Agatha Christie drama Murder is Easy blasted by His Dark Materials author: 'What a waste'

Philip Pullman didn't mince his words on social media.

Morfydd Clark and Tom Riley in Agatha Christie's Murder Is Easy. (BBC)
Morfydd Clark's Bridget Conway and Tom Riley's Lord Whitfield in Murder is Easy. (BBC)

BBC's two-part Agatha Christie adaptation Murder is Easy premiered on Wednesday evening, but not everyone seemed entertained over on social media.

Starring Industry's David Jonsson as the unlikely detective Luke Fitzwilliam, its cast also boasts The Rings of Power favourite Morfydd Clark, Shetland's Douglas Henshall, Downton Abbey's Penelope Wilton, Catastrophe's Mark Bonnar and EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite, as the village of Wynchwood-Under-Ashe contends with a killer at large.

Having sat through the first episode, His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman – whose own beloved work was adapted by the Beeb just recently – felt compelled to share his grievances via X (Twitter). "Shan't be watching Episode 2 of the 'Agatha Christie' on BBC1. The actors had no idea what to do, and the director didn't know either, and the script was pitiful. What a waste," he wrote.

Praise for Murder is Easy

However, overall many viewers had praised the show for being "refreshing" after the drama aired on our screens. "The colours and styling were beautiful though and it was better than last year's Why Didn't They Ask Evans, although that isn't saying much," raved one individual, among the sea of comments. Another added: "I'm really enjoying the modern take on a classic. So much more relatable."

Others added: "I enjoyed it. A refreshing new take on the familiar tropes. Lead actor, David Jonsson is excellent", "I really enjoyed it. Perhaps because I saw it as entertainment. The lead is brilliant, I hope he does well #MurderIsEasy" and "Christmas TV has been dreadful on the whole, but really enjoyed the first episode of BBC's latest Agatha Christie adaptation #MurderIsEasy looking forward to watching the concluding episode tonight".

Changes to Murder is Easy

In a recent interview, the Murder is Easy screenwriter Siân Ejiwunmi-Le Berre explained a few of the changes she made to the novel including combining some of the characters as there were so many of them. At the same time, she also highlighted the things she didn't want to change about the book.

She told The Radio Times: "We conflated quite a lot of characters because it was a very over-populated village, despite all the efforts of the murderer. What really struck me about this story is – as well as being a classic whodunnit – it’s also a romance, it’s kind of equally both in a very Hitchcock-y way.

"That’s what I didn’t want to change, I really wanted to run with those strands equally to play with that Hitchcock thing… The screwball comedies and having a duo, a sexy, flirtatious comic duo batting it forwards and back with each other. That’s what we didn’t change, it was always kind of there."

Murder is Easy concludes on BBC One at 9pm.

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Watch: Murder is Easy trailer