David Jonsson & Morfydd Clark on Finding New Ways to Tackle Agatha Christie

David Jonsson as Luke and Morfydd Clark as Bridget in the drawing room in 'Murder is Easy'

David Jonsson as Luke and Morfydd Clark as Bridget in 'Murder is Easy'


In the newest Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder is Easy, Luke Fitzwilliam (David Jonsson) and Bridget Conway (Morfydd Clark) put their amateur sleuthing skills to use investigating murders in the small English town of Wychwood. Initially released in December 2023 in the UK, this nimble reworking of a lesser-known classic became available to American audiences on March 1, 2024, through BritBox.

This update takes the story from the post-war period of the 1930s and instead sets it in 1954. Significantly, the lead character of Luke is recast as a black man, a Nigerian diplomat, as opposed to the retired white policeman of the source material. Race is not a massive point of contention in the story, nor is it ignored. The story’s observations and commentary on the subject are incisive and effective. Luke’s powers of deduction are even more impressive in this incarnation since he is no longer a police officer. His innate sense of justice, not to mention the help of Bridget’s astute, perceptive powers, leads him to solve murder clues and pursue the killer.

Each performance in Murder is Easy is on point. Jonsson hooks the audience with a sweet and vulnerable portrayal that makes Luke instantly likable and charismatic. Clark infuses Bridget with a keen sharpness and intelligence. Although some of Luke and Bridget’s emotional interplay crops up without enough development, the actors’ chemistry makes up for this lack.

Jonsson and Clark joined Telly Visions to discuss their experiences in this miniseries and their love of Agatha Christie.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
David Jonsson as FitzWilliam in a tux in Murder is Easy

David Jonsson as FitzWilliam in Murder is Easy


Telly Visions: This adaptation was super controversial among some British fans when it debuted in the UK. How did you feel about its reception?

David Jonsson: I'm not really good at checking anything after I do it. But from what I can understand, especially from people who know me and messaged me, I think it was amazing to see [a positive] response because I think people really took to something that was a bit different. Especially something [like Agatha Christie] that's so familiar to us, which is kind of awesome. You want to do stuff that’s slightly different, something that shakes the boat a bit, so that's cool.

Morfydd Clark: I think the Christies have often been done differently. I mean, for example, Murder is Easy: previously, the murderer has been different. And I think it was really great that we had Luke Obiako Fitzwilliam as the detective in this, and lots of people thought that was wonderful and loved that. David's been a pioneer in playing the first black lead detective in Agatha Christie. And it was wonderful to see the really positive reception that got.

TV: David, did you consider it a big deal to land the lead detective in a Christie miniseries?

DJ: Yes, it's a big deal, just in the sense that Agatha Christie's kind of a big deal to us as British people. She's an amazing writer, very clever, very witty, and writes a lot about murder, which are all the things that I love. Getting involved in something like this you just want to make sure that it's true and real and you find a good place to bounce off of. And I really think we have the best team on this. We had Meenu [Gaur], our director; we had Siân [Ejiwunmi-Le Berre], an amazing writer. We had, of course, Morfydd, who was just incredible. When I found out that she was going to be on this, too, it just made everything sweeter. Penelope Wilton, Mark Bonnar, just the best, Tom Riley, just the best cast. This has been kind of a dream to do.

Penelope Wilton as Miss Pinkerton and David Jonsson as Fitzwilliam ride this train in 'Murder is Easy'

Penelope Wilton as Miss Pinkerton and David Jonsson as Fitzwilliam in 'Murder is Easy'

BBC/Mammoth Screen/Anne Binckebanck

TV: Morfydd, how did you get involved with the adaptation? And was it a relief to put on period clothing without the elf ears?

MC: It was a relief not to wear chainmail – those aren’t the lightest costumes I’ve worn in a while. I always loved murder mysteries and the Agatha Christie [special] on Christmas. I was excited to be asked to do it. Then I found out that David was involved, and other people were involved that I admired. Agatha Christies have been remade and remain relevant despite being written long ago. I find it fun to be in an adaptation exploring something very well-known in a slightly different way. I was excited to work with Siân because I thought how she looked at it was interesting.

TV: The story includes new angles, including being the first genuinely race-conscious Christie TV adaptation I can remember. David, can you talk about Miss Pinkerton’s death at the beginning and the scene where Luke tries to speak to the police?

DJ: I remember that scene. From the beginning, I didn’t want to do this if it would gloss over race. With me being a black man, I’m proud of that. And I think there was something quite amazing, something new we could find in it. In that particular scene, there’s no way they’ll believe him. In that particular moment, you see how quickly Luke thinks; he’s always ahead as much as possible. Probably the only person who can think a little bit quicker than him is Bridget. I loved shooting that scene. We played with that quite a lot; we did a couple of different takes to try and make sure we were ahead of the audience and not the other way around. It was a great scene to shoot.

Morfydd Clark as Bridget and Tom Riley as Lord Whitfield lounge boredly by the piano in 'Murder is Easy'

Morfydd Clark as Bridget and Tom Riley as Lord Whitfield in 'Murder is Easy'

BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mark Mainz

TV: When we meet Bridget, she’s foregone love to secure stability for herself. Do you think Luke’s attention frees her from a loveless life, or destabilizes her?

MC: I think both. She’s suppressed any romantic feelings she previously had and created a world where she’d be pretty safe. She’s with someone reasonably tamable, and very rich, and I think she feels like she’s outsmarting the system by suppressing any romantic ideas of her life. I'd say she is forever changed by meeting Fitzwilliam, I’d say for the better. And she’s much braver.

TV: David, are you any good at solving puzzles and mysteries? Is that something you're interested in?

DJ: Yes, I love it. I love Cluedo, or Connect Four. I love a board game, absolutely.

MC: Just after we filmed this, my key broke off in the door and then I had a pair of tweezers in my bag I took out and I was like, Oh my God, I've become an Agatha Christie character!

TV: Like many of Christie's other female characters, Bridget is underestimated and undervalued. What are your favorite things about her?

MC: She's very witty, and pretty robust, which are things that I admire. What I like about Luke and her relationship is that they are both kind of fizzing off each other's cleverness and intellectual wit. I think she's pretty cool. And she’s got a really cool car.

David Jonsson as FitzWilliam in a jaunty hat in Murder is Easy

David Jonsson as FitzWilliam in Murder is Easy

BBC/Mammoth Screen/Anne Binckebanck

TV: David, some moments get a little bit steamy. Was this the first role where you got attention for being an attractive person?

DJ: (Stutters) I don't know.

MC: He gets that all the time!

TV: I'm sorry; I didn't mean to embarrass you!

DJ: You haven’t; I just genuinely don't know.

TV: Morfydd, can you discuss women's roles in Wychwood society?

MC: Women have a tough time in lots of ways, but also, there's intersectionality at play here. There's lots of classism, there's racism, and there's also sexism. Bridget's pretty lucky because she's a white woman who's managed to marry rich and has rid herself of some of the things she's up against. She's chosen to go along with the status quo in a way that suits her best. I feel that, possibly, after the whole experience of mass murder and meeting Fitzwilliam, she may look at life a little differently.

Both episodes of Murder is Easy are streaming now on BritBox.

Marni Cerise headshot

A writer since her childhood introduction to Shel Silverstein, Marni adores film, cats, Brits, and the Oxford comma. She studied screenwriting at UARTS and has written movie, TV, and pop culture reviews for Ani-Izzy.com, and Wizards and Whatnot. You can usually catch her watching Hot Fuzz for the thousandth time. Find her very sparse social media presence on Twitter: @CeriseMarni

More to Love from Telly Visions