Other Agatha Christie dramatisations on BBC Radio.

more Agatha Christie on BBC Radio

First Upload July 31 2001 Updated 17 September 2003

Created by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie stories outside of Hercule Poirot & Miss Marple have been dramatised and broadcast since the 1940s on BBC radio. Details to 4 follow, with the latter 3 having been issued by the BBC Radio Collection.

Personal Call The Unexpected Guest The Sittaford Mystery The Pale Horse

The Unexpected Guest was 60 minutes, The Pale Horse, 90 minutes and The Sittaford Mystery a 5 x 30 minute serial.

Separately, two series of updated & modernised Agatha Christie short stories were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during 2002 & 2003, details have been added further down the page.

Agatha Christie 2002 series Agatha Christie 2003 series

Personal Call

Broadcast - BBC

A thirty minute play for radio written by Agatha Christie

  A young couple, James and Pamela Brent, are having a party. There is a "personal call" for James from a woman who says her name is Fay and that she's waiting at Newton Abbott for him. Brent becomes very angry and says it is a cruel practical joke, but doesn't elaborate to his wife as to the calls meaning. He contacts the operator who says NO personal calls have been put through to that number today! Later he explains that Fay was his first wife who was killed at the railway station of Newton Abbott when she fell under a train. The strange thing about the call being that the voice on the line WAS her voice!
  The following day, there is another personal call for James.....

First BBC production by Ayton Whitaker (BBC broadcast date unavailable - listed in the New Zealand Listener 5 August 1955)
Jessie Evans (Fay); James McKechnie (James); Mary Wimbush (Pamela); Edgar Norfolk (the Inspector).

Second BBC production by David H. Godfrey
(BBC broadcast 29 November 1960) (this production issued by the BBC Transcription Service as part of the Thirty Minute Theatre series).
Ivan Brandt (James Brent); Babara Lott (Pamela Brent); Vivienne Chatterton (Mrs Lamb); Beatrice Bevan (Fay); Michael Turner (Evan); James Thomason (Mr Enderby); George Hagan (Inspector Narracott).

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The Unexpected Guest

Broadcast - BBC World Service
30 May 1981

adapted & directed by Gordon House

  A foggy night ... a lonely country house ... and a woman with a gun in her hand quietly surveying the dead body of her husband. It looked like a straighforward case of murder. Or was it? As the ghosts of an old wrong begin to emerge from the past, the case begins to look anything but straightforward...  BBC Radio Collection

featuring Jillie Meers (Laura Warwick), Alexander Johns (Michael Starkwedder), Diana Bishop (Miss Bennett), Elizabeth Lindsay (Jan Warwick), Margot Boyd (Mrs Warwick), Anthony Hyde (Henry Agell), Sion Probert (Sgt. Cadwaller), Michael Spice (Inspector Thomas) & Sean Arnold (Julian Farrar).

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The Sittaford Mystery

Broadcast in 5 parts. (Weekly) - Radio 4.
4 January - 1 February 1990

dramatised & directed by Michael Bakewell

 In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a small table for a seance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: `Captain Trevelyan ... dead ... murder'. Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snow drifts blocking the roads, someone will have to journey on foot... . Collins Crime

featuring Geoffrey Whitehead (Inspector Narracott), Stephen Tompkinson (Charles Enderby), Melinda Walker (Emily Trefusis), John Moffatt (Mr Rycroft) & Norman Bird (Major Burnaby).

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The Pale Horse

Broadcast - Saurday Night Theatre - Radio 4.
50th Anniversary Production ***
3 April 1993

dramatised by Michael Bakewell
directed by Enyd Williams

   A dying woman gasps out her bizarre story to Father Gorman - but no sooner has he written it down than he is violently killed. The only clue he leaves is a twisted scrap of paper on which are written nine names. On the trail of these names Inspector Lejeune, together with academic Mark Easterbrooke and his crime writer friend Ariadne Oliver, are led inexorably to The Pale Horse Inn, home of a psychic, a medium and a witch...  BBC Radio Collection NOTE: Ariadne Oliver (Stephanie Cole) also features in the Poirot story Five Little Pigs.

featuring Jeremy Clyde (Mark Easterbrooke), Stephanie Cole (Ariadne Oliver), Jonathan Adams (Inspector Lejeune) & Stephen Hodson (Jim Corrigan).

