(Above: Amanda Redman in ‘The Agatha Christie Hour’)
Agatha Christie has probably received more screen adaptations than any other fiction writer. Her IMDb listing boasts 156 movies and TV series, and The Savvy Screener has previously written about Christie’s Poirot on MHz Choice, multiple versions of Murder on the Orient Express, and an upcoming Amazon Prime anthology.
An earlier anthology series, 1982’s The Agatha Christie Hour, returns today via subscription streamer Acorn TV. The 10 episodes, based on Christie short stories, originally ran on ITV in the UK, and on PBS’ Mystery! series in the US.
The Agatha Christie Hour features such future stars as:
- Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding) in “The Manhood of Edward Robinson”
- Amanda Redman (Acorn’s The Good Karma Hospital) and Stephanie Cole (Acorn’s Doc Martin) in “Jane in Search of a Job”
- John Nettles (Midsomer Murders) in “The Fourth Man”
- James Grout (Inspector Morse) in “The Girl in The Train.”
The other episodes are “The Case of the Middle-Aged Wife,” “In a Glass Darkly,” “The Case of the Discontented Soldier,” “Magnolia Blossom,” “The Mystery of the Blue Jar” and “The Red Signal.”
We believe only one of these short stories has ever been adapted elsewhere for the screen. That would be “The Red Signal,” broadcast live as an episode of CBS’ Suspense in 1952. Here’s that half-hour show:
To see how the same short story was interpreted 30 years later, you’ll need to stream The Agatha Christie Hour as an Acorn TV subscriber. To do that, you can start a seven-day free trial of the Anglophile-targeted service, after which you’ll be charged $4.99 monthly or $49.99 annually.
You can also read Christie’s original “The Red Signal” (1933) for 99 cents.
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