Post by Marc Larcher April 26, 2022
When a young man and a young girl who are opposites embark on a criminal investigation in England in the 1930s, we find the virtuosity of the “Queen of Crime” applied to the world of the series. Devilishly effective with, as a bonus, Hugh Laurie behind and in front of the camera.
Signed Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime”
Who hasn’t already quivered with pleasure when discovering a plot woven by the great Agatha Christie and gradually revealed by one of her heroes, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot or the formidable old lady Miss Marple? For almost a century, the crimes and puzzles to be solved that she invented continue to nourish dozens of books and films each year and they are currently experiencing an astonishing revival. As Kenneth Branagh set about making a spectacular remake of Death on the Nile, CANAL + broadcasts Why not Evans? a delicious new mini-series in which two apprentice detectives embark on a perilous investigation in England in the 1930s.
Hugh Laurie, directs and plays a… doctor
First surprise, it is the actor Hugh Laurie who is directing this mini-series adaptation of four episodes of a detective novel by Agatha Christie, published by the queen of crime in 1934. The atmosphere is indeed one cannot more British in Marchbolt, a small coastal town in Wales. It all begins on a golf course overlooking cliffs when Dr. Thomas and Bobby Jones, his caddy, hear a scream. The body of a man lies below. Bobby rushes there. In a last sigh, the stranger whispers to him: “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”. Back in her hometown after years spent in London, Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent resumes contact with Bobby, her childhood friend. The young man tells him about his misadventure. Why this last sentence? And why not try to unravel the mystery together? Thus, the son of a vicar and the young, beautiful and rich lady embark on a difficult investigation. Betrayals, false leads and unexpected revelations will punctuate this particularly devious whodunit since it takes place over two temporalities between the memories of the initial incident and the contemporary investigation. Bobby is going to throw himself wholeheartedly into the search for the culprit. Details will gradually come to him, such as the face of the woman in the photo found on the victim, which bears no resemblance to the one published in the local newspaper… There is also this strange character of Roger Bassington-French, who had joined him opportunely at the foot of the cliff… Wouldn’t he make a perfect suspect? There is also an establishment that catches their eye, The Grange, an imposing psychiatric clinic dominating the Hampshire countryside and run by the mysterious Dr James Nicholson. The role of the doctor is, of course, played by… Hugh Laurie, sir DR House in person. It’s one of the series’ many winks for attentive viewers.
It is therefore a particularly clever program that it is impossible to let go of in progress as the spectator as the two amateur detectives need to know the end of the story. Above all, we take pleasure in rediscovering the false calm of the British countryside when in each cup of tea a dangerous poison can hide, when politeness poorly camouflages enmities and when the dialogues resemble foil fencing not really speckled. Finally, we can also watch the series as we admire the perfection of a well-oiled machine until the final revelation.
Why not Evans? available on CANAL+.
We wish to thank the author of this write-up for this remarkable material
Why not Evans? Hugh Laurie adapts a gem of Agatha Christie | myCANAL