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**Thanks to Ian Beard.**
***This ties in with the first production; The Man With No Face by Dorothy L. Sayers broadcast 3 April 1943.

Agatha Christie - 2002 series

This release features the  episodes.
Philomel Cottage
Swan Song
Magnolia Blossom
Published 7 May 2002;  ISBN: 0563536160

Broadcast - BBC Radio 4
Monday's. 11:30am - 12:00pm

 Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution
07 January 2002

dramatised by Bill Morrison
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

  Well-meaning but hopeless Leonard Vole finds himself accused of murder when a rich spinster whom he has befriended is found dead.

Mayherne ..... Anthony Bate
Leonard ..... Hywel Bennett
George ..... Stephen Moore
Romaine ..... Miriam Margolyes
Sir Charles ..... Simon Treves
Miss French ..... Diana Fairfax
Flora ..... Sheila Allen

Agatha Christie's Philomel Cottage
14 January 2002

dramatised by Mike Walker
Music by Nick Russell-Pavier
directed by Jeremy Mortimer

  Alex has an excellent track record in an e-commerce company. Richard, one of her colleagues, is interested in forming a closer relationship with her, but when Terry comes on the scene he doesn't stand a chance. Within a month, Alex and Terry have set up their own company (with Alex's capital) and are living in Philomel Cottage, a roses round the door place near the M4 corridor. But is Terry for real? Alex finds out that he is syphoning money from her account. And then there is the cottage, it certainly has a history, a history which involves unnatural death...

Alex  ..... Lizzie McInnerny
Terry ..... Tom Hollander
Richard ..... Adam Godley
Merlin ..... Struan Rodger

Agatha Christie's The Gate of Baghdad
21 January 2002

dramatised by Mike Stott
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

  A disparate group of adventurers sets out from Damascus to visit the Gate of Baghdad, once known as the Gate of Death.

Miss Pryce ..... Patricia Routledge
Mr Parker Pyne ..... Richard Griffiths
Dr Loftus ..... Paul Freeman
Gen Poli ..... Saeed Jaffrey
Samuel ..... Martin David
Capt O’Rourke ..... Toby Longworth
Capt Smethurst ..... David Bannerman
Capt Hensley ..... Rupert Degas
Netta ..... Alexis Zegerman

Agatha Christie's Swan Song
28 January 2002

dramatised by Mike Walker
directed by Ned Chaillet

  As if from nowhere, a soprano has emerged to become the Tosca of our day - but like Tosca she carries in her heart a terrible need for revenge. Operatic emotions accompany the Queen of Crime into the 21st Century with Mike Walker's thoroughly modern dramatisation of one of Christie's most passionate tales.

Polina ... Maria Friedman
Beth ... Emily Woof
Breon ... Sylvester Morand
Dominik ... Ray Lonnen

Agatha Christie's Magnolia Blossom
4 February 2002

dramatised by Mike Walker
directed by Ned Chaillet

  A woman's place in Agatha Christie's short story Magnolia Blossom is defiantly not in the luxury home created for her by her financier husband. But in times of trouble a woman's loyalty can challenge the presumption of men - and infidelity can be a small crime compared to others.

  Emilia Fox takes the role of Theo, a woman determined to seek happiness with her husband's rival, Vincent. As they escape London to be together in Paris, news comes of the financial collapse of her husband's business. Putting her own desires aside, Theo returns to discover that Richard has been less than honest with her, and that more than his job is at stake.

Theo ... Emilia Fox
Vincent ... Julian Rhind-Tutt
Richard ... Alex Jennings
TV News Reader ... Ewan Bailey

Agatha Christie's The Hound of Death
11 February 2002

dramatised by Bill Morrison
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

  1920: an ambitious doctor and a pioneering psychologist try to restore the sanity of a nun apparently traumatised by what she witnessed during the war.

