Hugh Laurie brings Agatha Christie murder-mystery to TV

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By Hanna Rantala

LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Hugh Laurie, best known for playing an eccentric doctor in the TV series "House", brings what he says is his favourite Agatha Christie novel to the screen with his new TV show "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?".

The three-part mini-series was written, produced and directed by Laurie, who also stars in a supporting role.

"I would say the novel has been a passion of mine for a long time," Laurie, 62, told Reuters on the eve of the show's debut.

"The more I thought about it, the more I enjoyed the idea of trying to get what I thought was a sort of comic adventure spirit onto the screen."

Christie’s "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" was first published in the United Kingdom in 1934.

The novel, and the TV show, centre around the affable Bobby Jones (Will Poulter), who finds a dying man near the cliffs of the Welsh seaside. The stranger is only able to utter the puzzling question of the title before he dies. Together with his childhood friend, Lady Frances "Frankie" Derwent (Lucy Boynton), Bobby sets out to find what happened to the man and provide an answer to his final query.

"There's a snappy, almost American kind of style to it that I think she (Christie) was going for," Laurie said of his source material.

"I felt it was a very precious thing to try and preserve and maybe in some places, go and explore a little further. But I'm trying to be as faithful to the spirit of the thing as I could."

"Why Didn't They Ask Evans", which also stars Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent and Paul Whitehouse, starts streaming on BritBox on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)