And Then There Were None (2015, BBC miniseries)

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  • Anonymous
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    #366849

    Did anyone catch this? Such a good little miniseries (only 3 episodes) with outstanding script and incredible performances by Maeve Dermody, Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Aidan Turner and Anna Maxwell Martin.

    Brilliant score and camera work as well.

    Good ratings. Stellar reviews. Quality work. Wish it would be considered for the Emmys over miniseries like “American Horror Story: Hotel”.

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    Alex
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    #366851

    I thought this was a fantastic miniseries. The script was incredible, and the performances were believable and fantastic – especially Maeve Dermody, who was impeccable in the final episode. 

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    Jake
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    #366852

    Vera Claythorne is a very juicy part. No wonder she did amazing.

    I’m thrilled it got great reception – “And Then There Were None” was my favorite book from Christie and remains in my Top 10 overall – but I’d only like to know (and would be very grateful if some of you would be willing to tell me) if they did stick to original ending or the one from the play.

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    Rooney Moore
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    #366853

    Yes, yes, yes! Thanks for opening this thread!
    Being familiar with the book version, I guess, I was never gonna be fully satisfied no matter how it turned out to be after anticipating for a long time, but this was really good. Now that I think about it again, this probably couldn’t have done much better for a screen adaptation. That’s the issue with Christie novels. They are extremely readable and captivating on paper but because of its theatrical vibe and dialogue centered subject matter, it’s hard to translate that magic into the screen without boring the viewers. That’s why I didn’t have much problem with those Ring-type horror movie additions here and there being used to enrich the storytelling. I also felt like the ”explanation” scene at the end could have lasted longer and more revealing to satisfy the audience that have been trying to play the guess game since the beginning; but I totally respect the director’s decision to not went the flashback route to avoid from making this look like a detective movie because it wasn’t.

    Frankly, with all those frauds going on in Miniseries category, it doesn’t have a shot there but it could make it into TV Movie if PBS airs the show as a 2.5-hour movie instead.(Does anyone know if they will air it for sure?) It’s more suitable in that category anyway. The cuts between the episodes were random.

    The whole cast was faultless. I’m not exactly sure how much respect the American industry has in them for Charles Dance or whether his visibility increased after his appearances in recent popular projects like The Imitation Game and Game of Thrones, but he is probably the show’s best bet at acting categories. Shame, because knowing his previous works, this wasn’t a challenging role for him. I would nominate the brilliant leading actress who’s name I’ve never heard of before (it’s an ensemble piece, but one could argue she was the center of it, the show made that even clearer.) with Burn Gorman and Toby Stephens in Supporting Actor. The latter especially surprised me with his acting. I didn’t think he had that kind of performance in him after seeing him on Black Sails.

    8/10. 

    Btw, @Jake, they were loyal to the books most of the time and the ending was no exception. It played out a bit different than the original version to maintain the continuity.***SPOILER**** Instead of the judge writing a letter explaining the things he’s done and throwing it out to the sea; he entered the Vera’s room alive and well just as she was about to hang herself, explained how and why did the things he has done and killed her. I liked the TV version more.***SPOILER***

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    24Emmy
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    #366854

    Frankly, with all those frauds going on in Miniseries category, it doesn’t have a shot there but it could make it into TV Movie if PBS airs the show as a 2.5-hour movie instead.(Does anyone know if they will air it for sure?) It’s more suitable in that category anyway. The cuts between the episodes were random.

    No. It’s actually going to air on Lifetime as a two-part miniseries later this year.

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    Jake
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    #366855

    Emmy Runner, thank you very much!

    I saw the first one and I will write much more about it after watching remaining 2 but as of right now it looks pretty good, even though there were some questionable decisions already in the first hour. 

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    Rooney Moore
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    #366856

    [quote=”JojenReed”]Frankly, with all those frauds going on in Miniseries category, it doesn’t have a shot there but it could make it into TV Movie if PBS airs the show as a 2.5-hour movie instead.(Does anyone know if they will air it for sure?) It’s more suitable in that category anyway. The cuts between the episodes were random.

    No. It’s actually going to air on Lifetime as a two-part miniseries later this year.

    [/quote]

    Ah. Two bad news at the same time-being on Lifetime and not being able to compete as a Movie (although everything is possible after Killing Jesus’ nom. last year)
    Thanks for the feedback 🙂

    Jake, you’re welcome and enjoy! 

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    Anonymous
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    #366857

    Maeve looks very similar to Emily Blunt. Am I alone with this?

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    Jake
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    #366858

    ^^No, you’re not! I thought about it too.

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    MrGoodWood
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    #366859

    Can’t wait to get to see this. No one does Agatha Christie quite like the BBC. 

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    Anonymous
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    #366860

    In a way, I felt that Miranda Richardson was a bit young playing Miss Brent. She was amazing, but when I read the actual book I always had a Maggie Smith type of lady in my head.

    What do you think, guys?

