Hugh Laurie has gathered a collection of big-name actors around him for his new Agatha Christie adaptation Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – and the latest to join the cast are Emma Thompson and Jim Broadbent.
The duo will be making “special appearances” as British aristocrats Lord and Lady Marcham, BritBox has announced. The characters appear to be inventions who do not appear in the original crime novel.
Production is already in full swing, with Thompson and Broadbent joining co-stars on set including Will Poulter, Lucy Boynton, Daniel Ings, and Maeve Dermody.
Poulter stars as Bobby Jones, “an honest and amiable young man who becomes entangled in the mysterious question of the title”, while Boynton will play Thompson and Broadbent’s on-screen daughter Frankie, “a clever and unflappable young woman with a flair for adventure”.
The three-parter is based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel, which follows the local Vicar’s son and his socialite friend on their mission to solve a murder after discovering a dying man who gasps a question with his dying breath: “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”
In his pocket they find a photograph of a beautiful young woman.
Laurie himself will play Dr James Nicholson, “the Clinical Director of the sanatorium near the Bassington-ffrench estate, Merroway Court”. As well as starring in the drama, he’s also the director and writer.
The actor’s previous directing credits include a couple of episodes of House, the 2003 mini-series Fortysomething, and the 1995 drama Look at the State We’re In! – and he did, of course, co-writer A Bit of Fry & Laurie (amongst other things).
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Dermody plays Moira, the troubled wife of a psychiatrist, while Conleth Hill (of Game of Thrones fame) is Bobby’s genial mentor Dr Alwyn Thomas. Ings (who played the husband in I Hate Suzie) is Roger Bassington-ffrench, and he’s joined by Jonathan Jules (Ralph “Knocker” Beadon), Miles Jupp (Henry Bassington-ffrench) and Amy Nuttall (Sylvia Bassington-ffrench).
The cast also includes Alistair Petrie (Rev Richard Jones), Paul Whitehouse (the landlord of a country inn), Morwenna Banks (Mrs. Cayman), and Joshua James (Dr George Arbuthnot).