What are your thoughts on the new adaptation?

UK Christie fans– what do you think of the new adaptation of "The Witness for the Prosecution?"  Please share your thoughts here.
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  • Dr.SheppardDr.Sheppard Oxford, UK ✭✭✭
    It is always difficult for the purists to like an adaptation that moves away from the original script, however, I thought it captured the drama and tension in the right places and enjoyed the ending. I have watched it just once and will watch it again to consider a true reflection. (I have since dug out the Christie play and read it to see how far it had moved away from the original.)
  • Dr.SheppardDr.Sheppard Oxford, UK ✭✭✭
    I was browsing and came across an article in 'The Australian', an on-line newspaper. The article looks at the way the most recent - and future - adaptations are going under the influence of James Pritchard:

    On paper, Agatha Christie staged some of the world’s grimmest homicides, springing from greed, rage and unrequited love. On screen, though, the adaptations have largely been bloodless English drawing-room puzzles. Some call the murder mysteries “cosy crime”.

    “One of my least favourite words is ‘cosy’,” says James Prichard, Christie’s great grandson. “It just feels wrong. You can’t have ‘cosy’ crime.”

    In 2015, Prichard took over from his father the chairmanship of the author’s estate, Agatha Christie Ltd, and with that authority has steered the latest TV adaptations in a darker, more menacing direction.

    The question is would the new adaptations get Agatha Christie's approval?

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭
    I suspect She would be torn because she might not like what was being done, she might even hate the new ones but she Might think to herself, "Well it is the modern way and if they are Popular Who am I to object" (This sort of forward thinking is Deisplayed in The Moving Finger when SPOILER ALERT Jerry Chastises Miss Marple for putting Megan's life at risk),:She would also want to like the Adaptations as They are given the Go ahead by Family but there again if she was here she would run the Estate so they wouldn't.
  • P_LombardP_Lombard ✭✭✭
    Thank you so much for sharing that interesting article Dr. Sheppard! It makes the, in my opinion, excessive darkness of the most recent adaptations more comprehensible. I am not sure Agatha Christie would approve of some of these new adaptations. Based on her disapproval of the movie version of Endless Night which came out during her lifetime, I think she would definitely be very disappointed with the recent adaptation of "The Witness for the Prosecution".

    In her foreword to Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie defends escapist fiction. So I do not think she would be upset with her works being considered cozy. I think the problem is that coziness means very different things to different people. To me, it means something pleasant that does not deliberately try to distress the reader/viewer by dwelling on gruesome subjects. It seems that to those who are trying to divorce Agatha Christie from coziness that to them it means something hopelessly old fashioned, bland, and divorced from reality. To me, coziness is an asset but to them, coziness seems to be anathema (something to be avoided at all costs).

    In troubling times, I personally do not want to watch movies that wallow solely in the darker aspects of life. At those times, I have drawn comfort from watching some of the lighter Agatha Christie adaptations. Of course, dark adaptations can still be enjoyable, but the best idea I think for future adaptations would be to make a mix of lighter and darker adaptations.
  • P_Lombard said:
    Thank you so much for sharing that interesting article Dr. Sheppard! It makes the, in my opinion, excessive darkness of the most recent adaptations more comprehensible. I am not sure Agatha Christie would approve of some of these new adaptations. Based on her disapproval of the movie version of Endless Night which came out during her lifetime, I think she would definitely be very disappointed with the recent adaptation of "The Witness for the Prosecution".
    Agatha Christie disapproved of that brief nude scene towards the end of Endless Night and because of that does anyone really think that she would approve of the new Witness For the Prosecution films and the raunchy scenes in it? There's no doubt in my mind that she would be greatly disappointed. I don't know why people think just because times change one must accept everything that comes with it. Agatha Christie doesn't seem like the kind of woman that would go along with the tide and accept a modern adaptation because it's expected of her. She would have stuck to her guns and went with what she believed in. Sure, there was a time in which she went along with her friend Stephen Glanville's ending for Death Comes As The End but she wrote in her autobiography that she wished she stuck to her guns and went with the ending she intended. But to go along with the advice of a friend versus going along with the tide of what's expected of her is different. I don't think a nude scene or any raunchy scenes are needed in these films to show the modern audience, "you see, people back then had sex too".  


    “Go, my child. Your place is with the living. I will remain here with the dead.” ― Poirot, The Hollow 

  • katiebowenblogkatiebowenblog Worcester, United Kingdom Investigator
  • alex2017alex2017 London Fan
    GKCfan said:
    UK Christie fans– what do you think of the new adaptation of "The Witness for the Prosecution?"  Please share your thoughts here.
    It is always difficult for the purists to like an adaptation that moves away from the original script, however, I thought it captured the drama and tension in the right places and enjoyed the ending. I have watched it just once and will watch it again to consider a true reflection. (I have since dug out the Christie play and read it to see how far it had moved away from the original.)
  • alex2017 said:
    GKCfan said:
    UK Christie fans– what do you think of the new adaptation of "The Witness for the Prosecution?"  Please share your thoughts here.
    It is always difficult for the purists to like an adaptation that moves away from the original script, however, I thought it captured the drama and tension in the right places and enjoyed the ending. I have watched it just once and will watch it again to consider a true reflection. (I have since dug out the Christie play and read it to see how far it had moved away from the original.)
    This adaptation was actually based on the short story and not the play like the previous adaptation of the story. What I didn't like about this adaptation were the unnecessary profanity and explicit sexual scenes (they weren't even pleasant to look at either) and they didn't need to include that in an Agatha Christie adaptation. I'm a purist but I understand that some changes and additions have to be made, considering that print and film are two different mediums, but seriously, does profanity and sexual scenes have to be inserted just to appeal to a contemporary audience? 


    “Go, my child. Your place is with the living. I will remain here with the dead.” ― Poirot, The Hollow 

  • AlbertBarkleyAlbertBarkley London Fan
    I currently have not any idea because I never have been involved in reading "The Witness for the Prosecution?". However, reading your post, I am thinking to read it then I will be able to give my idea here.
    Albert Barkley
    Senior Educationist
    PhD Dissertation Writing Service
  • Dr.SheppardDr.Sheppard Oxford, UK ✭✭✭
    Hi @AlbertBarkley, you will find The Witness for the Prosecution published in the short story collection The Hound of Death (1933). It is only 20 pages long. Christie turned it into a play which opened at The Winter Garden Theatre in London on 28th October 1953. The script for this can be found in The Mouse Trap and other plays, even in here it is only 87 pages long. So, when it comes to 120 minutes TV time, the story had to be adapted and expanded. The script writer had previously adapted And Then There Were None and was encouraged by AC Ltd to push the boat out for ratings, hence there are scenes in the TV adaptation that were not in the style of Christie. If you accept the TV production as a standalone, it is gripping and well produced, if you want Agatha Christie, then stick with the book or play.
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