DVD review: And Then There Were None

Mark Reynolds

This landmark adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel was the drama hit of Christmas for BBC One. Over three taut episodes, a dark story unfolds about suppressed evil and fiendish revenge.

In 1939, as Britain braces itself for World War II, eight strangers are lured to a remote island off the coast of Devon by the mysterious Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen.

After a lavish dinner served by live-in servants Thomas and Ethel Rogers (Noah Taylor and Anna Maxwell Martin), a gramophone record plays loudly from behind a locked door in which a disembodied voice accuses each and every person in the house of murder.

Later the same evening, the first guest is dead, in circumstances that match the first in a sequence of 10 deaths in a popular children’s rhyme on display in each room of the house.

“A stellar ensemble cast… will devise, deceive, divide and entertain in equal measure.”

Since the Owens never show themselves, and the island is completely cut off, the group surmise that either some outside force is out to kill them one by one. That, or someone among them must be behind this elaborate bloodbath.

But which of them could have the motivation or the means to carry out such a dastardly plan?

Suspicion, recrimination and unlikely alliances spread through the group, as each of them face up to their past misdeeds. With no Poirot or Miss Marple to intervene, can anyone on the island bring a halt to the terror?

It would be an injustice to isolate each character and his or her alleged crime as the fun and intrigue lies in the unraveling of each of their stories.

Safe to say that a stellar ensemble cast including Charles Dance as a retired judge, Aidan Turner as an ex-mercenary, Sam Neill as a retired general, Burn Gorman as a shady undercover cop, Miranda Richardson as a buttoned-up spinster and Toby Stephens as a short-tempered doctor, will devise, deceive, divide and entertain in equal measure.


And Then There Were None is out now on DVD

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