Partners In Crime - major new BBC One drama for Agatha Christie’s 125th celebration year
"In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters."
Date: 18.09.2014 Last updated: 18.09.2014 at 08.42
Category: BBC One; Drama; Commissions and casting
BBC One brings Endor Productions and Acorn Productions' Agatha Christie’s married couple Tommy and Tuppence to life in a brand-new six-part adventure series for the channel. Partners In Crime stars David Walliams (Little Britain, Big School) as
Tommy and Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife, Wolf Hall) as Tuppence.
Directed by Edward Hall (Restless, Downton Abbey), episodes 1-3, 'The Secret Adversary', are written by award-winning author, playwright and director Zinnie Harris, (Spooks, Born With Two Mothers, Richard Is My Boyfriend) with the following three, 'N or M?' penned by Claire Wilson, (Where There Is Darkness, Twist).
Partners In Crime is produced by Georgina Lowe, (Mr Turner, Mad Dogs), executive produced by Emmy award-winning Hilary Bevan Jones (Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, State Of Play), David Walliams, Hilary Strong (Poirot, Have I Got News For You) and Mathew Prichard for Acorn Productions/Agatha Christie Ltd and Matthew Read for the BBC.
Partners In Crime is an adventure series with espionage and humour at its heart. Set in a 1950s Britain rising from the ashes of the Blitz into the grip of a new Cold War, our beekeeping duo stumble into a world of murder, undercover agents and cold war conspiracy.
Tuppence is a woman who sees adventure round every corner, throwing herself head first into every mystery with passion and fervour, determined to get to the truth no matter what it takes, much to the dismay of her more cautious husband Tommy.
Hilary Bevan Jones, executive producer and founder of Endor Productions, says: “To introduce the iconic Christie characters Tommy and Tuppence and their adventures to a whole new generation, is a fabulous opportunity for all of us at Endor. Our incredible creative team of David Walliams, Zinnie Harris and Claire Wilson are crafting a drama that promises to be exciting, fun and fresh. With the inspirational Edward Hall directing the whole series, and Georgina Lowe producing, we have a clarity and cohesiveness of ambition that promises only the best.”
David Walliams says: “In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters. I was first drawn to the delicious notion of a married couple solving crimes together, and the more I read of the Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories, the more I realised they are among Christie’s very best work.”
Hilary Strong, Managing Director, Acorn Productions, says: “We are excited to be working with the BBC and Endor to bring Agatha Christie to a whole new generation of viewers as we continue to build the Christie brand worldwide. Partners In Crime is the first of two major new dramas for 2015, the second of which is a new production of And Then There Were None, one of Christie’s most popular novels of all time. I am delighted that our partnership with the BBC will play a central part in our 125th anniversary celebrations next year.”
Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd, says: “The first Tommy and Tuppence novel was published in 1922 and my grandmother, Agatha Christie, would be thrilled to see her crime-fighting team reinvigorated for the BBC over 90 years on from when she first brought them to life.”
Ben Stephenson Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: “This new and exciting partnership between David and Jessica promises to bring a fresh new take on these classic and well-loved adventures. With their combination of humour, wit and talent, I can’t think of two people better suited to take on the iconic roles of Tommy and Tuppence.”
SEPTEMBER 2015 | TORQUAY, DEVON
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
AGATHA CHRISTIE: LIFE, LITERATURE, LEGACY
The 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival takes place in Torquay, Devon, UK between 11 – 20 September.
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Queen of Crime, the festival offers a week-long programme of new and unique events.
Our programme includes performances and film screenings, expert talks exploring Agatha Christie’s life and times, and opportunities to enjoy food, drink and dancing in some of the finest venues on the English Riviera.
At Torre Abbey visitors will find the International Agatha Christie Festival ‘hub’. The entrance ticket will provide access to the house, gardens and Book Tent as well as a free programme of daily activities and a very special newly-curated exhibition, Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait.
Ticketed events will also be held in The Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey, The Grand Hotel, The Imperial Hotel, the Princess Theatre, the Palace Theatre, The Little Theatre, Torquay Museum, Cockington Court, Greenway (National Trust), Churston Church and Oddicombe Beach.
