Agatha Christie fun-filled espionage series comes to DVD
Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime bring us two three-part stories: The Secret Adversary and N or M, from the legendary crime writer behind the likes of Poirot and Miss Marple.
As you would expect from any Christie piece there’s a mystery to be solved, and taking on the mantle is married couple Tuppence and Tommy Beresford, played by Call The Midwife‘s Jessica Raine and Little Britain‘s David Walliams. It’s 1950s London and with their son George sent off to boarding school, a chance meeting and sudden disappearance of a lady on a train, introduces Tuppence and her reluctant husband to the life of spies; handily Tommy’s uncle, Major Carter (James Fleet) works for MI5 and before you can say jolly-hockey-sticks, the pair are going undercover and getting themselves into mischief. And of course every good detective needs a science geek and Tommy’s old army friend/science teacher Albert (Matthew Steer) is on hand to turn his hand when needed to develop photos, defuse a bomb or diagnose a type of poison.
The second story, N or M sees the couple go undercover to identify which resident of a guest house has abducted a scientist and a nuclear bomb. It’s not long before their cover is blown but it only spurs the culprits into a frenzy pushing Tommy and Tuppence closer to the truth.
It’s very British middle-class, with an air of ridiculousness, but a harmless charm and style to put a smile on your face. Raine fits the energy of inquisitive Tuppence with ease; portraying the excitable and forever curious (nosy) amateur investigator. The casting of Tommy is more baffling. Walliams manages to convey Tommy’s hapless qualities but doesn’t seem as comfortable in the role, at times even stilted. The couple also lack any believable chemistry, with their relationship more akin to bickering siblings than man and wife.
Despite the lack of romantic chemistry, and the lack of realistic peril, the series is an enjoyable bit of fun in the way of a comedy caper. It is also stylishly filmed with stunning period sets and an impressive cast including, Ed Speelers, Alice Krige, Camilla Marie Beeput, Roy Marsden, Alyy Khan and Clarke Peters. The DVD also includes 90-minutes of behind the scenes features and cast interviews.
Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime is out to buy on DVD today (31st August).