The Witness For the Prosecution is a BBC drama, adapted from the original story by Agatha Christie courtesy of renowned screenwriter Sarah Phelps (Hooten and the Lady, And Then There Were None) and directed by Julian Jarrold (The Crown, Kinky Boots).
“My fires are supposed to be out. But they rage unchecked. Do you follow?”
Emily French (Kim Cattrall – Sex and the City, Big Trouble in Little China) is a wealthy, glamorous but bored heiress living in London in the 1920s. She lives alone with her ladies maid, Janet (Monica Dolan – Pride, Sightseers) and longs for the company of young men. One night while out on the town she happens across Leonard Vole (Billy Howle – Cider With Rosie, Glue), young and nervous, but amenable to escorting her for money.
Leonard is immediately arrested and taken to prison, where he is visited by John Mayhew (Toby Jones – The Hunger Games, The Detectorists), a struggling solicitor. Still traumatised from the loss of his son in the war and suffering from the lasting effects of gas attacks, he feels an affinity for the younger man, who was himself a soldier.
He vows to find the truth and have him acquitted and to that end, he seeks out the help of Leonard’s wife Romaine (Andrea Riseborough – Oblivion, Welcome to the Punch) who is offering an alibi. It is then that things begin their expected twists and turns.
The performances are excellent, it’s a great cast and a good story, although slightly more predictable than some of Christie’s other work, but an enjoyable adaptation nevertheless. As always with BBC releases it’s only available on DVD, which is disappointing, but it’s a good watch if you’re into crime drama.
“He opened her skull like a tin of peaches and he’ll dangle for it.”
The Witness for the Prosecution is available to buy now on DVD and is also available as part of a 2 DVD set entitled Two by Christie, along with And Then There Were None.