Directed by Hugh Laurie, Agatha Christie adaptation Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? is an diverting bit of entertainment
“Why do posh people do that?”
I’m determinedly trying to work my way through the list of shows I have bookmarked on the various streaming services I have subscriptions for so this weekend I’ve worked m way through the three episodes of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?. And because why wouldn’t it be, it has been adapted and directed by Hugh Laurie, who also finds time to take on a crucial role in the show as well.
It was my first experience of the story so it had the rare benefit of being a Christie where I had no idea whodunnit. And with Laurie casually leafing through his Rolodex on casting day, we’re blessed with the likes of Emma Thompson and Jim Broadbent in luxury cameo roles, whilst more everyday (theatrically at least) talent such as Daniel Ings, Joshua James and Alistair Petrie do the heavy lifting.
Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton lead the cast as vicar’s son Bobby Jones and Lady Frances Derwent who set about trying to solve the mystery of the dying man who the former finds on a beach during a game of golf. He utters the words of the title with his final breath which leads the odd couple pairing down the rabbit hole of amateur sleuthing but with real world consequences.
The show has a slightly refreshing feel to it in the absence of a Marple or Poirot to super-sleuth their way through it. But in all other aspects, it feels comfortably familiar as red herrings pull us one way, suspicious strangers tug us another and English country homes form the backdrop of the neatly plotted shenanigans. Not necessarily worth signing up to Britbox for alone, it is though worth watching if you’re already with them.