The ABC Murders

The ABC Murders first aired in December 2018, with John Malkovich taking on the role of Hercule Poirot. Discover more about the adaptation and meet the cast.


Poirot returns in a new adaptation of one of his most exhilarating cases. Widely regarded as one of Agatha Christie’s best mysteries, The ABC Murders is one of the most surprising and unusual appearances by literature’s most famous detective.

The year is 1933 and a killer stalks Britain, known only as A.B.C. They strike in a methodical pattern and leave a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each of murder. As Poirot attempts to investigate he is thwarted on every front; by a police force that no longer trusts him, a public that no longer adores him, and an enemy determined to outsmart him. If Poirot is to match his most cunning nemesis everything about him will be called into question; his authority, his integrity, his past, his identity.

In her fourth Agatha Christie adaptation in conjunction with Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen, BAFTA nominated writer Sarah Phelps continues to explore the 20th century through the work of Britain’s greatest crime writer. This time it is the 1930s; a divided country where suspicion and hatred are on the rise, and the gap between wealth and poverty is great and growing greater.

In the midst of this we find Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. Poirot has aged and the world has changed quickly around him. England, tolerant, welcoming England, squeezed by Depression, by the dark news from Germany, isn’t as tolerant and welcoming. The jubilation of winning the Great War has evaporated, now all there is, is a mess. Someone has to take the blame and sympathy for Displaced People has run out. As the British Union of Fascists gains ground, inveighing against ‘aliens’, Poirot feels even more like the outsider that he is. Even worse, he has been swept aside by the new brooms in the police and forgotten by the Bright Young Things whose dinner parties he entertained. But somebody has not forgotten him.

The A.B.C. killer travels the length and breadth of Britain to taunt Poirot. The ominous rumble of the train tracks connects every sinew of the country, every corner of opulence and poverty bound together. As Poirot tracks the killer across a riven, tense England, the case peels back the layers of the persona he’s created to survive in a foreign land, surrounded by strangers where the only person who seems to truly understand him, is the deranged, uncontrolled killer.

The ABC Murders premiered on BBC One in the UK at Christmas 2018. The show premiered in the US on Amazon Prime Video in February 2019.

Acclaim for Sarah Phelps’ previous Agatha Christie adaptations.

The Witness For The Prosecution – WINNER, Best Single Drama - Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2017, WINNER, Best Short Form TV Drama – Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2017

And Then There Were None – NOMINATED, Best Short Form TV Drama – Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2016

Watch the trailer

Meet the Cast

Agatha Christie

Meet the Cast

An all-star cast was assembled for the 2018 television adaptation, including John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot and Rupert Grint as Inspector Crome.

Who's in the drama

Behind the scenes

The cast try to sum The ABC Murders up in one word

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Find out more about The ABC Murders

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The ABC Murders: An Extract

Read an extract from The ABC Murders

Inline John Malkovich

First Look: John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot

A sneak peek of John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot

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Casting announced for The ABC Murders BBC adaptation

John Malkovich and Rupert Grint will star in new adaptation of The ABC Murders


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