The opening credits show jade abstract figurines of ten soldiers crashing one by one until what was left was the figure of a house. It set the mood from the beginning and it got me hooked. As in almost all cases of screen adaptations, this miniseries tried its best to stick to the original plot. However, I’ve found some striking differences from the book. Nevertheless, the miniseries had divided the novel in three thrilling episodes, each piling up with suspense as the characters try to guess who Mr. U.N. Owens is.
One particular difference I’ve noticed at the beginning was the title of the poem on each room. It was entitled “Ten Little Soldiers” instead of “Ten Little Indians” and the name of the island itself was Soldiers’ Island and not Indian Island. Anyway, the novel itself had some title changes from its original “Ten Little Niggers” so I wasn’t surprised.
Another interesting difference I’ve noticed was the sexual tension between Vera Claythorne, Mr. Owen’s hired secretary, and Phillip Lombard, the hired mercenary. In the novel, it was just implied that they had some sort of attraction but in the miniseries, it showed a sexual relationship between them.
I don’t remember ghost appearances in the novel but I do know that each character tried to reminisce their crimes they committed either with a dream or flashbacks. However, in the miniseries, Vera Claythorne had seen some ghost apparitions of Cyril, the boy that drowned under her care. It haunted her and in fairness, it gave an eerie feel to the miniseries and made it more thrilling.
And, of course, how the novel and the miniseries ended differ much more. In the novel, the murders remained unsolved until a letter reached Scotland Yard. In the miniseries, no one from Scotland Yard appeared and the murders were explained by the culprit on the last two scenes.
I’m thankful that I discovered this miniseries and had the pleasure of watching it straight. Just like Sherlock, a television series based from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, making a miniseries based on a classic Agatha Christie novel is worth watching these days. Binge-watching again, huh?
Is there an Agatha Christie novel that you would like to be made into film or television series?