Sarah Phelps, who adapted Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for BBC One last year, has been commissioned to write a two-part version of the author’s The Witness For The Prosecution.
The short story is one of Christie’s most celebrated titles and was previously turned into a successful stage play and a much-loved film directed by Billy Wilder.
Set in 1920s London, the story follows the trial of a man, Leonard Vole, accused of murdering the glamorous and enormously rich Emily French.
All the evidence points to Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life.
At least, this is the story that Emily’s dedicated housekeeper Janet Mackenzie stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence…
The Witness For The Prosecution will be produced by Mammoth Screen, the production house responsible for And Then There Were None, and directed by Julian Jarrold (The Crown, The Girl, Appropriate Adult).
Hilary Strong, CEO of Agatha Christie Limited and executive producer, says: “With And Then There Were None, we reminded viewers just how brilliant Agatha Christie’s plotting is and just how modern her stories could be.
“We are delighted to be working with Mammoth Screen and Sarah Phelps again to deliver another iconic title for the BBC and our international co-production partners Acorn Media Enterprises and A+E Studios.
“With The Witness For The Prosecution, Sarah has worked her magic on Christie’s timeless story.
“Combining Sarah’s brilliance with the excellent and skilful eye of our director, Julian Jarrold, we expect to deliver a show that will thrill both audiences who have enjoyed Christie’s work before and those who are coming to it for the first time.”
Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of BBC Television, commented: “Sarah Phelps’ brilliantly original take on Witness For The Prosecution continues our very special relationship with Agatha Christie on BBC One.”