The BBC & BritBox Set Next Agatha Christie Miniseries, 'Towards Zero'

Eileen Atkins as Lady Tressilian and Julian Sands as Thomas Royde in Marple Season 3 "Towards Zero"

Eileen Atkins as Lady Tressilian and Julian Sands as Thomas Royde in Agatha Christie's 'Marple' adaptation of 'Towards Zero'

ITV

With the success of Why Didn't They Ask Evans and Murder Is Easy, the BBC and BritBox are wasting no time announcing their next co-production of an Agatha Christie miniseries. The next book to get the 21st century updated treatment will be the 1944 novel Towards Zero, which, like the first two, is one of her lesser remembered works, as it does not feature Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple (or even Tommy & Tuppence.) Like Murder Is Easy, Towards Zero is a Superintendant Battle book and will most likely also be reconfigured to remove him from the narrative.

Towards Zero was the last to feature Battle, Christie's mostly forgotten lesser detective, who appeared sporadically throughout her early novels. If the title Towards Zero does ring a bell, it has been adapted before. There's a stage play version that was published with The Mousetrap and gets performed in amateur theaters. There have been a couple of attempts at films, but none were approved by the Christie estate. In 2010, BBC Radio 4 did a popular radio play with Hugh Bonneville and Marcia Warren

The best-known version, however, is the one rewritten for Agatha Christie's Marple, the same way Murder Is Easy was. In that case, Miss Marple was simply inserted wholesale as an extra guest at the house party held at Lady Tressilian, and Battle's role was reduced to a local sidekick, DCI Mallard. Other than that, the plot stayed faithful to the novel.

Here's the official synopsis for the new miniseries:

Towards Zero unfolds around the murder of an elderly widow at a clifftop seaside house, linking a failed suicide attempt, a schoolgirl wrongfully accused of theft, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player.

No cast has been set as yet for Towards Zero. The script will be adapted by Rachel Bennette (World on Fire), with a director to be announced in due course, and is expected to start filming in the U.K. in the summer of 2024. Bennette will also executive produce, along with James Prichard for Agatha Christie Limited; Damien Timmer and Sheena Bucktowonsing for Mammoth Screen; Danielle Scott-Haughton for the BBC; and Reemah Sakaan, Stephen Nye, and Robert Schildhouse for BritBox International.

Towards Zero is expected to debut on the BBC and BritBox in 2025.


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Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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