Agatha Christie’s 1961 novel “The Pale Horse” is being adapted for the small screen. The BBC has greenlit a two-part adaptation of the book, one of Christie’s later works, with Amazon Prime Video on board to co-produce and to show it in the U.S.
The drama follows events after a list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman. One of the named people begins investigating and is drawn to the The Pale Horse, the home of a trio of rumored witches living in a small village. Word has it that the witches can do away with wealthy relatives using dark arts.
ITV-backed British producer Mammoth Screen is making the two-part series. Leonora Lonsdale (“Beast”) is attached to direct, and Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto (“City of Tiny Lights”) will produce.
BAFTA-nominated Sarah Phelps, who won wide acclaim for her TV version of the Christie classic “And Then There Were None,” is writing her fifth adaptation of a story by the so-called Queen of Crime, whose books have been outsold by only Shakespeare and the Bible. “Written in 1961, against the backdrop of the Eichmann trial, the escalation of the Cold War and Vietnam, ‘The Pale Horse’ is a shivery, paranoid story about superstition, love gone wrong, guilt and grief,” Phelps said in a statement. “It’s about what we’re capable of when we’re desperate and what we believe when all the lights go out and we’re alone in the dark.”
James Prichard, executive producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, added: “’The Pale Horse’ was one of the later novels penned by my great-grandmother….This new drama allows writer Sarah Phelps to continue her exploration of the 20th century through Christie’s stories, with the book’s fantastic, foreboding atmosphere completely suited to Sarah’s unique style of adaptation.”
Endeavor Content is selling the series elsewhere. It is the latest Christie project from Mammoth and the BBC that it will bring to market. It previously sold three-parter “Ordeal by Innocence” widely and handles sales on Mammoth-produced Poirot adaptation “The ABC Murders,” both also from Phelps.