Limited series adaptation of Why Didn't They Ask Evans? commissioned by BritBox North America


Limited series adaptation of Why Didn't They Ask Evans? commissioned by BritBox North America

BritBox North America, the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV, has today announced its biggest original commission to date: the limited series, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? adapted by Hugh Laurie. The 3-part mini-series, an adaptation of the compelling Agatha Christie mystery which Laurie will also direct and executive produce, will make its global debut on BritBox in the U.S. and Canada in 2022. UK transmission will be announced soon.

Produced by Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen, whose previous collaborations include the hugely successful The ABC Murders starring John Malkovich, And Then There Were None and most recently The Pale Horse, 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. Armed with only a photograph of a beautiful young woman found in the dead man’s pocket, these amateur sleuths embark on a crime-solving adventure and prove surprisingly adept at unearthing clues. The levity of the duo’s wit and banter belies the danger they continuously encounter as they pursue the answer to the mysterious question.

“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 honoured 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,” said Hugh Laurie.

“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.”

“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 flavour to this work whilst at the same time being faithful to the original. I look forward to seeing this come to fruition,” said James Prichard, Chairman and CEO Agatha Christie Limited.

“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,” said Helen Ziegler, Director of Television and Executive Producer at Mammoth Screen.

Casting to be announced at a later date. Endeavor Content brokered the commission and will handle international sales outside of the UK, Ireland and the Americas.