The BBC will reshoot Agatha Christie drama Ordeal by Innocent without Ed Westwick.
Adapted by Sarah Phelps from Christie’s 1958 novel, the three-part drama reunites the team behind The Witness for the Prosecution and And Then There Were None – both successes for BBC One and marking a promising run of Christmas crime dramas for the festive season. Last November, though, the programme was pulled, after accusations of sexual assault were made against star Ed Westwick.
Now, the BBC has decided to something quite unprecedented and reshoot all of Westwick’s scenes. It’s only “quite” unprecedented, because it follows a similar decision by director Ridley Scott, whose film All the Money in the World starred Kevin Spacey, until accusations of a similar nature were made against him – and Scott decided to reshoot with Christopher Plummer and insert his scenes into the film in post-production. The result hits cinemas in the UK this weekend, a feat that the Beeb is hoping to replicate.
Variety reports that the reshoots will happen later this month in Scotland, with Christian Cooke replacing Westwick. Cooke joins a cast that includes Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener, Matthew Goode, Eleanor Tomlinson, Anthony Boyle, Luke Treadaway, Morven Christie, Crystal Clarke, Ella Purnell and Alice Eve. Tomlinson, Goode, Chancellor and Nighy will be among Cooke’s co-stars present at the reshoots.
The series is directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Victoria, The Hour) and produced by Roopesh Parekh, (Poldark, And Then There Were None, The Hollow Crown), and follows the story of wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll, who is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point, with her adopted son Jack Argyll, a young delinquent, arrested for her murder – despite him protesting his innocence.
The reshoots mean that the BBC will continue its unique production deal with Agatha Christie Limited, which will see ACL and Mammoth deliver seven Christie adaptations in total. A UK air date will be announced in the near future. White Gold, meanwhile, the other BBC series that stars Westwick, remains suspended, after filming on its second season was halted last year.
Photo: James Fisher