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Ordeal by Innocence

GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
Are any UK Christie fans watching Ordeal by Innocence on the BBC?  If so, what do you think?


  • Dr.SheppardDr.Sheppard Oxford, UK ✭✭✭
    Based on the first of three episodes, it is evident that Sarah Phelps has taken her accustomed darker, sinister approach to the story interpretation. Arthur Calgary prepares to be trod on and suppressed by the Argyle family members as he is unsure what to do in his wish to save an innocent man. As Calgary's character develops so will the story and what else will Phelps have in store? I'm not sure how far the film has progressed with the novel. Chapter 3 matches, but chapter 4 introduces a lawyer and in 5 a Chief Constable. Chapter 4 also shows a very different side to Calgary, who has become a keen private investigator. All very interesting. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I thought it was so-so, It wasn't the worst thing I have ever seen, It is far from the best Adaptation of a Christie Book I have ever seen, I can't say the occasional swearing added anything to it, I hate Flash-backs, I like it mainly for Bill Nighy, I will watch the rest, If the whole thing was repeated when there was nothing on on the other side when I might watch it again as I might feel less negative after the other Episodes but I doubt it, Time will tell.
  • MirandaMiranda England Investigator
    I wasn't impressed.  Sarah Phelps has taken the bare bones of the plot and written her own story.   Then the producers have put Christie's name on it to guarantee ratings.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Occasional Swearing added nothing, The Flashbacks were inevitable but annoying and the Adaptation was understandably Dark as it is a Dark Book, It would be lovely if there was a way of telling the story in a light Adaptation, I don't understand why you said Sarah Phelps took the bare bones and wrote her own story, can you explain Miranda?
  • MirandaMiranda England Investigator
    I felt that SP has completely changed the feel of the story.  The thing with AC is that she wrote fairly normal people in a situation where one of them is not what he or she seems.  And it is that undercurrent of dismay and suspicion that makes this one of  my favourites.  The Argylls are a family that have settled into a routine contentment after a tragic event that made sense to them.  And now, with the arrival of Arthur Calgary, nothing makes sense.  

    But SP has written all of the characters as damaged and with good reason to kill Rachel.  So that undercurrent has gone.  This is now a house full of victims and monsters and there's no subtlety of plot. 

    There's also no sense of the setting.  People of that class in the 1950s did not behave that way in public.  It just wasn't done.  So the only way we know when it is set is the dresses the women are wearing.  

    And it annoys me that Rachel is always portrayed as a monster in dramas.  In the book, she is arrogant. But she is also generous and loving.  And that is why it's tragic she is killed for the reason she is.  In the drama, she is such a horrible person you can't really blame anyone for batting her over the head.
  • Luke Luke ✭✭✭
    I am not a fan of SP adaptations, I felt that they got away with And then there were none. I felt that when I sat down to watch Witness for the Prosecution I was disappointed that it was in the same style, and that I think it didn't deserve to be a two parter.

    Regarding Ordeal by Innocence I am mid way through the book and loving it. I am unsure whether to watch this new version. I have heard reports that they have changed the ending and murderer. It looks like style over substance, as it is now about more 'arty' shots than the characters and the plot. It has echos of the ITV Marple, when they changed the ending of The Body in the Library.

    There would be a time when I would sit down for every AC adaptation, especially when it was a Suchet Poirot and I absolutely love Joan Hickson as Marple, but I don't know whats happened with these recent adaptations, I accept that AC did write some plots which were dark such as ATTWN, but to carry that style on and say that 'this is AC' is wrong as AC was a Mistress of many different styles! 

    spoilers possible 
    'Outrage at BBC's decision to change Murderer'
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I disagree with you Miranda, The way I read the Book the Children are damaged and have reason to kill their Mother and I don't feel the mother has a redeeming quality, to the outside world she looks like a lady kind enough to house these poor children but she is doing it to make herself look good, I missed Witness for the Prosecution but after seeing a Programme on BBC2 presented by Giles Coren with the writer and Sophie Hannah, I actually felt a warmth to Sophie Hannah which was a shock and a disdain for SP
  • MirandaMiranda England Investigator
    We'll have to agree to disagree.

    In the book, they certainly aren't damaged to the degree they are in the drama.  Mickey self-harms, Heather is a secret alcoholic, Tina has a death wish and Kirsten is shut down and depressed.  None of that is the book. And as for what she's done to Arthur Calgary.....
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I didn't say to the same degree but I think they are Damaged in the Book, I agree The Self-harming, The Alcoholism etc is not in the book, I didn't notice what has been done to Arthur, perhaps I was trying to remember which Man had an Actor Change, I know now.
  • MirandaMiranda England Investigator
    Arthur has gone from being a scientist who has just returned from a Polar expedition to a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
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