And Then There Were None. Acorn Media. 3 episodes, 2 discs, 177 minutes. $34.99. Bonus behind-the-scenes features include 20-minute documentary about Agatha Christie, interview with writer Sarah Phelps and a photo gallery. It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray and will be available in September 2016 on Acorn’s streaming service at www.Acorn.TV.
Agatha Christie never goes out of style. Her tough plotting, realistic characters and elaborate puzzles are still being duplicated today.
And Christie’s work continues to make smooth transitions to film, such as her classic And Then There Were None, which has a terrific reboot.
This BBC version, written by Sarah Phelps, is the first English language film adaptation to feature an ending similar to the original novel. It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Acorn.
That seems so surprising since the novel is Christie's best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold. That also makes And Then There Were None the world's best-selling mystery, and one of the best-selling books of all time. Publications International names the novel as the seventh best-selling title.
The new version of And Then There Were None puts the story more into context in relation to what was going on in the world at that time. It’s 1939 with WWII looming; the island the 10 strangers arrive at represents destruction.
Even the title And Then There Were None is chilling when viewed with what was going on in Germany at the time. That 10 people may just vanish is a metaphor for the world’s chaos. The novel was published just two months after WWII began.
The group that arrives on Soldier Island includes, among others, a playboy, a judge, a governess, a mercenary. Each has been accused of a crime that they could not be tried for in a court of law. And then each one is killed—one by one—by an unknown murderer.
The BBC reboot gracefully unfolds, proving again that while Christie never indulged in overt violence she knew how to move a story along. And the cast is terrific—Sam Neill, Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens, Noah Taylor, and Maeve Dermody, among others.
And Then There Were None has popped up on a couple of networks recently and is available for digital download on multiple platforms.