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BritBox North America Orders Agatha Christie Adaptation


BritBox North America has commissioned the limited series Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, an adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery with Hugh Laurie on board.

Laurie will adapt the story as a three-part miniseries, also serving as director and executive producer. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? will make its global debut on BritBox in the U.S. and Canada in 2022.

Produced by Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? follows the amiable Bobby Jones and his whip-smart friend, socialite Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent. On the hunt for a lost golf ball, unsuspecting Jones discovers the crumpled body of a dying man who, with his last breath, gasps the cryptic question of the series’ title.

Laurie commented: “I loved this book as a nipper and still do. The hairs on the back of my neck haven’t properly settled down from the first time I grasped the beauty of the essential mystery. Since then, I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with the characters, and feel immensely honored to have been given the chance to retell their story in this form. I will wear a tie on set, and give it everything I have.”

“I can’t overstate how excited we are to bring this new adaptation to life for the BritBox community,” said Emily Powers, head of BritBox North America. “Hugh Laurie’s writing pays homage to the brilliance of the original Agatha Christie mystery while adding fresh wit, humor and creativity that will appeal to all audiences. This extraordinary series is the perfect addition to BritBox, which is the home to the largest Agatha Christie collection.”

James Prichard, chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, said: “We are very excited for this production of Hugh Laurie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? in conjunction with BritBox. Hugh has brought his own inimitable style and flavor to this work whilst at the same time being faithful to the original. I look forward to seeing this come to fruition.”

Helen Ziegler, director of television and executive producer at Mammoth Screen, added, “Everyone at Mammoth Screen is thrilled to be working with BritBox North America and the inestimable Hugh Laurie, as writer and director, on this new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? His dazzling scripts take the mischief and cleverness of the original novel to a new level, and with Hugh sitting in the director’s chair, this really is going to be an authored treat for Christie fans everywhere.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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