Alice ... Julia McKenzie
Dr Rose ... Michael Kitchen
Tom Hayden ... Simon Treves 
Sister Marie ... Marianne Borgo 
Kitty ... Alexis Zegerman

This release features the  episodes.
Witness for the Prosecution
The Gate of Baghdad
The Hound of Death
Published 7 May 2002;  ISBN: 0563536179

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Agatha Christie - 2003 series

This release features the  episodes.
In A Glass Darkly
The Dressmaker's Doll
The Perfect Carer
Publication Due in May 2003

Broadcast - BBC Radio 4
Monday's. 11:30am - 12:00pm

Agatha Christie’s The £199 Adventure
17 February 2003

dramatised by Mike Stott from Agatha Christie's The Case of the City Clerk
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

Richard Griffiths, Rebecca Front and Chris Langham star in this updated version of an Agatha Christie story. Bobby Roberts, a middle-aged man stuck in a mid-life rut, is in search of adventure. The ad in The Times reads: "Need help? Ask Parker Pyne." So who better to approach than the great PP himself. And sure enough, Pyne comes up trumps. Bobby is sent on a trip. His mission is to collect a harmless package from a scientist in Milan, and eat plenty of ice cream along the way. Before long, he finds himself caught up in a terrifying murder and with blood all over his ice cream. Parker Pyne ... Richard Griffiths
Marcia Lemon ... Rebecca Front
Bobby Roberts ... Chris Langham

Agatha Christie’s In A Glass Darkly
24 February 2003

dramatised by Mike Walker
directed by Ned Chaillet

  In a mirror, a man witnesses a murderous attack on a young woman – just before he meets the woman and falls in love with her. Agatha Christie’s tale about a man trying to outwit fate still has the power to chill in an age of helicopter warfare, and Mike Walker’s dramatisation relishes testing Christie’s storytelling gifts against the accelerated tensions of the 21st century. With thoroughly modern performances by Neil Dudgeon as an Army helicopter pilot, and Rebecca Egan as the threatened woman he seeks to protect – and marry – the fundamental human characteristics of loyalty and jealousy are as intense as ever.

Agatha Christie’s The Gypsy
3 March 2003

adapted by Dougie Lucie
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

  Agatha Christie’s The Gypsy is an eerie tale of love and loss. It tells the story of Dickie Carpenter, a war-wounded sailor, who is haunted by terrifying visitations from a ghostly woman. His friend, Robert, attempts to solve the mystery of these visions – and, ultimately, Dickie’s death – only to find himself caught up in the strange happenings and at risk of losing his true love. stars Michael Fenton-Stevens, Hilton McRae and Vivien Heilbron.

 Agatha Christie’s The Dressmaker’s Doll
10 March 2003

dramatised by Mike Walker
directed by Ned Chaillet

  The driving rhythms of London’s fiercely competitive cat-walks may seem a thousand miles away from the cosy cottage murders of Miss Marple, but they provide a perfect environment for the more chilling edge of Agatha Christie’s short stories.
  The Dressmaker’s Doll is a late Agatha Christie tale that is right at home in the cut-throat fashion industry of today. Octavia’s triumphant new designs are the only thing on her mind, but is it safe to ignore the ominous dressmaker ’s doll that appears in her workshop? Juliet Aubrey plays Octavia, with Beth Chalmers as her best friend, Sally.

Music composed and realised by Ben Wallfisch.

Agatha Christie's The Perfect Carer
17 March 2003

dramatised by Mike Walker from The Case of the Perfect Maid
directed by Jeremy Mortimer

  Renting a flat to elderly sisters in a converted dower house should be a simple job for an estate agent, but Kate finds Bernice anything but easy. Then valuables start to disappear.

Bernice ...... Richenda Carey
Carmela & Morag ...... Joanna Monro
Kate ...... Carla Simpson
Tim ...... Richard Firth

Music composed and realised by Ben Wallfisch.

Agatha Christie’s The Last Sťance
24 March 2003

adapted by Paul Kember
directed by Dirk Maggs
produced by Bruce Hyman
An Above the Title Production for BBC Radio 4

  Paul Kember’s contemporary adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Last Sťance is a highly topical thriller with an all-star cast. Set in England, but against the backdrop of international turmoil, this chilling story focuses on a young woman whose life has been devastated by the war in Afghanistan. Having lost her husband and only child, she turns to an Irish couple who may be able to offer her a chance of salvation: the promise of a miracle. But dark forces are at work,and the price paid for such a miracle may be too much to bear. The Last Sťance stars Dervla Kirwan, Adrian Dunbar, Rebecca Saire and Andrew Sachs.

This release features the  episodes.
The £199 Adventure
The Gypsy
The Last Sťance
Publication Due in May 2003

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BBC Press Office's weekly radio schedules. BBC Radio 4 What's On.
"Agatha Christie - Murder in Four Acts" by Peter Haining published by ABC Books, 1994.