The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Make a fantastic James Bond friend when I needed one most
No mystery as writer’s red herrings and plot twists fill festive schedules
Murder. The plot sees the legendary author turn sleuth in a fictionalised investigation into the real-life murder of Queen’s nurse, Florence Nightingale Shore, daughter of Florence Nightingale.
Pippa said: “I play Mabel, a Queen’s nurse who had gone through the First World War in the hospitals at the trenches with her real-life companion, Florence.
“They came back after the war and continued working as nurses, but Florence was brutally murdered and they never found the killer.”
In the fictionalised account, set around the 11 days in 1926 in which Christie famously disappeared from her home, Mabel turns to the writer for help, Pippa said.
“In real life, Mabel tried to solve the case for six years after the case had gone cold and she became obsessed with it. In the drama, she and Agatha Christie join forces to try to solve the murder.
“So we have two feisty strong women coming together to deal with very emotional traumas within their lives, me trying to solve the murder of my dear friend, companion, lover and work colleague, and Agatha at the point in her life when her marriage is crumbling and falling apart.
“Also, who doesn’t want to watch an Agatha Christie-related drama over Christmas?”
Agatha & The Truth of Murder and it airs 9pm, 23rd December on Channel 5 Pippa Haywood stars in just one of the Christmas shows inspired by Agatha Christie’s life and work.
The author’s twisting plots and period drama are as popular as ever with two new dramas among this year’s festive TV highlights. BBC’S big blockbuster for 2018 is The ABC Murders. It’s the latest mystery they’re bringing to the screen after signing a deal for seven adaptations, following years of ITV having the rights to Poirot and Marple. John Malkovich takes over the role of sleuth Poirot from David Suchet – but without the Belgian accent and with his own beard, not the trademark moustache.
“Poirot and Christie fans may just hate all this, I have no idea,” Malkovich admitted.
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald and Scots Shirley Henderson and Gregor Fisher are also among the cast of the three-part tale that begins on Boxing Day.
This is the fourth current BBC Christie after And Then There Were None, Witness for the Prosecution and the troubled Ordeal By Innocence. The Scotsshot production was due to be screened last Christmas but went out at Easter after original cast member Ed Westwick’s scenes were re-shot with another actor following a rape allegation. The new adaptations have had a darker tone and writer Sarah Phelps says: “I came late to Christie but I think that works in my favour. I don’t have a familiarity so I am acutely aware of the danger, the really unnerving, unsettling qualities.” Meanwhile, Channel 5 has Agatha & The Truth of Murder, on December 23. It’s based around Christie’s real-life 11-day disappearance in 1926.
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