Set in 1920s London, a brutal and bloodthirsty murder has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous and rich Emily French. All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily's dedicated housekeeper Janet McIntyre stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence. Tasked with representing Leonard is his solicitor John Mayhew and King's Counsel, Sir Charles Carter KC.
- Toby Jones as John Mayhew
- Andrea Riseborough as Romaine Heilger
- Billy Howle as Leonard Vole
- Hayley Carmichael as Alice Mayhew
- Monica Dolan as Janet McIntyre
- Kim Cattrall as Emily French
- Miranda Nolan as Christine Moffat
- Charles De'Ath as Deveraux
- Dorian Lough as Detective Breem
- Paul Ready as Tripp
- David Haig as Sir Charles Carter
- Tim McMullan as Sir Hugo Meredith KC
- Robert East as Justice Grenville Parris
- Adam Jowett as Clerk
- Andrew Havill as Clifford Starling
- Ted Robbins as Bernie
- Carla Langley as Dora
Episode One (December 26, 2016)
In 1920s London a murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome townhouse - the victim is the beautiful widow Emily French. All evidence points to Leonard, a dashing young chancer who seduced the older woman into leaving him her vast fortune before ruthlessly taking her life. At least, this is the story that Emily's distraught, devoted housekeeper Janet stands by in court. Mayhew, a penniless solicitor, is put in charge of Leonard's case. Initially treating the suspect with indifference, Mayhew is gradually moved by the young man's case. Leonard is certain that his innocence can be proved by his wife, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine. The entire case rests on her alibi, and Mayhew is reassured to learn that she witnessed Leonard return at 9.30, the time when he supposedly murdered Emily. Will she testify and save her husband, or will his infidelity make her vengeful?
Episode Two (December 27, 2016)
Romaine, whose testimony was the one hope to save Leonard from the gallows, has turned on him, leaving Mayhew's case hopeless and Leonard's fatal verdict imminent. Nonetheless Mayhew's firm belief in Leonard's innocence spurs him on with a steely conviction. Mayhew desperately tries to discredit Romaine and even to lay the blame on Emily's obsessive housekeeper Janet, whose word is the bulwark of evidence keeping Leonard behind bars. His efforts stall, leaving Mayhew on the verge of defeat. But there is another, shadowy player in this vicious game, one who turns the entire case on its head and changes both his and Leonard's life forever.
Tropes and Themes
This major adaptation for BBC One of Agatha Christie’s classic title "The Witness For The Prosecution" is adapted by Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None, The Casual Vacancy, The Crimson Field, Great Expectations), directed by Julian Jarrold (The Crown, The Girl, Appropriate Adult) and co-produced by Mammoth Screen (Poldark, And Then there Were None, Remember Me, Parade’s End) and Agatha Christie Productions (And Then There Were None, Partners in Crime).
- Partners in Crime (BBC TV series)
- And Then There Were None (BBC Miniseries)
- Ordeal by Innocence (BBC Miniseries)
- The ABC Murders (BBC Miniseries)