And Then There Were None


And Then There Were None has had more adaptations than any other single work of Agatha Christie. They often used Christie's alternative ending from her 1943 stage play, with the setting often being changed to locations other than an island.


In 1943, Agatha Christie adapted the story for the stage. In the process of doing so, she and the producers agreed that audiences might not flock to such a grim tale and it would not work well dramatically as there would be no one left to tell the tale. Thus, she reworked the ending for Lombard and Vera to be innocent of the crimes of which they were accused, survive, and fall in love with each other. Some of the names were also changed with General Macarthur becoming General McKenzie, most likely due to the same surnamed real-life General Douglas MacArthur playing a prominent role in the ongoing World War II. On 14 October 2005, a new version of the play, written by Kevin Elyot and directed by Steven Pimlott, opened at the Gielgud Theatre in London. For this version, Elyot returned to the original story and restored the original downbeat ending in which Lombard and Vera both die.

Dundee Repertory Theatre Company was given special permission to restore the original ending of the novel. The company first performed a stage adaptation of the novel in 1944 under its original title.[24]


There have been numerous film adaptations of the novel, some adapted or comedic; at present only one of these – Stanislav Govorukhin's 1987 Russian adaptation Desyat' negrityat (Десять негритят, Eng: "Ten Little Negroes") – keeps intact Christie's grim storyline and ending. The first cinema adaptation was René Clair's successful 1945 US production in 1945, followed in 1965 by George Pollock's second cinema adaptation; Pollock had previously handled four Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford. Another significant production includes the first English-language colour version (Peter Collinson, 1974).


Several variations of the original novel were adapted for television. For instance, there were two different British adaptions, the BBC adaption in 1949[25] and ITV adaptation in 1959.[26] In addition, there was an American version, Ten Little Indians, directed by Paul Bogart, Philip F. Falcone, Leo Farrenkopf and Dan Zampino, with the screenplay by Philip H. Reisman Jr., that was a truncated TV adaptation of the play. A West German adaptation, Zehn kleine Negerlein, was directed by Hans Quest for ZDF in 1969.

In 1970, Pierre Sabbagh directed Dix petits nègres for the French television adaptation. In 1974, Jean Fayyad directed the television series "10 Little Niggars" in Arabic for the National Lebanese Television. The adaptation to television was orchestrated by Latifeh Moultaka. The series was a great success. In 2014, the Lebanese channel MTV Lebanon revived the television series as "عشرة عبيد صغار" or "Ten Little Servants". In Cuba, the novel was adapted in 1981 in a black and white six parts series starring Yolanda Ruiz, Miguel Navarro and Fernando Robles in the Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard and Justice Wargrave roles.

The CBS television show Harper's Island was loosely modelled on the book; however, there are 25 characters instead of 10, and the body count at the end differs.

The ninth season premiere of Family Guy began with an hour-long parody, "And Then There Were Fewer;" the titles and much of the episode's plot is a parody of the mystery.

Mathnet on Square One TV had a story arc, "The Case of the Mystery Weekend", based on this story, with a surprise ending. In February 2014, the BBC announced it had commissioned a film of the same name based on the novel.[27]

A seventh-season episode of the US show Psych, titled "100 Clues," follows the novel's basic structure when Shawn and Gus are invited to a remote estate by an aging rock star whom they helped incriminate years ago.


The BBC broadcast "Ten Little Niggers" adapted by Ayton Whitaker as a Monday Matinee on the Home Service on 27 December 1947 and as Saturday Night Theatre on the Light Programme on 29 December.[25]

On 13 November 2010, as part of its Saturday Play series, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a 90-minute adaptation written by Joy Wilkinson. The production was directed by Mary Peate and featured, among others, Geoffrey Whitehead as Justice Wargrave, Lyndsey Marshal as Vera Claythorne, Alex Wyndham as Philip Lombard, John Rowe as Dr. Armstrong, and Joanna Monro as Emily Brent. In this production, which is extremely faithful to the novel, the rhyme is "Ten Little Soldier Boys".

