Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2022)

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Why Didn’t They Ask Evans (2022) is a new murder mystery miniseries directed by Hugh Laurie that recently dropped on BritBox for those of us in the states. Adapted from the 1934 Agatha Christie novel of the same name, it stars Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton as childhood friends Bobby Jones and Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent, who resolve to get to the bottom of a savage murder, passed off as a suicide. He’s the clever-yet-penniless son of the local vicar and she’s wealthy nobility, and together they cut quite an attractive crime-solving pair as they traipse around the 1930s English and Welsh countryside. Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and Jim Broadbent all have cameos in this tidy little three-parter, but it’s Poulter and Boynton that are the real joy to watch as Bobby and Frankie try to solve the question at the center of the murder mystery, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”

The costumes, designed by Laura Smith (who has several assistant designer credits to her name, including Emma, Mary Queen of Scots, and Murder on the Orient Express) are smart-casual for the 1930s, classic blouse-and-skirt combos on the ladies, and neat slacks and sweater vests on the gents, with the occasional foray into evening wear.

Pretty sure this is actually a skort.

 

Frankie wears a silver lamé dress purloined from her mother’s wardrobe in the scene at the fair. I liked the back detail.

 

Even in Bobby’s clothes, Frankie looks fabulous.

 

I wish I could make jodhpurs look so effortless. Also, I loved the proper hairnet detail.

 

Will Poulter looks like every guy I had a crush on from ages 13 to 16.

 

A fabulous green evening gown and understated diamond jewelry for a special dinner out with an old family friend.

 

I loved this chic outfit Frankie wears to a funeral.

 

Smart blood red traveling suit and fedora.

 

Giving me Peggy Carter vibes here…

 

I love her trousers!

The series has some really good hats, too.

Not surprisingly, Frankie is given the best wardrobe in the series, but here and there were other standouts amongst the rest of the cast.

You know I’m a sucker for a good sweater!

 

This was probably my most favorite of all the outfits in the show.

 

Lots of interesting necklines and collars on the ladies!

 

Emma Thompson plays Frankie’s mother, who is obviously a bit of an eccentric.

 

And Jim Broadbent plays Frankie’s father.

 

And of course, Hugh Laurie, as a very suspicious and possibly threatening psychiatrist.

I didn’t want to give away the plot, so that’s all the screencaps you’re going to get for now. But I highly recommend watching the miniseries and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

14 Responses

  1. M

    Dress clips!
    The green evening dress is accessorized with dress clips!
    Such a great touch!

    Reply
  2. Roxana

    I read the book, but all I can remember is after chasing all over England the key witness turns out to be right back where they started.

    Reply
    • Gray

      Skorts
      Didn’t Schiaparelli do skorts in the ‘30s for a famous tennis player? It was shocking!

      Reply
  3. Kat

    I hadn’t heard of this but I am very excited to check it out. 1930s clothing is always one of my favorite time periods – except unfortunately a lot of works set in the ’30s are in the American dustbowl and/or Depression so there’s not often as much room to show off the architectural details used in women’s clothing – and I’ve been a fan of Will Poulter’s all the way back to Son of Rambow.

    Reply
  4. Jamie Jo LaMoreaux

    Will Poulter was Eustice Scrubb in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I thought it was well done, and I probably ought not to have watched it when I was VERY short on sleep. as I drifted off in bits. I’m planning on watching it again. I enjoyed the small touches the props and costumers did. well done!

    Reply
  5. Susan Pola Staples

    Gosh, the costumes aline make me want to see this. Francesca Annus did this as well.

    Reply
  6. MJ

    The shoes in the “skort” picture don’t look period to me – are they correct?

    Reply
  7. Bel

    Really enjoyed this one–Tommy especially is a good bit more serious than in the book, where he’s mostly an amiable doofus, but the overall effect is still pretty cozy and a good counterpoint to the recent tendency to inject dark melodrama into Christie adaptations. Especially loved Lucy Boynton in her many and pretty accurate hats–the hats are so often the first thing to go when directors decide they want their period dramas to feel modern and “relatable,” and historical hats are the most fun!

    Reply
  8. Eileen

    Loved the show and the costumes! Leave it to Hugh Laurie to do Christie right.

    Reply
  9. Nory

    I loved the show and thought it was done beautifully. One question though, does anyone know what her necklace was for her wedding outfit? It looked like lobster claws but it was hard to tell and I wondered if there was a significance that I couldn’t figure out.

    Reply

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