Books

Five Little Pigs – Book v TV adaptation

I have watched many Agatha Christie TV adaptations, in fact grew up with them but I of late I have become much more interested in the novels and am enjoying reading them immensely. However, I am interested in how much is ‘edited’ for the tv to fit a novel into a two hour prime time slot, currently on ITV.

The latest novel that I have read is Five Little Pigs because it was on one Saturday tea time, I knew who had committed the crime but I always found it a rather good adaptation. Was the book as good? Yes in fact it was better. Had much been changed for the TV? Well not that much. Do not read on if you have not read the book, I may well inadvertently give something away but I try not to.

  1. Carla Lemarchant, Caroline Crale’s daughter had a name change from Carla to Lucy. Presumably because Carla was actually Caroline and it may have caused some confusion for the viewers. Lucy as she became did not have a fiancée in the programme.
  2. Caroline was executed in the book for some reason leniency was given but she died a year into her sentence. Of what we are never told.
  3. Lucy/Carla/Caroline does not point a gun at the real perpetrator of the crime. The perpetrator simply leaves the building. No doubt again for dramatic televisual affect this was undertaken. But I have to say in some ways unnecessary as in the book, it was a perfect ending and enough tension to think someone will walk free as the evidence was merely inference.

There is also a change of affection between two of the characters, which brought in an element of homosexuality. They seem to do this in the TV adaptations, for what reason I have yet to understand but it in my opinion makes no difference whatsoever to the plot.

The five little pigs, this time in pictures

This little piggy went to market.

Philip Blake played by Toby Stephens

This little piggy stayed at home.

Meredith Blake played by Marc Warren

This little piggy had roast beef,

Elsa Greer played by Julie Cox

This little piggy had none.

Miss Williams played by Gemma Jones

And this little piggy went “Wee! Wee! Wee!” all the way home

Angela Warren played by Tallulah Riley

Please note that Angela Warren shown here being played by Riley was the younger Angela she was then played by Sophie Winkleman to show her age some 16 years later.

It is certainly an adaptation worthy of watching and is something I can watch again and again even though I know the outcome, sometimes it is good to go back and watch for the clues, the red herrings and the workings of the little grey cells.