BBC viewers shocked by strong language in Agatha Christie drama

Agatha Christie fans have expressed their dismay at an “offensive” new BBC adaptation of one of her books.

In the first episode of The Pale Horse, viewers were shocked when protagonist Mark Easterbrook used a strong four-letter obscenity when talking to a stranger.

In the second episode of the two-part mini-series, characters use a variation of the same word, alongside other coarse language.


The Official Agatha Christie Appreciation Society said its members were “very disappointed” at the use of swearing.

One member said: “It’s offensive and there is no need for it. I’m very disappointed with the BBC.”

Viewers also expressed their disbelief, saying there was “no way” Christie would have had a character say that word.

Needlessly sexualised

Christie did not use any strong language in her 1961 novel, but Sarah Phelps, who has now adapted several of her novels, has previously faced criticism for deviating greatly from the source material.

Fans have blasted the BBC over the dramatisation, which they say has become needlessly sexualised and has had the plot changed.

In 2011, the BBC ignored the growing number of complaints about bad language to produce a radio adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights which included similarly strong language.

Playwright Jonathan Holloway said he included the expletives in the 8pm adaptation to “shock” his audience.