John Malkovich has made his debut as Hercule Poirot in the BBC’s new Agatha Christie drama The ABC Murders – and reactions couldn’t have been more polarised between love and hate.
Screenwriter Sarah Phelps has given a few twists to the classic murder mystery, and while some fans have praised her “sublime” re-imagining of the original novel, others have been quick to complain about the “massacre” of a well-known classic.
- ABC Murders writer Sarah Phelps responds to “manufactured outrage” at her changes to Agatha Christie’s storylines
- Questions we have after the first episode of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders
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It’s not the first time Phelps has come under fire for her take on Agatha Christie. Responding to her critics, she told the audience at a preview screening: “A lot of it feels like manufactured outrage. Seriously, if you’re going to work yourself up into a frothing lather about a television drama, just go and watch BBC Parliament for a couple of minutes. That’ll give you a sense of perspective about what to be really pissed off about!”
After the first instalment of the three-parter aired on Boxing Day, many stepped up to praise and defend her work…
I love and envy how brilliantly Sarah Phelps adapts Christie. An object lesson in great screenwriting. #ABCMurders
— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) December 26, 2018
— mike harrow (@JeremiahBoogle) December 26, 2018
— Prof Kate Williams (@KateWilliamsme) December 26, 2018
Agatha Bloomin’ Christie! Does everyone fancy giving her idea justified kudos later? Malkovich no ordinary Poirot. Quite relish seeing this. Unique vision. Withhold XBox. Yawns, zero.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 26, 2018
Jesus Christ John Malkovich is INCREDIBLE as Poirot #ABCMurders
— Dr Fern Riddell (@FernRiddell) December 26, 2018
— Lewis (@lewiisjefferies) December 26, 2018
And that’s not to forget Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, who is back on our screens to play Inspector Crome:
The biggest thing in The ABC Murders isn't John Malkovich as a quiet, internalized Hercule Poirot, but Rupert Grint making a dramatic transformation into an excellent character actor out of nowhere.
— Mathew Buck (@FB_BMB) December 26, 2018
#ABCMurders is proof that Rupert Grint is a much better actor than people give him credit for. He’s so much better than DR and EW.
— Elliot Gonzalez (@elliot_gonzalez) December 26, 2018
Of course, there have been PLENTY of objections from viewers who didn’t approve of episode one:
#ABCMurders Am I alone in finding it tedious?
— janet fauret (@janetfauret) December 26, 2018
— nørdic låurå (@NordicLaura) December 26, 2018
I really really wanted to love #ABCMurders because I’m such an Agatha Christie fan. But this unfortunately is not Agatha Christie. Please write something original rather than massacre a well loved classic.
— Dr Shuna Marr (@shunamarr) December 26, 2018
#abcmurders won't be watching the next 2 episodes, totally unimpressed with this pretentious version. Way to ruin Agatha Christie's story and her wonderful Poirot. Utter rubbish!
— Phil M (@zzdc2112) December 26, 2018
— Doug P (@potterwigham) December 26, 2018
But others asked: isn’t a reimagined version better than a replica?
Bizarre number of people who seem to know exactly what Agatha Christie had in mind. I rather enjoyed it #abcmurders
— Stuart Wilks (@stuartwilks) December 26, 2018
Well I think this is marvellous, imagining a Poirot beyond the character we encounter in the novels. Eppur si muove! #ABCMurders
— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) December 26, 2018
loved #ABCMurders. so many TV adaptations are boring retreads of the book (aka Strike) but what the Phelps’ Christie versions do is reimagine the stories for now & for the form & make them matter rather than simple plastic replicas ???????? ????. also John Malkovich is the ????
— Oliver Emanuel (@OllyEmanuel) December 27, 2018
This article was originally published on 27 December 2018