Brilliant, edgy courtroom drama
OH my, if Agatha Christie had lived to see this sexed up new BBC1 version of her classic, I fear the grand old Dame may have needed smelling salts.
Writer Sarah Phelps (responsible for last Christmas’s hit version of And Then There Were None) has created the rawest and best version yet of this edgy courtroom drama. The grimy 1924 London backstreets and gloomy houses lit by spluttering new electric lights are vividly portrayed. It looks as if it was shot through nicotine-stained yellow gauze. The rich are shrugging offtheclinging misery of the Great Warbywhoopingitup, and lonely American socialite Emily French (Kim Cattrall) pays young men to be her lovers. Then she changes her will leaving a fortune to latest gigolo LeonardVole (Billy Howle) andsoonafter, she’s found bludgeoned to death by jealously possessive housekeeper Janet (Monica Dolan). Vole’s charged with murder. Despite his showgirl lover Romaine (An- drea Riseborough) giving him an alibi, Vole looks set to hang when eventsunexpectedlyplayintothe handsofhispatheticlawyerMayhew(brilliant TobyJones) andthe outcomebecomesabattleofwits. Two more big surprises deliver a shattering climax.
Wh i c h Po ld a r k hu n k starredinlastyear’sBBCChristie hit? EntriestoAlexGordon, Witness comp by January 19.