This three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s most popular mystery novel airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. beginning October 4 on Rhode Island PBS.
The story opens on a hot day in late August 1939. Eight people, strangers to each other, are invited to Soldier Island, a small, isolated island off the coast of Devon, England, by a “Mr. and Mrs. Owen.” The party includes Justice Lawrence Wargrave Charles Dance), a celebrated ex-judge, Detective Sergeant William Blore (Burn Gorman), a nervous and suspicious cop, Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner), a smooth and good-looking mercenary, Vera Claythorne (Maeve Dermody), a governess turned secretary, Tony Marston (Douglas Booth), a young careless connoisseur of fast cars, Dr Edward Armstrong (Toby Stephens), an easily angered surgeon, Emily Brent (Miranda Richardson), a loathsome super-religious and daunting woman, and General John MacArthur (Sam Neill), an army veteran. The guests settle in at the mansion tended by newly hired butler Thomas Rogers (Noah Taylor) and his wife and estate cook, Ethel (Anna Maxwell Martin), but their hosts are absent. In their rooms, the guests find a copy of the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers.”
At dinner, the guests notice the centerpiece is ten figurines like soldiers arranged in a circle. After dinner, Thomas Rogers puts on a gramophone record, from which a voice accuses all ten people present of murder. Shortly after this, one of the party dies from poisoning. More are found dead, and each time, a figurine is removed from the dining table. The remaining people decide to work together to discover the identity of the murderer before they run out of time and no one is left alive.