Based on her 1934 novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, which originally landed as a BritBox drama in 2022, opens with a fine Agatha Christie enigma: a man lies dying at the foot of a cliff, apparently the victim of an accidental fall; with his final breath, he utters the mysterious question of the title and promptly expires.
They resolve to honour the dead man by deciphering, and then answering, his final question. In so doing, they hit upon a dark conspiracy of deceit, betrayal and - perhaps unsurprisingly - murder.
The cast features Will Poulter (The Revenant, Detroit, Dopesick) as Bobby Jones, a young naval officer, and Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Murder On The Orient Express,Bohemian Rhapsody) as Frankie Derwent, a prototype It Girl with a taste for adventure and good hats.
Joining Poulter and Boynton on the series are Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) as Bobby’s friend and mentor, Dr. Thomas, and Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) as Roger Bassington-ffrench, target of the amateur sleuths’ early suspicions. Maeve Dermody (The Secret Garden), plays Moira Nicholson, troubled wife of the domineering Dr. James Nicholson, and Jonathan Jules (Small Axe) appears as Ralph “Knocker” Beadon, one time shipmate of Bobby, and good man in a tight corner.
Miles Jupp (The Durrells) joins as Roger’s elder brother Henry Bassington-ffrench, squire of Merroway Court, the family seat in Hampshire; Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) as Sylvia Bassington-ffrench, Henry’s American wife, socially adrift in the English countryside; and Alistair Petrie (Sex Education) as Bobby’s father, Rev. Richard Jones, hard-working vicar in Bobby’s home town of Marchbolt.
Rounding out the cast are Paul Whitehouse (The Death of Stalin), as Mr. Askew, landlord and dispenser of wisdoms at a country tavern; Morwenna Banks (Breeders), as Mrs. Cayman, the deceased man’s sister; Ricard Dixon as the apparently jovial Mr. Cayman, and Joshua James (Black Mirror) as Frankie’s dependable young ally, Dr. George Arbuthnot.
In addition to directing, Hugh Laurie will also portray Dr. Nicholson, the Clinical Director of the sanatorium near Merroway Court.
Why Didn't They Ask Evans? begins Sunday 9th April on ITV1.