Four Reasons You Should Watch The Witness for the Prosecution

Cast - The Witness for the Prosecution

Recently I was fortunate enough to preview Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution. The Exclusive US Premiere is today, January 30, 2107, on, a streaming service, and it will then be available anytime! The movie is a joint Acorn TV and BBC One television movie. It stars Toby Jones (Sherlock, Detectorists, Captain America), Andrea Riseborough (Birdman, Nocturnal Animals, Bloodline) and Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City).

It is based on the Agatha Christie short story first published in 1925 and also later adapted by Christie into a play. Apparently there is more than one ending for the story, since Christie was not satisfied justice had been done in the original ending. The movie offers what I think is yet another alternate ending.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should plan to watch this program.

Toby Jones

John and Alice - The Witness for the Prosecution

Sure, he’s been in a lot of big movies – The Hunger Games as Claudius Templesmith, Harry Potter as the voice of Dobby, Captain America as Dr. Arnim Zola – but what has really drawn me to him are his TV projects. I know that many people did not like Wayward Pines, but I was not among them, and really enjoyed his portrayal of David Pilcher. I also really liked him as Verloc in The Secret Agent, discussed in Three Reasons You Should Watch The Secret Agent and as Lance in The Detectorists, detailed in Detectorists… And Now for Something Completely Different! And of course, his recent appearance on Sherlock as Culverton Smith was wonderful.

Please understand that the rest of the cast of The Witness for the Prosecution is also phenomenal. Everyone really brought their respective characters to life and made me really care about these people and their predicaments. At the same time, I was forced to pay close attention to them as I tried to figure out the truth and their motivations.

It’s Agatha Christie!

Courtroom Scene - The Witness for the Prosecution

If you are a mystery lover, as I happen to be, then it does not get much better than Agatha Christie! Her stories are timeless and classic, and always keep you guessing right up to the final reveal.

Born in 1890 to a wealthy family in England, she became a crime novelist, short story author, and playwright. Among her accomplishments are 66 detective novels and fourteen short story collections. Two of her fictional detectives are especially well known – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She is among the best-selling fiction authors of all time.

Lots of Twists

Leonard and Emily - The Witness for the Prosecution

The Witness for the Prosecution does not lack for twists. Every time you think you have finally figured out what is going on – bam! – here comes another revelation to totally upend your comfort and satisfaction at finally learning the truth.

If you love unexpected changes, which seems to be what viewers expect in a TV program today, you will not be disappointed. Who really did commit the requisite murder? Will we ever know for sure? Why did he/she do it? In programs with modern settings, we are so used to going to the forensics lab and running DNA tests, but you will not see any of that here, since the movie is set in the 1920s. So, think low-tech and bring your best detective skills to figure out exactly what is going on in this whodunit!

Beautiful Period Piece

Romaine - The Witness for the Prosecution

A lot of detail was used in designing the sets and costumes for this movie, and you really feel immersed in 1920s London! Regardless of whether you are in the swanky surroundings of Emily’s townhouse, the smoky theater where Romaine sings, or the dirty, dark back alleys where pivotal scenes take place, you realize that you have been transported to another time and place.

There are also several flashbacks to World War I which add to the authentic feel to the time period portrayed. While I realize this is not a documentary, when a drama pays attention to historical details it can broaden our understanding of historical events.


Do you think you might watch The Witness for the Prosecution when it airs on If you do, then please come back and let me know what you thought of it! I really enjoy reading your comments.