Tommy and Tup­pence take up the chal­lenge

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

Think of Agatha Christie and what im­me­di­ately springs to mind? Prob­a­bly that fas­tid­i­ous Bel­gian de­tec­tive Her­cule Poirot and sharp-as-a-tack pen­sioner Miss Marple. In fact, there are maybe even some peo­ple who have never read any of her work that be­lieve Christie’s out­put only fea­tures those two for­mi­da­ble char­ac­ters. But how wrong they are. Christie wrote a va­ri­ety of books and short sto­ries that fea­tured nei­ther of them, as well as four nov­els and a col­lec­tion of tales fea­tur­ing the ad­ven­tures of Tommy and Tup­pence Beres­ford, a pair of mar­ried am­a­teur de­tec­tives. The Beres­fords first popped up in 1922, and their ad­ven­tures spanned the next 50 years – in­deed their fi­nal story, Postern of Fate, was the last novel writ­ten by Christie. This take on their tales, Part­ners in Crime, BBC1, 9pm, takes place solely in the 1950s and stars David Wal­liams and Jes­sica Raine as the dar­ing duo. It also mixes es­pi­onage, drama and hu­mour against the back­drop of the Cold War. The first run fea­tures two sto­ries – The Se­cret Ad­ver­sary and N or M? – and lasts six weeks. Christie’s books are rel­a­tively short and tend to be adapted into fea­ture-length dra­mas, so it’s re­fresh­ing that here, view­ers have some­thing to re­ally get their teeth into – as well as the po­ten­tial for cliffhang­ers at the end of each episode. In fact, the whole pro­ject ap­pears to have been put to­gether with ten­der lov­ing care by peo­ple with real en­thu­si­asm for the sub­ject. “David Wal­liams and Hi­lary Strong from the Agatha Christie Group came to dis­cuss the fact that they wanted to rein­vent Tommy and Tup­pence,” says ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Hi­lary Be­van Jones. “David was par­tic­u­larly tick­led by the idea of a mar­ried am­a­teur de­tec­tive duo and the im­age of them bick­er­ing over a dead body. “Christie has a won­der­ful sense of hu­mour and I’m not sure how many peo­ple know that. We de­cided to think of it as In­di­ana Jones meets Agatha Christie.” Eye­brows may be raised among Christie wor­ship­pers at the thought of Wal­liams play­ing Tommy, but Zin­nie Harris, who adapted their first case, The Se­cret Ad­ver­sary, for the small screen, reck­ons he’s just per­fect. “David is a won­der­ful Tommy as I al­ways thought he would be,” she re­veals. “He is a great com­bi­na­tion of brave, gung-ho and a bit left-footed which is quite a hard thing to pull off. I love what he has done with the char­ac­ter.

I Spy David Wal­liams stars in the crime drama.

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