Murder Is Easy: release date, cast, plot, trailer, interviews and all about the Agatha Christie adaptation

Murder Is Easy on BBC1 sees a village murder spree that needs investigating in an Agatha Christie classic.
Murder Is Easy on BBC1 sees a village murder spree that needs investigating in an Agatha Christie classic. (Image credit: BBC)

Murder Is Easy on BBC1 boasts an all-star cast and sees a serial killer on the loose in a sleepy English village so it has all the ingredients of a classic Agatha Christie with twists, turns and red herrings all the way through.

Many of the author's world-famous mystery novels have been adapted for the screen by the BBC and ITV, including And Then There Were None, The ABC Murders, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, Marple and Poirot, and now Murder Is Easy is the latest to get the TV treatment by BBC One.

The two-part thriller, based on the Murder Is Easy mystery novel, boasts an impressive cast, including Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton, Shetland's Douglas Henshall and Sinead Matthews, with Industry star David Jonsson leading the drama as Fitzwilliam, a man who must find a ruthless killer before they strike again.

Here’s everything you need to know about the BBC One two-parter Murder is Easy

Mark Bonnar and Mathew Baynton as the doctor and vicar in Murder is Easy.

Mark Bonnar and Mathew Baynton as the doctor and vicar in Murder is Easy. (Image credit: BBC)

Murder Is Easy release date

Murder Is Easy is a two-parter that starts on BBC1 on Wednesday, December 27 2023 at 9pm, then finishes up on Thursday, December 28 2023 at 9pm so perfect for watching during the Christmas 2023 period. This Agatha Christie adaptation will also be available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and also BritBox in the US, Canada and South Africa. 

There’s no official US release date yet for Murder Is Easy. It should be some time in 2024. When the international air date is announced, we'll update you on here. 

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Is there a trailer for Murder Is Easy?

Yes the BBC has released a Murder Is Easy trailer, which starts with Penelope Wilton's character Mrs Pinkerton boarding a steam train and reporting 'murder' to David Jonsson's Luke Fitzwilliam. Take a look below...

Murder Is Easy plot

Murder Is Easy is set in 1954 when a chance encounter on a train leads to a murky tale of murderous secrets.

The story follows Nigerian attaché Luke Fitzwilliam (David Jonsson), who’s on his way to start a senior Whitehall job when he learns of a series of murders in the quaint English village of Wychwood under Ashe from fellow train passenger Miss Pinkerton (Penelope Wilton).

Although the bizarre deaths have been dismissed as mere accidents by local cops and villagers alike, Miss Pinkerton is confident there’s a serial killer on the loose — and when she’s later mown down by a car on her way to Scotland Yard, Fitzwilliam finds himself heading to sleepy Wychwood to solve the mystery! Fitzwilliam knows he must find the murderer before he strikes again. 

Luke Fitzwilliam gets investigating in Wychwood under Ashe.

Luke Fitzwilliam gets investigating in Wychwood under Ashe. (Image credit: BBC)

Murder Is Easy has train carriage action!

Murder Is Easy sees Miss Pinkerton meet Fitzwilliam on a train where a killer is discussed. (Image credit: BBC)

Murder Is Easy cast — David Jonsson on playing Luke Fitzwilliam

David Jonsson plays Luke Fitzwilliam, who is charged with catching a killer when he's told of a village spree by Miss Pinkerton. 

David says: "Luke’s Fitzwilliam is an attaché from Nigeria with a job at Whitehall waiting for him. But his life gets derailed when he meets Miss Pinkerton, who has information about a number of horrible deaths in her English village. She thinks they’re murders, but they’ve been brushed off as accidents."

"He ends up in Wychwood to solve these murders, which isn’t what he budgeted for. But nonetheless, duty calls!

"It’s action packed. It's full of wit and humour and all the things we love about a British thriller. But there are plenty of red herrings, and I think people are going to struggle to guess the killer… or killers! You’re in for a roller coaster ride – looking at one thing that actually means something else!.

"This has to be the most excited my mum’s been about me doing a job, ever! Agatha Christie thrillers are a British institution. So having a black hero felt incredibly fresh and exciting to me. I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of it. I'm a real fan of props and costume. But what blew my mind is that my grandfather travelled London from Nigeria – so this is how he would have lived and dressed!"

* David Jonsson previously played Gus Sackey in Industry and has also starred in Rye Lane, Deep State and Endeavour.

David Jonsson as Fitzwilliam in Murder Is Easy.

