of the audience would have read them and they wanted stories that work in a 90m TV episode. But in this case they appear to have just wanted to buy the rights to use Christie’s name and write their own story.

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