Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont for my first RIP post, focusing on Agatha Christie for the month of September.
I’m adding this note on Thursday afternoon before this pre-scheduled post goes live. I wanted to express my sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth and sympathy to the British people who mourn her loss. Here’s an interesting fact from the BBC announcement of the Queen’s death:
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week.
For my second post of the annual R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I’m talking about three made-for-TV movies that imagine Agatha Christie as she encounters real-life mysteries, instead of just the ones that she writes about: Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar, and Agatha and the Midnight Murders.
All three specials premiered on Channel 5 in the UK and were later rebroadcast on PBS in the US — which is how I accessed them, using my PBS Passport. All three films were created by married couple Emily and Tom Dalton.
A different actor played Agatha Christie in each film. In fact, the entire cast changed for each film, barring one notable exception — an actor returned from the first film to reappear in the third. I’m sure that the swapped-out Agatha was much less noticeable for people who watched these specials when they were released. Watching them back-to-back was mildly disconcerting, but also amusing.
The first two films re-imagine dramatic events in Agatha Christie’s biography in the 1920s. Agatha and the Truth of Murder gives us a fun possibility for what happened during the eleven infamous days of 1926 when Agatha Christie went missing (a very different imagining from the book The Christie Affair that I reviewed last week). Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar occurs during Agatha Christie’s foreign travels after her divorce. Agatha and the Midnight Murders happens during The Blitz of World War II, which was dramatic for everyone.
I enjoyed that these shows didn’t take themselves too seriously. If you’re going to re-create moments in a real person’s life, I consider humor a requirement.
Here’s a trailer of Agatha and the Truth of Murder to whet your appetite:
Have you seen these made-for-TV movies? What did you think?