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The Pale Horse

Series 1 - Episode 2

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Review

Ah, Sarah Phelps, you are a clever woman, taking one of Agatha Christie’s oddest mysteries and tipping it upside down to make it even more off-kilter, unsettling and enthralling.

In the final episode, antiques dealer Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell, never better) is a lost soul, grieving for his first wife while despising his second, Hermia – played by Kaya Scodelario, excellent as a bored, unhappy woman gasping from suffocating social mores.

Mark must find a way of breaking the curse of the three witches as they brew up trouble in the living room of the Pale Horse in Much Deeping.

But how? The story spins and pivots in wild directions, buffeting between pagan rituals and folk stories while ending with a sinister, deeply creepy flourish. The Pale Horse is up there with And Then There Were None as one of the best, most troubling, of Phelps’s adaptations.

Summary

Mark is consumed with paranoia, fearful that his life is at risk and that the perpetrator is someone known to him. To make matters worse, Detective Inspector Lejeune seems to be increasingly suspicious of him. Mark's investigations uncover the ties between his first wife Delphine and the trio of `witches' at Much Deeping, putting his relationship with second wife Hermia under great strain. Concluding part of the adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1961 novel, starring Rufus Sewell, Sean Pertwee and Kaya Scodelario.

Cast & Crew

Mark Easterbrook Rufus Sewell
Insp Stanley Lejeune Sean Pertwee
Hermia Easterbrook Kaya Scodelario
Zachariah Osborne Bertie Carvel
Yvonne Tuckerton Claire Skinner
Thyrza Grey Sheila Atim
Bella Rita Tushingham
Jessie Davis Madeleine Bowyer
Delphine Easterbrook Georgina Campbell
Sybil Stamfordis Kathy Kiera Clarke
David Ardingly Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Poppy Ellen Robertson
Doctor Ben Nathan
Adapted By Sarah Phelps
Director Leonara Lonsdale
Executive Producer Sarah Phelps
Executive Producer Damien Timmer
Executive Producer Helen Ziegler
Executive Producer Tommy Bulfin
Executive Producer Basi Akpabio
Executive Producer James Prichard
Producer Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto
Writer Agatha Christie
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Drama