TV Review: Ordeal by Innocence, BBC1

“You have to face the consequences now”

It’s taken me an age to get round to finishing Ordeal by Innocence, the latest in the BBC’s series of hugely successful Agatha Christie adaptation from Sarah Phelps. I watched the first part when it aired at Easter and quite liked it but for some reason, the remaining two got stuck on my ‘to-do’ list.

And having finally watched them, I have to say I found myself a little disappointed. Not being familiar with the story, the major plot alterations had no impact on me and if we’re honest, the replacement of actor Ed Westwick by Christian Cooke had little discernible effect (aside from the obvious delay).

For me, the problem lay in a story that never really grabbed me or sucked me into wondering, well, whodunnit. Its format upended conventional storytelling, no bad thing in and of itself, but the resulting reliance on flashbacks had a stilted effect on the pacing. And crucially, it just never made me care.

A glossy cast – Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Alice Eve, Luke Treadaway, Morven Christie – certainly looked the part but if I’m being brutally honest, were mainly delivering performances that felt entirely in their comfort zones, offering no real surprises. So ultimately, a big disappointment for me.

Photo: James Fisher/BBC/Mammoth Screen/ACL

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