For those seeking creative inspiration there will also be a professionally led workshop programme for aspiring writers and plenty of participatory events for young people
We will shortly be adding a map of Torbay showing quirky quieter spaces in which visitors may wish to do their own creative writing or simply read and watch the world go by.
Tickets for most of the festival events are available through our dedicated festival online bookings system. Some venues are selling tickets directly so please read the booking details carefully.
THE 2015 FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
This year the International Agatha Christie Festival celebrates the life, literature and legacy of Agatha Christie on the 125th anniversary of her birth in Torquay with an exciting mix of literary talks from best-selling crime writers, theatre performances, talks, writers’ workshops, children’s events, cookery demonstrations, film screenings, a birthday garden party, a tea dance and a glamorous ball.
Each day of our nine-day festival has a theme around which the events have been programmed.
Friday 11 September – Festival launch
Saturday 12 September – Festive Family Fun
Sunday 13 September – Agatha Christie and the First World War
Monday 14 September – Miss Marple, Music and Unsolved Mysteries
Tuesday 15 September – The Birthday and the next 125 years.
Wednesday 16 September – The Golden Age of Detective Fiction
Thursday 17 September – International Christie and Adaptations
Friday 18 September – Agatha Christie and the Theatre
Saturday 19 September – Agatha for Everyone
Sunday 20 September – Festival Finale
ABOUT AGATHA CHRISTIE
Agatha Christie: a life in brief
Born into a prosperous Anglo-American family in Torquay on 15 September 1890 and named Agatha Mary Clarissa by her parents, Frederick and Clara (nee Boehmer) Miller.
Acquires the name by which she becomes world famous in 1914 through her Christmas Eve marriage in Bristol to Clifton College graduate Archie Christie, a career soldier and qualified pilot already embroiled in ‘The Great War’.
As her war effort, Agatha becomes a Torquay hospital volunteer and so meets the Belgian refugees who are to influence the character of Hercule Poirot and gains, though her pharmacy duties, a basic knowledge of potions and poisons.
The first Agatha Christie crime novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles is published in 1920 and features the debut of Hercule Poirot.
Another 80 Agatha Christie crime novels and short story collections then follow, along with six romances published under the name Mary Westmacott.
In 1928 she and Archie Christie divorce and she subsequently meets and marries the archaeologist Max Mallowan, later Sir Max Mallowan. In 1938 they buy Greenway House, near Brixham, as a holiday retreat and it remains in family hands until 1999 when passes into the care of the National Trust.
During the Second World War, Max’s knowledge of Arabia sees him posted to North Africa while Agatha volunteers for pharmacy duties at University College, London.
On 21 September 1943, Agatha becomes a grandmother when her only child Rosalind – the daughter of Archie Christie and married to Hubert Prichard – gives birth to a son, Mathew.
In 1971, Agatha is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire, with the result that she and Max become one of the very few married couples in which both partners have earned a knightly honour in their own right.
Today’s estimate is that more than 2 billion of her books have been sold worldwide, making her the world’s best-selling author, out-ranked only by the works of Shakespeare and The Holy Bible.
Agatha Christie is also the world’s most translated novelist, with her books appearing in 100+ languages, according to UNESCO. She is also the most successful woman playwright.
Her play The Mousetrap holds the world record for the longest running theatre show, having opened in London’s West End in 1952 and still playing there, more than 25,000 performances later.
Agatha Christie dies on 12 January 1976, aged 85, and is buried in Oxfordshire.
The last book she writes is Posterns of Fate, a Tommy and Tuppence story, published in 1973 but it is followed into bookshops by Curtain, the last case of Hercule Poirot (1975) and by a final Miss Marple mystery, Sleeping Murder (1976) – both written more than 30 years earlier but held back in accordance with the author’s wishes.
Very many Christie stories have been made into films or television dramas and this year the number will rise even higher with the BBC making a new version of And Then There Were None and screening Partners in Crime, a series based on the Tommy and Tuppence stories and starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine.