Follow TV Tropes


Series / And Then There Were None (2015)

Go To

In 2015, the BBC produced and released a miniseries based on Agatha Christie's iconic novel And Then There Were None.

The cast includes:


The miniseries provides examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Subverted; Vera and Lombard sleep together after they engage in booze and cocaine. Neither party regrets it, and in fact Lombard is convinced that Vera isn't the killer.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the book, Hugo Hamilton vanished after Cyril's death and took to Drowning My Sorrows because he didn't know how to confront that his lover murdered his nephew to benefit him; in the series, he stays with his sister and immediately realizes that Vera was lying at the inquest because Cyril couldn't have outrun or outswim her. Hugo outright breaks up with her and tells her that if he had the proof, he would see her hang.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Morris is turned from a shady drug dealer to the owner of an employment agency.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Lombard establishes himself as a hunter who completely understands the situation they're in, compared to how it's implied he's just a pragmatic Thrill Seeker in the book. He also points out that he and Vera are Not So Different in how they killed for profit, even if Vera denies it. He knows Vera isn't the killer when Blore is killed while they're both outside and he told her to stay on the rocks, giving her an alibi. Ergo, the killer isn't either of them. It's not enough to save him when he tries to reason with Vera, and aptly says the killer is still on the island and hunting them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Dr. Armstrong is much less professional and meaner towards Vera when she accuses him of being U.N. Owen.
  • Adaptational Nationality: Lombard's nationality is not specified in the books, but is presumably English. Here, he is played by Irish actor Aidan Turner, who uses his natural accent.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Several characters are hit hard by this:
    • Rogers is seen abusing his wife and instead of simply withholding the medicine for his elderly employer, he smothers her with a pillow.
    • Blore and Macarthur, rather than simply sending their victims to a guaranteed death, are both shown to have actively murdered their respective victims with Blore beating his victim to death due to homophobia, and Macarthur shooting his wife's lover in the back of the head (likely because the use of flashbacks to the actual crimes made the indirect methods less visually interesting and harder to explain).
    • Vera is much more frigid and cruel than she appeared to be in the original novel. In the book, she is wracked with guilt and slowly begins losing her mind as she comes to terms with what she has done, but in the miniseries it is strongly implied to all be an act of a vicious sociopath. Also, little Cyril's death at sea is now shown to be a cold and calculated murder, while in the book it was implied to be a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion.
    • Lombard changes from a man who abandoned his followers to starve in the name of self-preservation to one who burned a village to steal diamonds.
    • Edward Seton was guilty of killing an old woman in the original novel. Here, he is a serial killer.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: It's mentioned that Miss Brent is missing a ball of wool. In the book, Wargrave uses an elastic cord to pull the gun away after he shoots himself, ensuring that his corpse will look the way it did when he first faked his death. The wool was used for an ersatz judicial wig, along with a shower curtain impersonating a judge's robe; in the film he shoots himself in the throat, relying on the gun's recoil to push it to the other end of the table.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Vera tries to bargain with Wargrave to save her wretched life. Wargrave patiently indulges her... then gives her a subdued "The Reason You Suck" Speech, kicks away the chair keeping her from hanging, and then leaves her to her (well-deserved) fate.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Arthur Richmond becomes Henry Richmond, and James Landor becomes Edward Landor.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • While he is still guilty of his crimes, Blore is made sympathetic enough by his banter with Lombard and eventually breaks down and confesses his crime, showing actual remorse.
    • Miss Brent is shown to be much more affected by Beatrice Taylor's death than in the novel and, shortly before she is murdered, she loses her typical stern behavior, showing how frail and scared she actually is.
    • Lombard, who pleads with Vera while being held at gunpoint by her to believe him about the murderer being neither of them and how the murderer will win if she kills him — something he is completely right about. He had also developed what appeared to be a genuine connection of sorts with Vera beforehand.
  • Artistic Licence Biology: Blore casually calls Lombard aside and asks him to confirm by smell that Marston died by cyanide poisoning. Given that the ability to smell cyanide is genetic and only shared by 40% of the population, it's more likely than not that Lombard wouldn't have been able to confirm this. Justified, as it's unlikely that Blore knew this.
  • Black Comedy: We get this exchange:
    Vera: Has Mrs. Rogers got worse?
    Armstrong: Somewhat - she's dead.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Marston, very copiously and gorily, when he dies.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In spades - not only are the deaths more bloody —(Brent goes from being jabbed with a syringe to outright stabbed in the neck with her own knitting needle)— but several characters have hallucinations and dreams that expose their crimes in gruesome detail, particularly Armstrong's nightmare.
  • Counting Bullets: At the end, the last survivor is hanging from a rope when the killer (who had faked his own death earlier on to be Beneath Suspicion) reveals himself. She tries to convince him to rescue her because there are no more bullets for him to make his planned suicide appear as a murder, spoiling his plan to create an unsolveable mystery. He plays along for a bit before pulling out the chair from under her and pointing out that she forgot the one bullet that was earlier "used" on him, which he holds.
  • Credits Gag: The opening credits removes an actor's credit when their character has been murdered.
  • Darker and Edgier: The miniseries goes for this to some extent, including scenes such as Marston taking cocaine, Rogers beating his wife, gorier deaths than those described in the book, and very brutal flashbacks to the murders committed by each victim. And to top all that, all but two of the indirect deaths caused by the guests in the novels are turned into straight up murders committed by their own hands, presumably to make said flashbacks more interesting.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Marston claims that the kids he killed shouldn't have been out in the dark at night, and implies they were Free-Range Children. Everyone is still horrified because they were only children. He also claims that in England the driving laws are stricter than those on the Continent.
  • Due to the Dead: All of the corpses are wrapped in bedsheets when the others find them, and are placed in their rooms.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This trope is averted when several of the other, more sanctimonious guests try to chew out Lombard for his crime, (because he flat out admits it's all true almost immediately) as he points out (quite accurately) that they're all hypocrites. It is played straight, however, when just about everybody in the room is horrified that Anthony Marston thinks running down two children was bad luck for him because he got his license taken away for six months.
  • Fanservice: The miniseries makes liberal use of Vera in a tight red swimsuit, and has Lombard walk around in just a towel during all the searches while the other guests wear dressing gowns. The scene with her in the swimsuit does also appear in the novel, although it's not played for titillation.
  • First-Name Basis: Vera and Lombard have a conversation in which each asks the other to use their first name. His addressing her as "Vera" is remarked on later.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Armstrong has one.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first ten minutes:
    • Judge Wargrave is the only one of the ten (except the Rogers) whose invitation letter is unseen, only the addressed envelope.
    • On the train, we see a shot of a noose-like curtain pull on the window then a shot of Vera in her seat. Moments later, after she leaves and enters the compartment with Wargrave there is another hanging in the window next to him.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The killer's corpse has a noticeable smirk after succeeding at killing everyone else and subsequently arranging their own death.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Despite the paranoia that one or the other is the killer, Vera and Lombard seem to connect under the influence of cocaine and alcohol. It's implied Lombard doesn't believe Vera is the killer, as when she steals his gun and tries to talk her down. He knows he isn't the killer, and believes a terrified Vera can see reason. It doesn't work; Vera shoots him multiple times
    • U. N. Owen gives one to the last victim: She's trapped in the noose, struggling for balance on an overturned chair, when he arrives. She tries to convince him to spare her. He compliments her, tells her she's his favourite... and then pulls the chair away.
  • Hotter and Sexier: It amped up the sex, but rather than change the spinster to a hot actress, they cast current TV sex god Aidan Turner as Lombard. Notably, Lombard is given an extensive Shirtless Scene.
  • Hypocrite:
    • After "U.N. Owen's" recording has played, everyone offers either a flat denial or an implicitly self-serving account of the crime they've been charged of... except for Lombard, who bluntly admits that the recording was entirely true in his case. As his crime is obviously appalling, everyone present self-righteously lays into him, until he points out that he at least is willing to stand up and own what he has done:
    Lombard: So either I'm embellishing a story for shocking effect, or I'm the only one telling the truth in a room full of liars.
    • Dr. Armstrong tells Vera to not become hysterical early on. After finding Mr. Roger's body he is the one to become loudly panic-stricken; Vera doesn't and slaps him.
  • Lady in Red: Vera's bathing suit is bright red. She had been wearing it when she tricked Cyril into swimming out to the rocks and later puts it on at the house when a search of all clothing and possessions is being made. It naturally triggers her memories of that day and catches Lombard's attention.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The copious amounts of blood and gore spraying the walls after Wargrave's faked murder were actually liver and kidneys stolen from the pantry.
