The pale horse (2019) review
Updated: May 18, 2020
The BCC’s two-part adaptation of Agatha Christies The Pale Horse (2020) is a slick production set in a high-class 1960s London. A typical murder mystery, the series has a hint of the supernatural, although you have an inkling that there is more going on. The story follows the unwilling protagonist, Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell), who is now on his second marriage, despite still mourning the recent death of his first wife Delphine (Georgina Campbell). Hermia (Kaya Scodelario) his current wife plays the role of jealous and paranoid partner with vengeance, dealing with her own acute emotions which are exasperated by her adulterous and detached husband. When a flurry of suspicious deaths all linked by a written tick list, Mark who is also one of the names, comes under scrutiny by the Detective Inspector Stanley Lejeune (Sean Pertwee). For Easterbrook the secrets keep on mounting up, keeping the mystery loaded and his acute paranoia soaring.
In true Christie style, the audience is kept guessing and guessing with theories all seemingly pointing to the occult, created by the three bewitching female residents of the Pale Horse Inn. The who or why done it aspect was not as stringent as in other productions, as so much of the first half of the series was focused on Easterbrook rather than a wider context. The Pale Horse, is essentially a collection of coincidences that may or not be related rather than a singular murder or mystery to be solved. However, the production is fabulously styled and the cinematography a feast for the eyes. Credit must also be given for its range of 1960s women roles. From the neurotic housewife to the family heir, the Soho party girl, and Witch branded social outcasts, these women stole the show.
(Photography: Mammoth Screen/ Agatha Christie Productions/ British Broadcasting Corporation)
The Pale Horse, 2020 (TV), Mammoth Screen