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And Then There Were None: Modern twist on murder mystery

Shady characters, shocking deaths and a buttoned-up Aidan Turner feature in BBC1's new three-part drama And Then There Were None. By Keeley Bolger

It's a pretty grisly concept. Ten guests are invited to an isolated rock off the coast of Devon under different pretences. Once there, they will be picked off, one by one, each meeting a sticky end. This is the plot of Agatha Christie's seminal thriller And Then There Were None. And a new adaptation is about to be shown on BBC1.

Selling more than 100 million copies, the 1939 thriller is Christie's best-selling book, with radio, stage, film and TV versions made since its release.

Over three taught episodes, the miniseries will show the downfall of the guests.

With their hosts Mr and Mrs U N Owen missing and the weather turning sour, the 10 strangers, who each harbour a dark secret, are soon cut off from civilisation.

As they struggle with their consciences, the mood turns darker and the guests are killed off. Much as the story is popular, Richardson thinks the Beeb's offering will show something new.

"What's nice about this adaptation is that it's very, very dark," explains the actress.

"There's actually hidden, nasty stuff that I think is quite appropriate for a modern audience. We seem to need a bit more."

Quite. But who is playing whom? Before the first episode is shown on Boxing Day, we take a closer look ...

Charles Dance

Previous work: Dance played powerful Tywin Lannister in Game Of Thrones and is also known for his roles in Gosford Park, Alien 3 and The Imitation Game.

Character: Justice Wargrave, a retired judge.

What he says: "There's a mystery to all of the characters when they arrive, but even more so in the case of Wargrave."

Maeve Dermody

Previous work: Dermody is a regular on TV back in her native Australia.

Character: Vera Claythorne, a governess.

What she says: "She is so complicated and unexpected. You're surprised by her and what her life has been. It's such a good female role."

Aidan Turner

Previous work: The brooding Ross Poldark, Kili in The Hobbit and Mitchell in cult TV fantasy series Being Human.

Character: Philip Lombard, an Irish mercenary.

What he says: "He has a complete disregard for humanity. I wouldn't put anything past him."

Toby Stephens

Previous work: Stephens is known for playing Bond villain Gustav in Die Another Day, Rochester in the 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre and for his lead role in Michael Bay's TV series Black Sails.

Character: Dr Edward Armstrong.

What he says: "He's this tragic character. Because of his past, his life has been blighted."

Burn Gorman

Previous work: American-born Gorman has starred as medic Owen in Torchwood, Karl Tanner in Game Of Thrones and in new Amazon Prime series The Man In The High Castle as The Marshal.

Character: William Blore, a private investigator.

What he says: "He's somebody who is brought in to solve a crime, but is accused of one of the most heinous crimes of the lot."

Miranda Richardson

Previous work: Richardson has had a rich career ... Blackadder, Sleepy Hollow, The Hours and Harry Potter.

Character: Emily Brent, a spinster.

What she says: "She's a complete hypocrite. She starts out as this monstrous, bible-reading, God-fearing, knitting person and as time goes on, you find out more about her."

Noah Taylor

Previous work: Taylor played Locke in Game Of Thrones, Dr Carter in Edge Of Tomorrow and Darby in Peaky Blinders.

Character: Thomas Rogers, the butler.

What he says: "Rogers is a dangerous and duplicitous fellow. He is frustrated and bitter with his lot in life."

Anna Maxwell Martin

Previous work: As well as the award-winning Philomena, Maxwell Martin took the leading role in period drama South Riding and also had roles in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Death Comes To Pemberley.

Character: Ethel Rogers, the housekeeper.

What she says: "She's cowed by life, dedicated to her job but very scared of her husband. She's very damaged."

Sam Neill

Previous work: Dr Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park films, Captain Borodin in The Hunt for Red October, and The Piano.

Character: General MacArthur, a war veteran.

What he says: "The battles of the First World War took their toll on him. He is a damaged man."

Douglas Booth

Previous work: The young actor played charismatic student Harry in The Riot Club, Titus in Jupiter Ascending and Romeo in the 2013 version of Romeo And Juliet.

Character: Anthony Marston, a reckless young man.

What he says: "What's interesting about my character, is that he is truly unaware of his secret, of his darker side, because he's just so thoughtless, so uncaring and self-centred"

  • And Then There Were None, BBC1, Boxing Day, 9pm

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