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    Anonymous
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    #366861

    bump

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    Jake
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    #366862

    She certainly was too young. I always had Judi Dench in mind for this part as Maggie Smith seems to generate some kind of warmness around her whereas Judi would play bitchy perfectly – she won Oscar for it. After 2 episodes I’d say Ms. Brent is my least favorite character in this version, which is big given how important this part was compared to other ones. Some pointless speeches like ‘women have to stick together’ to Ms. Rogers and then disturbing flashback that hinted at unresolved homosexual desire. I know feminism and sexual orientation equality are important topics and I’m all for them, believe me I truly do, but it wasn’t the place to do it, especially as those were only hints that didn’t lead to anything relevant. Ms. Brent was supposed to be old enough to be Beatrix’s grandmother, old spinster that was never truly able to love and was defined by her strict father – who worked in military, if I remember correctly, that type of grandma who knows Bible by words but never lived by those words (though in her mind she did).

    Brent, Judge Wargrave and General McArthur are suppose to be in the final years of their lives. I also thought at first that Sam Neill was too young to play General McArthur, the part that in my head is so beautifully played by Gene Hackman [cue smile] but in the end I get used to him in this role (he would be better off as Blore, though). It didn’t happen with Miranda Richardson.

    I’m so mixed so far on this. There are a lot of advantages but I just can’t with some moments. I’ll watch the final chapter tomorrow and write some kind of review just to share my feelings.

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    Anonymous
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    #366863

    My least favorite character in this version was General McArthur for sure.

    Cannot wait for your review.

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    Jake
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    #366864

    Sorry for the delay, I unfortunately had some work to do and didn’t get to see final chapter until today. So good things first – it’s a very good project and might be the closest to the novel with the possible exception of underseen Soviet version from 1987. I think production design was just marvellous and very appropriate, especially given that it was a TV. I liked that backstories were pretty much the same and that nobody changed anything with the order of the killings. It was very intense and well made and I’d certainly enjoy it more if I wouldn’t know how it was in the book. But as I know the book by heart, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief from time to time. Perhaps it will be easier to articulate myself if I’m gonna do each character in separation:

    Emily Brent – pretty much covered that character the last time.

    Mr. & Mrs. Rogers – I know that at the beginning it looks good to have several suspicious characters but too much was made out of Rogers as possible killer. The way he treated his wife, like basically being violent towards her, was uncalled for.

    Major Blore – it’s not good that he basically faded into background for the first 2 episodes.

    Doctor Armstrong – his case is compelety opposite. He was made to be whiny, unintentionally funny and over-the-top. I don’t understand why it was him who had to have conflicts – first with Marston and then with Vera. Nothing of this happened in the book and it wasn’t really needed. I’m disappointed that it was him who got slapped by Vera and not Vera being slapped by him, as it was in the book. I know it might get some slack for beating women and all that but that moment was integral part of these characters – Vera was growing paranoical and he remained calm because he already had a plan. Switching them made no sense, although it was in line with how these characters acted in this version.

    Judge Wargrave – he was portrayed well but stayed in the shadows for way too long to truly make impression. Which is weird, given how impactful this part was.

    Tony Marston – he was ok, but it was not underlined enough that he was just careless, some kind of lighthead. I don’t really remember him after all of that.

    General McArthur – I thought it was one of the most interesting characters in the book, mostly because he had the most fascinating backstory (2nd only to Vera’s). Sam Neill did a really good job but his struggle during the backstory and withdrawal during the final moments of his life were not as important. All of that should have been important.

    Philip Lombard – the mixed bag. The edgy part of his character, how he’s at home in dangerous situations was done excellently but I think he possessed no charm when, I believe, his charm was essential in the way he was able to attract Vera in the first place. And I clearly dislike how he still didn’t think that Vera could be Mr. Owen in the end – it made him the only one right which wasn’t fair.

    Vera Claythorne – it was the closest to my view on the character out of all of them in this version. I liked how they milked everything they could out of her backstory. I was with her but… sorry, I couldn’t buy her behaviour in her final moments. It was suspensful, sure, but given physical condition she should have been in at the time, it made no sense.

    I could live with that ending, though. It made no justice to the original one but it’s still better than the 2nd one provided by Mrs. Christie for stage purposes. It omits what really drove the murderer to do what was done on the island, it doesn’t tell about how Owen knew about the crimes and organize the entire thing. But it sells.

    My biggest problem with this version is the fact that the key aspect of those characters was forgotten and rewritten – the fact that all of them were murderers in white gloves, the ones who were surely responsible for their crimes but they did so in a way that never would make them arrested. It was done well with Vera but from what I saw Rogers, Blore and General MacArthur killed their victims with their arms so the entire point of why these particular people were on the island and why are they killed in this particular order is simply missing. I think that’s the only one unforgivable sin of this adaptation.

    Well, Mrs. Agatha Christie clearly wasn’t subtle but even she wouldn’t approve Vera and Philip sleeping with each other (it was still intense and sexy, but SO on the nose…) and that strange party they decided to throw when there were 4 of them.

    In the end I had many problems with this adaptation but I liked that they stayed faithful to the novel many times (and those times provided the highlights of the project, easily) and brought the tension successfully. Good work, still not as good as the book but I’ll take it (with a grain of salt). 

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