Deadline revealed that The Night Manager and House star was behind the adaptation in April and the series is starting production this week.
Based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? follows the local Vicar’s son, Bobby Jones (Poulter), and his whip-smart friend, socialite Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent (Boynton) on their crime-solving adventure after they discover the crumpled body of a dying man who, with his last breath, gasps the cryptic question of the title. Armed only with a photograph of a beautiful young woman found in the dead man’s pocket, these amateur detectives pursue, and are pursued by, the answer to the mystery.
Hugh Laurie To Adapt Agatha Christie's 'Why Didn't They Ask Evans?' Into BritBox's Biggest Original To Date
The series is commissioned by BritBox North America and produced by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited.
The cast also includes Maeve Dermody (The Secret Garden), as Moira, the troubled wife of psychiatrist Dr. James Nicholson and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) as Bobby’s genial mentor, Dr. Alwyn Thomas, who is at Bobby’s side when he discovers the body. Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) will star as Roger Bassington-ffrench, the beguiling early target of the crime-solving duo and Jonathan Jules (Small Axe) as Ralph “Knocker” Beadon, a trusted shipmate of Bobby’s who finds himself conscripted into the duo’s caper.
Miles Jupp (The Durrells) joins as Roger’s brother Henry Bassington-ffrench, a wealthy Englishman with a secret burden; Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) as Sylvia Basington-ffrench, the American wife of Henry and castaway chatelaine of the family seat, Merroway Court; and Alistair Petrie (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Bobby’s father, Rev. Richard Jones, a hard-working country parson, constantly fretting over the path his son has chosen.
Rounding out the cast are Paul Whitehouse (The Personal History of David Copperfield), as the landlord of a country inn; Morwenna Banks (Skins), as Mrs. Cayman, the deceased man’s sister; and Joshua James (Black Mirror) as Frankie’s long-suffering ally, Dr. George Arbuthnot.
Laurie, who will direct, will also play Dr. James Nicholson, the Clinical Director of the sanatorium near Merroway Court.
Exec producers include Emily Powers, Gina Cronk, Jonathan Karas, Damien Timmer, Helen Ziegler and James Prichard with Claire Jones producing.
Endeavor Content will handle international sales outside of the UK, Ireland and the Americas.
“I’m deeply honored to have been given the opportunity to co-lead this project with Lucy and the chance to bring Agatha Christie’s thrilling story to life under Hugh’s direction,” said Poulter.
“I’m so thrilled to be working with Hugh and Will, and on this story from one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to get started,” added Boynton.
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