Though it’s been out for a while, this is the first time I’m finally watching The Witness for the Prosecution (2016). Adapted by the BBC and available now in the states as an Acorn TV Original.
The Witness for the Prosecution (2016) Acorn TV Original
Poor and without prospects, Leonard Vole (Billy Howle) unexpectedly catches the eye of the wealthy, lonely and older, Emily French (Kim Cattrell). While in her employ, he’s asked to do more than one strange thing, most of which are inappropriate. Despite warnings from the jealous maid, Leonard continues to return. Then, on a dark night, Emily is murdered and the maid, Janet (Monica Dolan) is the sole witness, claiming it’s Leonard she sees leave the home that night.
However, the ill and down trodden solicitor John Mayhew (Toby Jones) ends up defending Leonard whom he does believe. Thus begins a trial that takes a turn or too all in the efforts of clearing a young man’s name.‘THE WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION’: AGATHA CHRISTIE SHORT STORY GOES TWISTY #AGATHACHRISTIE #PERIODDRAMA #MYSTERY Click To Tweet
Given what I like best by Christie (which is the Miss Marple stories), this isn’t a favorite production. It’s dark and twisty and kind of troubling, too. Some of the British production companies have also taken a Christie novel and will re-work it into a story with Miss Marple, which is also, always fun. Quick trivia for you, this, adapted in 2016, is now rumored to be getting a re-make with Ben Affleck.
The structure of the production is good and if you like dark mysteries, then again, this is good. It’s just not really my kind of vibe when all is said and done. The relationships are toxic, and really, I’m not sure that I like any of the characters; or only one if I like any. There’s sinister coldness to one in particular, and the rest are just, well, immoral among other things.
The atmosphere and sets, costumes and cast is, as usual, top notch. There’s a quality to these productions that U.S. competitors seem to miss. It’s these things that The Witness for the Prosecution does best.
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Content: there’s an awkward sex scene between a husband and wife. The bed rocks back and forth. And again, later, there’s a tussle between a couple when he lays her down on the bed, upset over her lack of “love.” There’s another scene implying oral sex (not overly graphic) and some profanity. We see flashbacks to the body a few times (with blood); there’s a suicide implication. The series is TV-14 or TV-MA, depending on your level of tolerance.
Photos: Acorn TV / BBC