David Jonsson as Fitzwilliam in Murder Is Easy. (Image credit: BBC)

Gus has a new, more casual look, for Industry season 2.

David Jonsson as Gus in Industry season 2. (Image credit: BBC/HBO)

Penelope Wilton as Miss Pinkerton

Penelope Wilton is playing Miss Pinkerton, who knows a serial killer is roaming free. 

Penelope says: "Miss Pinkerton is a very sharp character, who suspects there’s a mass murderer on the loose! We find her taking the train to Scotland Yard because she doesn’t think the local police would believe an elderly spinster like her! Miss Pinkerton lays out the entire plot of the story for Fitzwilliam and from then on it's for him to unravel.

"I haven't actually inhabited the world of the 1950s before. So it's been fun, and the costumes are wonderful. In fact, the dress I wear on the train as Miss Pinkerton is an original from that period!

"It's a wonderful whodunit. And it has a lot of humour in it, but a great deal of menace as well. I think audiences will find it engaging!

"It’s a very good script, and up-to-date – not in period, but in attitude, while still having all the things that Agatha Christie is well known for. There are also enormous emotions are going on. And they really are enormous – of love, of envy, of all sorts of things!"

* Penelope has had an illustrious career, starring in Downton Abbey, After Life, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Ever Decreasing Circles and Talking Heads. She’s also starred in Iris, Calendar Girls, Doctor Who and Brief Encounters

Miss Pinkerton (Penelope Wilton) reveals her murder suspicions to Fitzwilliam.

Miss Pinkerton (Penelope Wilton) reveals her murder suspicions to Fitzwilliam. (Image credit: BBC)

Penelope Wilton on the red carpet of the Downton Abbey: A New Era world prmeiere

Penelope Wilton on the red carpet of the Downton Abbey: A New Era world premiere. (Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

Who else is starring in Murder Is Easy? 

As with many Agatha Christie TV adpatations, Murder Is Easy also has a large ensemble cast. Douglas Henshall (Shetland) is Major Horton.

Morfydd Clark (Lord of the Rings, Saint Maud) is playing Bridget, Sinead Matthews (Hullraisers, The Crown) is Miss Waynflete, Tom Riley (The Nevers, Ill Behaviour) is Lord Whitfield and Douglas Henshall (Shetland, In Plain Sight) is Major Horton. 

Ghosts’ Mathew Baynton stars as Dr Thomas, Mark Bonnar (World on Fire, Guilt) is Reverend Humbleby, Nimra Bucha (Polite Society, Ms Marvel) is Mrs Humbleby, Tamzin Outhwaite (The Tower, Ridley Road, EastEnders) plays Mrs Pierce, Jon Pointing (Smothered, Big Boys, Plebs) is Rivers and newcomer Phoebe Licorish is Rose.

Morfydd Clark and Tom Riley.

Morfydd Clark and Tom Riley as Bridget and Lord Whitfield in Murder Is Easy.  (Image credit: BBC)

Douglas Henshall.

Douglas Henshall as Major Horton in Murder Is Easy. (Image credit: BBC)

Who's Who in Murder Is Easy — the characters by the actors who play them

Here's a full rundown of the major characters in Murder Is Easy...

Luke Fitzwilliam 
(David Jonsson)

His life takes a very different turn after meeting Miss Pinkerton, and he finds himself in quaint Wychwood under Ashe, with a sense of obligation solve the murders. ‘Out of a certain moral compass he’s forced into action, following Miss Pinkerton’s trail to catch the murderer!’ says David.

Miss Pinkerton
(Penelope Wilton)

She’s convinced there’s a serial killer on the loose. But she, too, succumbs to murder. ‘There isn’t a lot of time… this killer is going to kill again!’ says Penelope. 

Lord Whitfield
(Tom Riley)

The millionaire plans to build a new town next to the village. But his money-making scheme has ruffled feathers. ‘He’s enjoying the spoils of his riches,’ says Tom. ‘He believes everything that comes to him is exactly what he deserves!’

Bridget Conway
(Morfydd Clark) 

Lord Whitfield’s secretary-turned-fiancée finds herself helping Fitzwilliam investigate the mysterious deaths. ‘She’s very clever,’ says Morfydd. ‘She’s got an ability to talk to everybody and decipher what they’re really saying!’

Miss Waynflete
(Sinéad Matthews)

An upstanding community member, Miss Waynflete curates Lord Whitfield’s private book collection. ‘She’s an incredibly helpful, respectable person, and everybody looks to her for wisdom,’ says Sinéad. ‘But this series has some brilliant twists and turns!’