  • Motive Rant: U.N. Owen delivers one to the final survivor right after she tries to hang herself, explaining his reasons for wanting to kill the other residents and then himself to craft the ultimate mystery, all while his listener is literally hanging by a thread trying to balance her weight on an overturned chair. In the book, he put all of this information in a manifesto Message in a Bottle.
  • Not So Different:
    • Lombard at one point accurately points out that both he and Vera killed someone for personal benefit. Vera tries to deny it, but we find out he's right.
    • U.N. reveals that Edward Seton laughed at Wargrave before the former's hanging because he knew that Wargrave had the same sadistic desire to kill.
  • Not So Similar: U.N. Owen after making his Motive Rant points out the difference between them and Edward Seton; Seton's victims were all innocent. Wargrave's were definitely guilty of the crimes they were charged.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lombard when Vera manages to steal his gun and prepares to shoot him.
    • Vera has the signature one where she starts to hang herself, Wargrave reveals he is alive, and the chair she's standing on falls over before she can stop it. And it sinks in that Lombard was right in that the killer was still on the island.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Most of Vera's flashbacks to the day Cyril died show her running in haste and screaming after him to stop. What actually happened was she suggested he swim to the rock like he always wanted, and in fact took her time running and swimming after him. Something that Hugo calls her out on because he knows she could outrun Cyril at any point.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Emily Brent in relation to Isaac Morris.
      Miss Brent: Jews. Wherever there's a problem, Jews are at the bottom of it.
    • It's blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but Blore is shown going over the list of guests he's been given in his letter. He writes 'Fenian' next to Phillip Lombard's name, and at one point claims that Lombard's the obvious suspect because he's Irish, and out to kill all English. Probably, a Pragmatic Adaptation / Real Life Writes the Plot due to Aiden Turner being Irish.
    • Blore also refers to the homosexual Landor as a 'degenerate,' amongst other things, and it's implied Blore viciously beat him to death entirely for this reason.
  • Psycho Lesbian: It's implied that Emily had feelings for Beatrice (who in this version is shown to have been underage), and dismissed her out of jealousy when Beatrice became pregnant.
  • Racist Grandma: Emily Brent is shown to be blatantly antisemitic.
  • Saying Too Much: While begging for her life, Vera lets it slip that she lied at the inquest and did kill Cyril. To Wargrave, who just told her that all of his victims have been guilty. Unsurprisingly, Wargrave leaves her to die by hanging.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Wargrave is a literal one in the backstory, as Edward Seton undergoes Adaptational Villainy to become a genuine serial killer.
  • Sleeping Single: The group bursts into Marston's room to find Rogers all but under the bed. When questioned (at gunpoint, mind) Rogers brings out a folded-up camp-bed. They'd stored it under Marston's bed originally, because 'young gentlemen never look under the beds'; he intended to use it in a spare room. Given how he treated his wife during the brief time we see her alive, it's possible that Ethel insisted on separate beds. Or even that it was simply the only below-stairs bedroom with enough bed/s for two people. (U.N. Owen didn't want two of his killers/victims to have easy access for hanky-panky??)
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Isaac Morris.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The booze-and-cocaine party when we're down to four surviving characters. Sure, folks, you're stuck on an island and for all you know, one of your three companions is homicidally around the bend and responsible for the six murdered bodies around the house. What better time to screw up your perception, judgment, and ability to react to a threat?
  • Truer to the Text: Along with the 1987 Soviet film, the BBC miniseries is the only adaptation that restores the Kill ’Em All ending and deep cynicism of the original novel.
  • Undead Child: Vera hallucinates Cyril haunting her, even accompanying her to the noose that's been prepared in her room.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The actor hired to record the script for the vinyl, who is told that it's for a play in the West End. He throws himself into the role, unaware how the Owens will use him.
  • Wham Line: Two occur in very quick succession at the end.
    • 'They believed me last time' - Vera says this as she's begging for her life, revealing that Cyril's death was entirely calculated down to her lies at the inquest, rather than being a spur of the moment decision as it's painted in the book.
    • 'You forgot the one that killed me' - Wargrave gives this response after toying with Vera about the possibility of letting her live once she points out there's no more bullets left for him to fake his own murder. Instead, he pulls the chair out from under her, leaving her to asphyxiate in the noose, and smugly reminds her of the bullet from his previously faked death.
  • Wham Shot: When the last survivor goes to hang herself, someone else opens the door. The person is shown with a waist-level shot that pans up to reveal that Justice Wargrave was the killer.


Example of: