Fantasy Bob and Mrs FB worked off the excesses of Christmas by watching the excellent TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's compelling murder mystery.
Before assuming his athletic posture on the sofa FB observed, 'For once this could be interesting for cricketers. Agatha Christie was a great enthusiast for the game. There is a tree on boundary at Barton CC in Torquay which is called Agatha Christie's Oak since it was there that she sat on many an afternoon watching her father play and sometimes scoring the match.'
FB's enthusiastic hope that the programme might make some reference to this background was met with some indifference by Mrs FB. As she dipped into the Milk Tray, her thoughts lingered on the prospect of Aidan Turner's shirt failing in its primary role at some point to reveal his celebrated torso. FB recalled her breathless suggestion during a bare chested episode in Poldark that these rippling abs suggested he could bowl a lively fast medium. Sadly the show did not present evidence to support this suggestion, its cricketing content being non-existent.
FB digresses. To return to And Then There Were None. As is the way of these things, Mrs FB's hopes were fulfilled as the shirt duly failed at a critical point in the mystery. However FB's hopes were cruelly dashed yet again as the programme's cricketing potential was disgracefully ignored.
This was clearly an opportunity lost by the show's producers, who had updated a number of aspects of the original story. They might have looked more closely at the poem which provides a motif throughout the story, describing how the guests lured to the deserted island by a mystery host meet their grizzly fate one by one.
Agatha Christie's original verse is now politically incorrect - the poem was revised to refer to Indians and in the TV adaptation to soldiers.
This is a great failure on the part of the producers. For it is clear that Agatha Christie took her inspiration from her early experiences on the boundary at Barton CC and really tells of a struggling cricket team. One by one they meet their untimely end at the hands of a mysterious fast bowler and a sinister leg spinner.
What a great basis for a mystery drama - failing shirt or not.
Ten little cricketers playing down the line;
One missed a yorker and then there were nine.
Nine little cricketers tried to play it late;
One got a bottom edge and then there were eight.
Eight little cricketers why aren’t there eleven;
One missed the team bus and then there were seven.
Seven little cricketers will always walk on nicks;
One hung out his bat and then there were six.
Six little cricketers kept the game alive;
The fast bowler bounced one and then there were five.
Five little cricketers playing for the draw;
One swung across the line and then there were four.
Four little cricketers holding out till tea;
The leg spinner turned it square and then there were three.
Three little cricketers hope the bounce is true;
One got a shooter and then there were two.
Two little cricketers think about a run;
Yes, no, yes, oh, sorry ....…… and then there was one.
One little cricketer left all alone;
He’s gone to the bar and now there are none.
An opportunity lost.