TV preview: Then There Were None

STRANGER DANGER: Charles Dance as Judge Wargrave in the Agatha Christie classic.

STRANGER DANGER: Charles Dance as Judge Wargrave in the Agatha Christie classic.

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An all-star cast make up the group of strangers mustered to a gorgeous house on a small island off the Devon coast in this Agatha Christie drama.

Set in 1939, the group gather at the behest of their unseen hosts, Mr and Mrs Owen, who have tailored each invitation to appeal to each individual and laid on fabulous food and fine wine for their guests. The ten then find themselves stranded by bad weather and a gramophone recording played by the butler lists the murderous sins they have committed. Then the drama begins as each one is carefully killed off.

No detective turns up to solve the mystery, with Christie leaving her characters to it, which gives it a darkness not always found in her novels. Adapted by Sarah Phelps who recently translated JK Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy for TV, this “locked room” mystery makes full use of its location with great cinematic sweeps and an atmosphere of menace. Poldark’s Aidan Turner plays charming but ruthless mercenary Philip Lombard as part of an A-list cast which also includes Charles Dance, Sam Neil, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens and Anna Maxwell Martin.

Then There Were None, BBC1, Dec 26, 9pm

The Handmaid's Tale on Channel 4 on Sunday.

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