Stargate Universe star Brian J. Smith mentioned a few days back that he had landed a role in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot television series in the episode based on Murder on the Orient Express and that he’d be filming in London this month. It’s just been announced in Chicago Now that Smith will be playing Hector MacQueen, a role previously filled by world-famous actor Sir Anthony Hopkins in the 1974 film.
Here’s ITV’s announcement, also published at the Chicago Now website:
Hercule Poirot is visiting Istanbul, having solved a complex case for the British Army, when he witnesses an act of brutal justice on the streets. Relieved when a new case calls him back to London, Poirot’s old acquaintance Xavier Bouc (Serge Hazanavicius), director of the Orient Express, secures him a last minute ticket. Among the eclectic range of passengers are Princess Dragomiroff (Dame Eileen Atkins) and her nervous maid Hildegard Schmidt (Susanne Lothar), English Governess Mary Debenham (Jessica Chastain) and Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson (Marie-Josée Croze).
During his journey on the Orient Express Poirot is approached by ruthless American businessman Samuel Ratchett (Toby Jones) who offers him ten thousand dollars to watch his back, but Poirot refuses. Could Ratchett be fearful of the Italian Antonio Foscarelli (Joseph Mawle), English Colonel John Arbuthnot (David Morrissey), pushy American Mrs Hubbard (Barbara Herhey) or Hungarian diplomat Count Andrenyi (Stanley Weber) and his wife, Countess Andrenyi (Elena Satine)? Poirot awakes the following morning to find the train stuck in a snowdrift and Ratchett dead in his compartment.
Aided by amateur sleuth Dr Constantine (Samuel West), Poirot examines the murder scene and finds a proliferation of clues pointing in opposite directions. He interviews those who last saw Ratchett alive: his manservant Edward Masterman (Hugh Bonneville), personal assistant, Hector MacQueen (Brian J Smith), and conductor Pierre Michel (Denis Ménochet), before realising the true identity of Samuel Ratchett. The evidence seems to point to a mysterious assassin who got on and off the train but Poirot is not convinced. Isolated by the snow and with civilisation falling apart Poirot makes a decision that will change his life forever.
Adapted by Stewart Harcourt (Agatha Christie’s Marple, Dracula) and produced by Karen Thrussell (Agatha Christie’s Marple), Murder on the Orient Express will be filmed on location in Malta and London. The Poirot films are co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd, a Chorion company, and US network WGBH. Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck and Damien Timmer executive produce Poirot on behalf of ITV Studios. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer for WGBH, with David Suchet as associate producer. ITV Global holds international distribution rights.
Smith used his Twitter account to announce his new role and is already in London for the project. The movie will play on PBS in the United States sometime next year.
[Image of Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott from MGM.]