Pretty Much Pop #118: Adapting Agatha Christie

In light of Death on the Nile, we discuss the continuing appearance of the works of the world’s most successful mystery writer in film and TV. 

Mark is joined by repeat guests Sarahlyn Bruck, Al Baker, and Nicole Pometti to discuss the recent Kenneth Branagh films, the Sarah Phelps TV adaptations (like The ABC Murders), the Poirot BBC TV series, and earlier films.

We take on the different characterizations of Poirot and how recent, grittier interpretations compare with those of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. Also, how should a screenwriter adapt such fact-heavy novels? What works and doesn’t in terms of modernizing them to current audience expectations? How did Christie keep things interesting for herself writing so many mysteries? How deep do her meditations on psychology and ethics run in these books, and can that be adequately conveyed on screen? What’s the future of the mystery genre?

Here are a few relevant sources:

Listen to Nicole’s Remakes, Reboots and Revivals podcast. Look into Sarahlyn’s book and other writings. Check out Al’s work fighting disinformation at Logically.

Follow our guests at @remakespodcast (Nicole), @sarahlynbruck, and @ixisnox (Al).

The supporter version of this episode includes our bonus Aftertalk featuring all of our guests. Get it at, or now you can sign up directly via Apple Podcasts for a subscription for ad-free and bonus material for three of Mark’s podcasts together on the Mark Lintertainment Podcasts Channel.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by

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  1. Check out Peter Ustinov’s Lord Edgeware Dies – he had an absolute rage (the Hastings isn’t much good).

    David Suchet got Poirot absolutely right I think – though the change to the end of Murder on the Orient Express was unforgivable.

    Endless Night is pretty dark. She did at least one with an evil child too.

    Her outlet was writing under a different name – Mary Westmacott.

    For my money Julia McKenzie got Miss Marple right.

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