Other media

The Adventure Company released the video game Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None in 2005, the first in a series of PC games based on Christie novels. In February 2008, it was ported to the Wii console. The identity of the murderer is not that of the killer in the original book. The game player assumes the role of Patrick Naracott (brother of Fred Naracott, who is involved in a newly created subplot), who is stranded with the others when his boat is scuttled. This allows for alternate, more successful endings in which Naracott survives and is able to prevent the murders of the innocent Lombard and Claythorne. All endings depart markedly from the novel and previous adaptations in that the killer and motives are different.

And Then There Were None was released by HarperCollins as a graphic novel adaptation on 30 April 2009, adapted by François Rivière and illustrated by Frank Leclercq.[2]

A computer adventure game based on the novel uses the title "Ten Little Sailor Boys".

Peká Editorial released a board game based on the book, created by Judit Hurtado and Fernando Chavarría, and illustrated by Esperanza Peinado.[28]

Timeline of adaptations

type Title Year Notes
Film And Then There Were None 1945 American film and first cinema adaptation. Produced & directed by René Clair.
TV Ten Little Niggers 1949 BBC television production (IMDb)
TV Ten Little Niggers 1959 ITV television production (IMDb)
TV Ten Little Indians 1959 NBC television production (IMDb)
Film Ten Little Indians 1965 British film and second cinema adaptation. Directed by George Pollock and produced by Harry Alan Towers; Pollock had previously handled four Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford. Set in a mountain retreat in Austria.
Film (loosely-based)   Gumnaam 1965 Uncredited Hindi film adaptation, which adds the characteristic "Bollywood" elements of comedy, music and dance to Christie's plot.
TV Zehn kleine Negerlein 1969 West German television production (IMDb)
Film 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto 1970 Italian film (directed by Mario Bava)
Film And Then There Were None 1974 English language film by Peter Collinson and produced by Harry Alan Towers. First English-language color film version of the novel, based on a screenplay by Towers (writing as "Peter Welbeck"), who co-wrote the screenplay for the 1965 film. Set at a grand hotel in the Iranian desert.
TV Ten Little Niggers (Achra Abid Zghar) 1974 Télé Liban TV series directed by Jean Fayyad, TV Adaptation by Latifeh Moultaka. (Facebook Page)
Film (parody) Murder by Death 1976 outright spoof with a cast of American and British stars
Film Desyat' negrityat Десять негритят ("Ten Little Negroes") 1987 Russian film version produced/directed by Stanislav Govorukhin. Currently the only cinema adaptation to keep the novel's original plot and grim ending.
Film Ten Little Indians 1989 British film, produced by Harry Towers and directed by Alan Birkinshaw, set on safari in the African savannah.
TV (parody) "And Then There Was Shawn" 1998 17th episode of the fifth season of Boy Meets World
Film (loosely-based) Storm of the Century 1999 Horror film which shares some literary elements and a similar premise
TV (loosely-based) Harper's Island 2009 13 episode mini-series with the same premise
Film (loosely-based) Identity 2003 Horror film with same starting settings
Film (loosely-based) Mindhunters 2004 Suspense-thriller film with a similar premise
Film (loosely-based) Umineko no Naku Koro Ni Umineko no Naku Koro Ni Chiru 2007-2010 A series of Japanese sound novels which borrows the book's premise and sets the reader on a quest to discover the identity behind the crimes, and whether it is human or not.
Film (loosely-based) Devil 2010 film by M. Night Shyamalan adapts this story's basic structure and final plot twist to the confines of an elevator
TV (parody) "And Then There Were Fewer" 2010 first episode of the ninth season of Family Guy, is a comedic version with the similar premise of guests being invited to a large estate, being trapped by a storm, and some are murdered.
Film (loosely-based) Game 2011 Bollywood thriller inspired by the story
TV (loosely-based) Whodunnit? (2013 U.S. TV series) 2013 A Reality tv Gameshow Created by Anthony E. Zuiker.
Film (loosely-based) Sabotage 2014 an American action thriller/crime drama film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger loosely based on the book.
TV Ten Little Niggers (Achra Abid Zghar) 2014 MTV Lebanon television production (MTV)

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