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The Pale Horse - Everything we know about the new BBC1 Agatha Christie thriller including when it starts

The Pale Horse
(Image credit: Mammoth Screen 2019/Ben Blackall)

'A lady dies in mysterious circumstances and in her shoe is a list of names...'

The Pale Horse, Agatha Christie’s spooky classic, will arrive on BBC1 on Sunday 9th February at 9pm, with Rufus Sewell starring.

The Man in the High Castle actor follows in the footsteps of the likes of Kim Cattrall (The Witness for the Prosecution) and John Malkovich (The ABC Murders) in taking the leading role in a Beeb Christie adaptation.

So, who does Rufus Sewell play?

The Pale Horse BBC1

The Pale Horse is coming to BBC1 in February (Image credit: Mammoth Screen 2019)

Rufus stars as antiques dealer Mark Easterbrook, whose name is featured on a mysterious list discovered in the shoe of a dead woman. Speaking on The One Show, Rufus said: “He’s an antiques dealer with a sad past, he’s widowed and he’s found love again.

"A lady dies in mysterious circumstances and in her shoe is a list of names and one of which is his. And there’s also the name of someone else he knows and these people appear to be dying...”

So, what’s the plot?

Mark starts an investigation into how and why his name came to be there, which takes him to the strange village of Much Deep and, The Pale Horse, the home of a group of witches.

It’s rumoured that the witches can dispatch wealthy relatives by means of the dark arts, but Mark thinks there must be a more logical explanation. But, as the bodies pile up, can Mark find out what’s really happening in time? “He’s scared something is going to happen to him, but he’s also a suspect,” teased Rufus.

Who plays the witches in The Pale Horse?

The Witches in BBC1's The Pale Horse

The witches (Image credit: Mischief Screen Limited 2019/Jonny Birch)

Vera’s Rita Tushingham plays Bella, Girl From The North Country’s Sheila Atim is Thryza Grey and Derry Girls actress Kathy Kiera Clarke is Sybli Stamford. Describing their characters, Sheila says: "The witches are very much at the centre of this community so we exert this gravitational pull on everyone else towards us. We are constantly surveying everyone and everything, that’s one of our gifts. We have to be able to sense everything at the same time."

Here's a cast list for The Pale Horse...

Mark Easterbrook (The Man in the High Castle's Rufus Sewell)

Hermia (Crawl’s Kaya Scodelario)

Bella (Vera’s Rita Tushingham)

Thryza Grey (Girl From The North Country’s Sheila Atim )

Sybli Stamford (Derry Girls actress Kathy Kiera Clarke)

Zachariah Osborne (Doctor Foster’s Bertie Carvel )

Detective Inspector Lejeune (Gotham’s Sean Pertwee)

David Ardingly (Killing Eve’s Henry Lloyd-Hughes)

Thomasina Tuckerton (Call The Midwife’s Poppy Gilbert)

Jessie Davis (Black Mirror’s Madeleine Bowyer)

Poppy (Snowflake’s Ellen Robertson)

It also feature Loving Miss Hatto’s Sarah Woodward, Black Mirror’s Georgina Campbell and Outnumbered’s Claire Skinner.

How many parts is The Pale Horse?

Two parts.

When is The Pale Horse on BBC1?

The BBC has now confirmed it will begin on Sunday 9 February at 9pm.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!