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Ordeal by Innocence Poster (2018)

"Ordeal by Innocence" official poster

Ordeal by Innocence is a British drama thriller miniseries that premiered on BBC One April 1, 2018. The three-part programme was written by Sarah Phelps and is based on Agatha Christie's novel of the same name.


Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll, a young delinquent, is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocence. Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary, a mysterious scientist, walks onto the velvety lawns of Sunny Point claiming to have just returned from an expedition to the Arctic. Even more extraordinary is his claim to hold the alibi that can prove Jack’s innocence. But Jack died in prison before the case could come to trial, and the Argyll family is reluctant to dig up the secrets of the past.

Rachel’s widower Leo is about to remarry his secretary Gwenda and none of Rachel’s other adopted children Mary, Mickey, Tina or Hester, nor longstanding housekeeper Kirsten, is willing to reopen that most horrendous chapter of their lives. However, the shattering implications of Calgary’s story are too big to avoid; if he is telling the truth then the wrong person was arrested for Rachel’s murder. And if Jack is innocent, then it must have been somebody else at Sunny Point. Somebody still out there... [1]


Main Characters[]

Supporting Characters[]

  • Sandy Batchelor as Simon
  • Abigail Coneth as Young Tina
  • Frances Grey as Lydia Gould
  • Rhys Lambert as Young Mickey
  • Brian McCardie as Bellamy Gould
  • Catriona McNicoll as Young Mary
  • Sammy Moore as Clive
  • Luke Murray as Young Jack
  • Hayden Robertson as Young Hester
  • James E Thompson as Blake
  • Sandy Welch as Dr Edwin Morsuch


No. Image Title Writer Director Airdate
1 Ordeal by Innocence Promo Still Episode One Sarah Phelps Sandra Goldbacher April 1, 2018
Christmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll, a young delinquent, is arrested for her murder.
2 Ordeal by Innocence Promo Still Episode Two Sarah Phelps Sandra Goldbacher April 8, 2018
With no option but to tell the complete truth, Arthur makes a confession and is able to present irrefutable evidence that he is telling the truth about Jack's alibi.
3 Ordeal by Innocence Promo Still Episode Three Sarah Phelps Sandra Goldbacher April 15, 2018
If Jack is innocent, then it must have been somebody else at Sunny Point. Somebody still out there...


Image Name Actor
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 01 Leo Argyll Leo Argyll Billy Nighy
Husband to Rachel Argyll. An amateur Egyptologist, Leo’s domain is his study at Sunny Point, where he pours over maps, papers and manuscripts. [2]
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 02 Rachel Argyll Rachel Argyll Anna Chancellor
An imperious and impeccable heiress. Rachel is the matriarch of the Argyll family and founder of “The Argyll Trust for Orphans and Neglected Children”. She has dedicated her life to philanthropy and raising her five adopted children. On Christmas Eve 1954 she is brutally murdered.[2]
Ordeal by Innocence Character 10 Mary Argyll Mary Durrant Eleanor Tomlinson
The first adopted child of Leo and Rachel Argyll. Neurotic yet poised, she is the picture of tension. Mary channels the spirit of her mother, a substitute for the attention she desperately craves from her.[2]
Ordeal by Innocence Character 08 Philip Durrant Philip Durrant Matthew Goode
Husband of Mary. A once decorated fighter pilot, Philip lost the use of his legs in a car accident after the war. He suffers the long-term effects of his injuries with the assistance of the morphine needle and the whisky bottle.[2]
Ordeal by Innocence Character 05 Tina Argyll Tina Argyll Crystal Clarke
There is a shy numbness to her, as if she’s in a state of permanent frozen shock. Tina carries about her an air of complete capability, but her Presbyterian plainness belies an underlying wildness.[2]
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 03 Mickey Argyll Mickey Argyll Christian Cooke
A Londoner to his bones. Crude, home-made tattoos adorn his arms. Nothing can shake the East End out of the boy, despite his adopted mother’s best intentions. He is not at ease in the entitled smugness of the Argyll family.[2]
Ordeal by Innocence Character 02 Jack Argyll Jack Argyll Anthony Boyle
Irreverent and bright-eyed with mischief. There is a simmering edge to him, a dangerous energy. Jack delights in causing trouble and running rings around the authority figures.[2]
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 04 Hester Argyll Hester Argyll Ella Purnell
The doted upon baby of the Argyll family, the perfect '50's' Miss. Hester is the epitome of innocence, but chafes against it.[2]
Ordeal by Innocence Character 04 Kirsten Lindstrom Kirsten Lindstrom Morven Christie
Long serving housekeeper to the Argyll family at Sunny Point. She carries on her shoulders the trials and tribulations of the Argylls’ deeds and misdeeds.[2]
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 05 Gwenda Vaughan Gwenda Vaughan Alice Eve
Former secretary to “The Argyll Trust for Orphans and Neglected Children”, Gwenda’s cunning has elevated her to the position of soon-to-be the second Mrs Argyll.[2]
Ordeal By Innocence Character Table 06 Arthur Calgary Dr Arthur Calgary Luke Treadaway
A scientist. Clean-shaved and pale, he carries a nervous disposition. Dr Calgary enters Sunny Point in the summer of 1956 claiming to have returned from an Arctic expedition. He sets off a chain of events that threatens to blow the Argyll family apart.[2]


Damien Timmer, executive producer, Mammoth Screen, says: “Sarah Phelps has excelled herself with this spellbinding adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s most celebrated stories. A gloriously dark deconstruction of an apparently perfect family, we hope it delights and chills viewers when it airs!”

James Prichard, executive producer and executive chairman of Agatha Christie Limited, says: "Ordeal By Innocence was one of Christie's personal favourites and I cannot wait to see how this outstanding cast will bring her story to life under the skilful direction of Sandra Goldbacher and the Mammoth Screen production team. To have Bill Nighy and Catherine Keener head up this all-star cast really is a testament to the depth and quality of my great grandmother’s writing."

Gaynor Holmes, BBC executive producer, says: "We're delighted to be continuing our special relationship with Agatha Christie on BBC One. Sarah Phelps' stunningly crafted adaptation of this wonderful novel has attracted a brilliantly stellar cast and will thrill audiences."

Ordeal By Innocence continues BBC One and Agatha Christie Limited’s unique production deal that will see ACL and Mammoth deliver seven Christie adaptations.

Ordeal By Innocence is a Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited drama for BBC One. The executive producers are Sarah Phelps, Karen Thrussell, Damien Timmer, and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen, James Prichard and Basi Akpabio for Agatha Christie Limited, Gaynor Holmes for BBC. IMG hold rest of world distribution rights. [3]

Ordeal By Innocence was supposed to be released on Christmastime 2017, but it never arrived. That's down to last-minute reshoots being hurriedly put together after one of its stars, Ed Westwick, became the centre of some sexual assault allegations. [4] The producers then made the decision to reshoot 35 scenes in 12 days with a replacement actor, Christian Cooke. [5]


Promotional Videos[]

See Also[]