26 September 2023

The Pale Horse

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Leonora Lonsdale, Umbrella Entertainment.

British screenwriter Sarah Phelps (EastEnders, The Witness for the Prosecution) adapts this mystery thriller from Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name.

Antique dealer Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell, Judy, Arcadia, Rock ‘n’ Roll) has everything a man could dream of: he’s rich, successful, with a beautiful wife and home. When his name is discovered on a mysterious piece of paper in a dead woman’s shoe, everything starts to fall apart for him.

His investigations lead him to three spinsters living at The Pale Horse in the village of Much Deeping. Easterbrook is summoned by the police a year after discovering his first wife, Delphine (Georgina Campbell) electrocuted in the bath. This time when a woman, Jessie Davis, is found dead in the street Easterbrook is summoned again.

He suspects that his second wife, Hermia (Kaya Scodelario) is plotting against him.

Mark discovers that Delphine and Jessie Davis had both visited the village of Much Deeping to consult a trio of women living there. Another person on the list, shopkeeper Zachariah Osborne, who had employed Davis, tells Mark that the women are witches, and responsible for the deaths.

He succumbs to a growing paranoia towards the witches and their supposed power.

As more deaths occur, Mark finds himself thinking the unthinkable: why does someone want him dead? Is he cursed and how can he save himself?

Some irksome, unnecessary plot additions can detract from Christie’s usually fine works.

Who is the scenarist of this television serial? If your answer is correct, then you could win one DVD of The Pale Horse. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 9 November 2020. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 10 November 2020.

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