Major Horton
(Douglas Henshall)

The affable military man is well known in Wychwood for his devotion to his pet bulldogs. ‘I know my late mum would have been very happy with me doing an Agatha Christie because she was a huge fan!’ says Douglas. 

Dr Thomas
(Mathew Baynton) 

The respected doctor’s life is upended when Fitzwilliam arrives with questions! ‘He’s a man with a certain position in the community, which he very much enjoys. And the arrival of Fitzwilliam puts a spanner in the works!’ says Mathew. 

Reverend Humbleby 
(Mark Bonnar)

Village vicar Reverend Humbleby has become frustrated by Lord Whitfield’s vanity project for a new town. ‘There was a lot of banter on set!’ says Mark. ‘It's got the most delightful, hilarious, brilliant bunch of actors – and some really grisly deaths!

Mrs Humbleby
(Nimra Bucha)

Reverend Humbleby’s Indian wife stands out in rural 1950s England as the only person of colour living in Wychwood. ‘You keep thinking, what is she doing in this English village?’ says Nimra. ‘But then you find out!’

Mrs Pierce 
(Tamzin Outhwaite) 

The cleaner and barmaid is a village fixture. So can she give clues to the killer’s identity? ‘She’s got her fingers in lots of pies, and she doesn’t mince her words!’ says Tamzin. ‘I love that I'll be able to sit down with my children at Christmas and watch this!’

(Jon Pointing)

Lord Whitfield’s chauffeur initially challenges Fitzwilliam’s motives. But does he know more than he’s letting on?

Tamzin Outhwaite.

Mrs Pierce, played by Tamzin Outhwaite. (Image credit: BBC)

Anyone for cricket? Murder Is Easy suspects played by Mark Bonnar and Douglas Henshall.

Anyone for cricket? A pair of Murder Is Easy suspects... Reverend Humbleby played by Mark Bonnar and Major Horton (Douglas Henshall). (Image credit: BBC)

Matthew Baynton in Dr Thomas in Murder Is Easy.

Matthew Baynton in Dr Thomas in Murder Is Easy with Nimra Bucha as Mrs Humbleby. (Image credit: BBC)

Behind the scenes, locations and more on Murder Is Easy

Penelope Wilton and David Jonsson at the start of shooting Murder Is Easy

Penelope Wilton and David Jonsson at the start of shooting Murder Is Easy in Scotland. (Image credit: BBC)

Murder Is Easy is filming in Scotland during 2023. The mystery drama is made by Mammoth Screen (part of ITV Studios) and Agatha Christie Limited, and is a co-commission between the BBC and BritBox International. 

The author’s great-grandson, James Prichard, who is executive producer for Agatha Christie Limited, says, “Once again my great-grandmother’s stories have attracted some amazing talent. 

"It is so exciting to see this group of actors embark on the re-telling of this great story. The concept of evil lurking in the quintessentially English village is a familiar trope, but what exactly it is that makes murder easy remains to be revealed.” 

The murder mystery is adapted by Siân Ejiwunmi-Le Berre, directed by Meenu Gaur and produced by Karen Kelly. The casting directors are Karen Lindsay-Stewart and Emily Jacobs. Executive producers are Siân Ejiwunmi-Le Berre, James Prichard for Agatha Christie Limited, James Gandhi and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Danielle Scott-Haughton for the BBC, and Reemah Sakaan and Stephen Nye for BritBox International.

James Gandhi, executive producer for Mammoth Screen, says: “Siân Ejiwunmi-Le Berre’s amazing adaptation of Murder is Easy digs into the divides at the heart of post-war English society, and we feel so lucky that the village of Wychwood is going to be brought to life by a dream cast. With Meenu Gaur at the directing helm and David Jonsson playing the lead, this promises to be a thrilling ride!”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “With an intriguing central mystery and a fantastic creative team behind the camera, it’s no surprise that this new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit has attracted a who’s who of UK acting talent to bring Murder is Easy to the screen. BBC viewers are in for a treat that will keep them guessing to the very end.”

Reemah Sakaan, CEO BritBox International, says: “With the combination of such a stellar cast, and source material that’s second to none, Murder Is Easy is set to be a huge draw for our international markets, and a great addition to BritBox’s collection of much-loved Christie classics. We are delighted to partner again with Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited to adapt another gripping Christie title, over a year on from our successful launch of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, as part of our further three project deal, working with such a world-class production team.”

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

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