Boasting an international cast toplined by Game of Thrones favorite Charles Dance, Peaky Blinders’ Sam Neill, Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson and Black Sails‘ Toby Stephens, None tells the story of 10 strangers with secretive pasts who are lured to remote Soldier Island as Europe marches toward World War II. Unable to escape, hostless and each accused of a terrible crime, the castaways begin dying under curious circumstances, leaving survivors scrambling to uncover the killer among them — or die trying.
If you’d care to get your scorecard ready (and haven’t already read the book), here are the players:
EDWARD GEORGE ARMSTRONG (Toby Stephens)
With his Harley Street practice, substantial wealth and enduring good looks, the confident and precise Dr Armstrong, who specialises in women’s ailments, is by most measures a tremendous success. But it takes little to expose his terrible temper, which sours life for all who cross his path.
JUSTICE LAWRENCE JOHN WARGRAVE (Charles Dance)
Once possessed of a brilliant legal mind, Justice Wargrave became notorious as a merciless ‘hanging judge’ – but is now a diminished figure: profoundly frail and battling against a crumbling memory. However, there is one sentence he has never forgotten…
VERA ELIZABETH CLAYTHORNE (Maeve Dermody)
A games mistress, now beginning a secretarial career after witnessing a terrible tragedy, Vera is is decent and polite and plays down her compelling beauty to evade the attention of men. But she is hostage to her darker self…
PHILIP LOMBARD (Aidan Turner)
A natural predator in any circumstance, and he knows it. Lombard has made a life in Africa as a soldier of fortune, not through greed or political conviction but because it’s how he feels most thoroughly himself. Whether what he does makes him a good or a bad man is immaterial.
ANTHONY JAMES MARSTON (Douglas Booth)
Playboy and petrolhead, Marston is a breathtaking picture of young manhood. Beautiful as a sun god, he blasts through life without an iota of self-consciousness – leaving the rest of humanity blinking away the exhaust fumes.
GENERAL JOHN GORDON MACARTHUR (Sam Neill)
A decorated war hero, General MacArthur is decent, upstanding and thoroughly romantic. A patriot, no doubt about it, yet there is much about the war that haunts him – much that he finds unspeakable.
MISS EMILY CAROLINE BRENT (Miranda Richardson)
A prudish Teddington spinster and passionate Anglican who has devoted her life to improving the lot of young women. Emily’s commitment to Christ knows no limits and those who fail to meet her strict moral standards inevitably suffer the blunt end of her intractable beliefs.
WILLIAM HENRY BLORE (Burn Gorman)
Operating on Soldier Island under a pseudonym, the boorish William Blore is a police detective moonlighting as ‘security’ for the enigmatic Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen. He is ill-at-ease with the complex social web in which he finds himself trapped.
THOMAS ROGERS (Noah Taylor)
Hounded from prior employments by cruel gossip, the new butler on Soldier Island has nothing left in the world besides his wife, Ethel. Under the aegis of Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen, they are the very model of efficiency and deference – though behind closed doors their partnership is increasingly bitter.
ETHEL ROGERS (Anna Maxwell-Martin)
Meek and biddable, Soldier Island’s housekeeper is the wife of Thomas Rogers, on whom she is utterly dependant. A life of service and the stain of rumour have weakened her soul; Ethel’s one retreat is in the kitchen, where she truly excels.
And Then There Were None — which sported an utterly cringeworthy title upon its first printing courtesy of the British ditty that inspired Christie’s intensely intricate plot — is the best-selling crime novel of all time, with more than 100 millions copies purchased around the globe. When the novel hit the U.S., it received two name changes — first Ten Little Indians (an only slightly more socially acceptable children’s poem which was amended to the much improved, if no less gruesome, Ten Little Soldier Boys) and finally And Then There Were None.
Christie described the book as her most difficult undertaking, but it pays off smartly for the cast — and for viewers.
“She has assembled a group of characters that are all completely three-dimensional,” Dance explained. “Often in these crime genres, you find somewhere along the line there’s some character that is just a bit too two-dimensional and not believable, but with this group they’ve got such interesting back stories that are all utterly believable, so the whole thing is really rather beautifully rounded. … Christie keeps you guessing until the last possible moment.”
“It’s a very clear story with unique, independent characters who have their own agendas, so from the offset it’s very clear what’s happening even though there is ambiguity about the plot,” said Turner, who enjoyed playing a character polar opposite from his titular hero in PBS’ Poldark. “It is a rite of passage for British actors to be in an Agatha Christie adaptation and this is the quintessential Christie story — albeit a really dark one.”
And Then There Were None premieres Sunday, March 13 at 8/7CT and Monday, March 14 at 9/8CT on Lifetime.