BBC Orders Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution

BBC One has ordered a two part adaptation by Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None) of the 1925 Agatha Christie short story The Witness for the Prosecution, which will be directed by Julian Jarrold (The Crown). Until now, the best known adaptation of this story was Billy Wilder’s acclaimed film noir in 1957, starring Tyrone Power (in his final screen role), Marlene Dietrich, and Charles Laughton.

1920s London. A brutal murder has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the rich and glamorous Emily French. Emily’s housekeeper claims that Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune, ruthlessly took her life. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence.

Writer Sarah Phelps says: “With the long terrible shadow of the Great War falling across the rackety, feral 1920s, The Witness For The Prosecution is a compelling story of deceit, desire, murder, money and morality, innocence and guilt, heartbreak and – most painful and dangerous of all – love. At the centre of this dark and tangled net is the astonishing character of Romaine, a noir heroine for all our times.”

Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of BBC Television, says: “Sarah Phelps’ brilliantly original take on Witness For The Prosecution continues our very special relationship with Agatha Christie on BBC One.”