‘Downton’ star joins new Agatha Christie adaptation ‘Murder is Easy’

A great cast has been announced for the BBC’s next Agatha Christie mini-series.

Murder is Easy is filming right now in Scotland, based on the mystery writer’s 1939 novel of the same name.

The upcoming 1950s-set thriller comes from Mammoth Screen, the makers of World on Fire, Victoria, and Endeavour.

Murder is Easy was previously adapted for American TV in the ’80s, before being turned into a 2009 episode of Miss Marple.

This new two-part adaptation will star Penelope Wilton from Downton Abbey!

Best known as Isobel Crawley in ITV’s hit period drama, the After Life actress will be playing Miss Pinkerton, alongside David Jonsson from this year’s acclaimed London rom-com Rye Lane as Fitzwilliam.

Here’s a sneak peek at the pair on set last week:

They’re joined by Shetland star Douglas Henshall as Major Horton, Mathew Baynton from Ghosts as Dr Thomas, and Guilt actor Mark Bonnar as Reverend Humbleby.

“With an intriguing central mystery and a fantastic creative team behind the camera, it’s no surprise that this new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit has attracted a who’s who of UK acting talent to bring Murder is Easy to the screen,” said Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama.

“BBC viewers are in for a treat that will keep them guessing to the very end,” she added.

Other familiar faces include Morfydd Clark (Lord of the Rings) as Bridget, Sinead Matthews (The Crown) as Miss Waynflete, Tom Riley (The Nevers) as Lord Whitfield, Nimra Bucha (Polite Society) as Mrs Humbleby, Tamzin Outhwaite (Ridley Road) as Mrs Pierce, and Jon Pointing (Plebs) as Rivers, with newcomer Phoebe Licorish playing Rose.

Murder is Easy will premiere in 2024 on BBC One and streaming on BBC iPlayer in the UK.

It’ll be available on BritBox in the US, Canada and South Africa.

Set in England in 1954, the show’s official synopsis reads: “On a train to London, Fitzwilliam (David Jonsson) meets Miss Pinkerton (Penelope Wilton), who tells him that a killer is on the loose in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe.

“The villagers believe the deaths are mere accidents, but Miss Pinkerton knows otherwise – and when she’s later found dead on her way to Scotland Yard, Fitzwilliam feels he must find the killer before they can strike again. Because for a certain kind of person, murder is easy…”

“Once again my great grandmother’s stories have attracted some amazing talent,” commented executive producer James Prichard.

“It is so exciting to see this group of actors embark on the re-telling of this great story,” said Agatha Christie’s grandson. “The concept of evil lurking in the quintessentially English village is a familiar trope, but what exactly it is that makes murder easy remains to be revealed.”

BritBox are developing several new Agatha Christie adaptations following the success of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? in 2022.

Agatha Christie’s novel Murder is Easy is available on Amazon.