One of Agatha Christie’s most unusual novels is set to become a BBC1 drama – and the adaptation is out of the ordinary too. Rather than Sarah Phelps, who has been responsible for the BBC’s recent Christie series, this one comes from the pen of Gwyneth Hughes.
Here’s what you need to know about Death Comes as the End…
When is Death Comes as the End on TV?
In December 2018, the BBC revealed to RadioTimes.com that Death Comes as the End would its next Agatha Christie adaptation – with the drama expected to air in 2019.
Over the last few years, Agatha Christie dramas have generally been shown during the festive period. However, the broadcaster was unable to say whether Death Comes as the End will air at Christmas 2019, saying: “Transmission for this is to be confirmed.”
Since then, things have gone rather quiet with no further news about casting or production. We’ll update this page as soon as we know more.
Who will write Death Comes as the End?
Vanity Fair scriptwriter Gwyneth Hughes is on board to write Death Comes as the End, according to the BBC.
Over the last few years, the BBC’s Agatha Christie dramas have been penned by screenwriter Sarah Phelps, whose adaptations include And Then There Were None, The Witness for the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence and The ABC Murders. But Phelps is not stepping aside; she also has another Christie adaptation in the works, with The Pale Horse set to complete her “quintet”.
A BBC source said Death Comes as the End “will be a very different proposition from the recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptations” and that Hughes “has always been the writer attached to this title.”
Back in 2016, BBC1 struck a “unique production deal” with Agatha Christie Productions Ltd to adapt seven of the novelist’s books over the following four years, with Death Comes as the End as one of the titles included in the deal.
What is Death Comes as the End about?
Expected to be another three-part drama, the series is based on the 1944 novel by Agatha Christie which is – according to the BBC – “a groundbreaking murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt.”
The story is set in Thebes in Ancient Egypt in 2000 BC, and features entirely non-European characters. Death Comes as the End is actually Christie’s only novel not set during the 20th century, and one of four Christie novels which have never been seen on-screen before. It has also been credited as the first-ever historical whodunnit.
In the novel, the quiet lives of an Egyptian family are disturbed when the father, Imhotep, returns from the north with his new concubine. She begins to sow discontent amongst them; soon, the deaths begin. But who is the killer?
Who is in the cast of Death Comes as the End?
Casting information has yet to be announced.