Agatha Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? to launch exclusively on BritBox UK

Published Tue 08 Feb 2022

[Pictured: Jim Broadbent and Emma Thompson make cameo appearances in the first episode as Frankie’s parents, Lord and Lady Marcham]


BritBox UK announced today that Hugh Laurie’s three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, will launch exclusively on the streamer this Spring. 

The series is commissioned by BritBox North America and produced by Mammoth Screen≠ and Agatha Christie Limited.

The cast features Will Poulter (The Revenant, Detroit, Dopesick) as Bobby Jones, a young naval officer, and Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Murder On The Orient Express, Bohemian Rhapsody) as Frankie Derwent, a prototype It Girl with a taste for adventure and good hats.

Based on her 1934 novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? opens with a fine Agatha Christie enigma:  a man lies dying at the foot of a cliff, apparently the victim of an accidental fall; with his final breath, he utters the mysterious question of the title and promptly expires.  Some people - perhaps most people - might shrug at the impenetrable oddness of the words and move on with their lives.  But Bobby Jones and his childhood friend, Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent, are not most people.  They resolve to honour the dead man by deciphering, and then answering, his final question.  In so doing, they hit upon a dark conspiracy of deceit, betrayal and - perhaps unsurprisingly - murder.

Joining Poulter and Boynton on the series are Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) as Bobby’s friend and mentor, Dr. Thomas, and Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) as Roger Bassington-ffrench, target of the amateur sleuths’ early suspicions.  Maeve Dermody (The Secret Garden), plays Moira Nicholson, troubled wife of the domineering Dr. James Nicholson, and Jonathan Jules (Small Axe) appears as Ralph “Knocker” Beadon, one time shipmate of Bobby, and good man in a tight corner.

Miles Jupp (The Durrells) joins as Roger’s elder brother Henry Bassington-ffrench, squire of Merroway Court, the family seat in Hampshire; Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) as Sylvia Bassington-ffrench, Henry’s American wife, socially adrift in the English countryside; and Alistair Petrie (Sex Education) as Bobby’s father, Rev. Richard Jones, hard-working vicar in Bobby’s home town of Marchbolt.  Rounding out the cast are Paul Whitehouse (The Death of Stalin), as Mr. Askew, landlord and dispenser of wisdoms at a country tavern; Morwenna Banks (Breeders), as Mrs. Cayman, the deceased man’s sister; Ricard Dixon as the apparently jovial Mr. Cayman, and Joshua James (Black Mirror) as Frankie’s dependable young ally, Dr. George Arbuthnot.

In addition to directing, Hugh Laurie will also portray Dr. Nicholson, the Clinical Director of the sanatorium near Merroway Court.

Executive Produced by Emily Powers, Gina Cronk, and Jonathan Karas for BritBox North America, Produced by Claire Jones for Mammoth Screen, alongside Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler, and James Prichard for Agatha Christie Limited.

Endeavor Content will handle international sales outside of the UK, Ireland and the Americas.


About BritBox UK

BritBox is a digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV. The service brings the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place for £5.99 per month in HD. British TV boxsets from All 4 and British films from Film 4 are also available. The service includes high quality factual and entertainment content from Channel 5 plus original British comedies from Comedy Central UK. BritBox features the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, and brand new commissions for British production companies specifically created for BritBox. BritBox also offers expert curation and playlists that will enable viewers to easily find programmes they know and discover new favourites  via web, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and streaming devices including Fire TV, Apple TV, Freesat, Chromecast and Roku. Content on BritBox can be downloaded and viewed offline where rights allow.

About BritBox North America

BritBox is a digital video subscription service offering the largest collection of British TV in the U.S. and Canada. Created by two British content powerhouses—BBC Studios, the commercial subsidiary arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster—the service features exclusive premieres, often day and date with their UK premiere, and iconic favorites all in one place. BritBox is available on multiple platforms, including via the web, mobile, tablet, streaming devices and connected TVs.    

About Agatha Christie Limited

Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955. Collaborating with the very best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms ACL ensures that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.

About Mammoth Screen

Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Shows include past Agatha Christie titles including The ABC Murders, also Poldark, The Serpent, Noughts + Crosses, World on Fire and Grime Kids for BBC, and Endeavour, Victoria, McDonald & Dodds and The Tower for ITV. Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios Company


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