Color us surprised when we saw that this classy BBC production was airing tonight not on PBS, home of prestige costume dramas and telenovelas disguised as prestige dramas (looking at you, Downton Abbey), but rather on Lifetime, home of cheesy TV movies that we lurrrrve. But then again, it makes kind of perfect sense. Fade in on a tragic young woman with MYSTERIOUS SECRETS, thrown into a life-and-death situation with nine other people — including one extremely hot bad boy — and forced to fight for her life. And Then There Were None is basically patient zero for everything that is great in the world: Pretty Little Liars, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Clue the movie, the Saw franchise, those murder mystery dinner party kits you can buy, the short-lived reality show Whodunnit that apparently I was the only person who watched… basically anything where a bunch of people are being killed off one by one and ONE OF THEM MAY BE THE KILLER was basically derived from this. Also? The costumes are are so. effing. gorgeous and so are the promo pics. It’s basically a Vogue editorial up in here. Check the ten little blue steel fashion poses:
[Non-spoiler warning: all these photos were put out by Lifetime and I’m not getting into any info you can’t find in their promo materials. We’ll post a full spoilery fashion recap on Tuesday.]
So, meet Vera! The minute you see miss lady in this stunning purple and muted mint ensemble, it becomes clear that this miniseries is bringing some serious style. Vera is not only apparently Emily Blunt’s long-lost baby sister, but also sort of the hero of this story. She’s a former governess and unemployed secretary who received an invitation from a stranger to join her on an isolated and very murdery island. With nothing better to do, she’s like, “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen?” (Spoiler: MULTIPLE MURDERS)
The journey over is not at all foreboding or creepy. Nope. I’m sure this weekend retreat will be 100% murder-free fun and games.
Among the ten guests are Evil Mr. Carson and Evil Mrs. Hughes, a pair of Edward Gorey-styled servants apparently on holiday from their regular jobs at Crimson Peak. Also note: the house is apparently situated somewhere on Luke Skywalker’s island from The Force Awakens.
Also on the scene is Aidan “Poldark” Turner, last seen sexily scything without a shirt. This time, he’s playing the role of Mysterious Bad Boy With A Dark Past and I’ve never seen him with hair this short but boyfriend is pulling off the 1939 style like gangbusters. This pinstripe suit is impeccable and note how its purple color story ties him already with Vera. #foreshadowing
But wait there’s more man candy! Douglas Booth is also in the hizzy, playing a dude named Anthony but because they’re all British it’s pronounced “Antony” or as I think of him, British Chuck Bass. His deep v and slacks ensemble is giving me Saturday Night Fever vibes but I have enough faith in the BBC that it’s also 1939 appropes.
Miranda Richardson is there because I think it’s UK law that every production needs a terrifying woman of a certain age. Remember on Downton when Curly Bangs O’Brien would scheme and smoke and was the absolute worst? Miranda here is like the upper crust version of that, using cutthroat moral zealotry instead of slippery bars of soap. Loving the puff sleeve and prim brooch placement that wouldn’t be a mile off from what Mindy Lahiri might wear to a murder mystery party.
There are also a handful of older dudes, incuding the oddly ageless Sam “Jurassic Park” Neill serving us Indiana Jones by way of Tom Ford. The jacket’s boxy fit was the lewk for men of a certain age in 1939, though to today’s eyes it seems sort of like he recently lost 50 lbs and hasn’t bought new clothes yet. He’s also got a great face for a mustache.
And because with a cast this size it’s impossible not to have a Game of Thrones crossover, in this case Charles “Tywin Lannister” Dance and his distinguished “disappoint me and I will shank you with my walking stick then lecture you about etiquette” Evil Pepaw affect. Sidenote: I’d be totally down with old men wearing bowler hats on the reg.
There are of course a handful of other future murder victims, but we’ll get to them in the full recap. Here’s the full squad, minus Evil Mrs Hughes who we assume was too busy murdering/being murdered to pose for the shot.
You know you have to tune into Lifetime tonight for part one and tomorrow night for part two of this epic saga. Then check back here Tuesday morning for our full plot and fashion recap of I Know What The Pretty Little Liars Did Last Downton Abbey.