Dec. 2004
Returning Series
120 min.
ITV1 TV Network

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Agatha Christie's Marple (UK) tv show photo

Agatha Christie's Marple (UK)

Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the village of St. Mary Mead and acts as an amateur detective. Due to her long and eventful life crimes often remind her of other incidents. Although Miss Marple looks sweet, frail, and old, she fears nothing; either dead or living.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • The twenty-three episodes of this series are adapted from Agatha Christie's twelve feature length novels featuring Miss Marple, two Miss Marple short stories, and nine feature length novels that do not feature Miss Marple in them at all.
  • The producers of this series of Miss Marple TV dramas have set her home village of St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire. From clues given in the Agatha Christie books, if a real county was guessed at, Hampshire would be the likely location for St Mary Mead.
  • Among others, Eileen Atkins and Annette Crosbie were considered for the part of Miss Marple's friend Dolly Bantry. The part was eventually given to Joanna Lumley, who calls herself a "die-hard Christie fan".
  • SPOILER: This adaptation of The Body in the Library changes the identity of the murderer, and adds a lesbian relationship that wasn't in the original novel.
  • Miss Marple is shown reading Raymond Chandler's short story anthology "The Simple Art of Murder", which also contains his titular essay on the detective novel. In the essay, Chandler argues that, in real life, the most unsolvable murders are the simplest, and criticizes, among other writers, Agatha Christie for creating implausible, over-elaborate murder plots for her novels.
  • This episode takes place in December 1915 and 1951.
  • The woman who dies in the very beginning (Jenny Agutter) and Miss Marple's friend Elspeth (Pam Ferris) star together in BBC's "Call the Midwife."
  • Of the 19 credited actors in this episode 8 have appeared in Doctor Who. Catherine Tate was Donna Noble, the companion of the tenth Doctor. Frances Barber has a recurring role as Madame Kovarian (eye-patch woman). Zoe Wanamaker was Cassandra in 'The End of the World' and 'New Earth'. Gerald Horan was Father of Mine in 'Family of Blood'. Robert Pugh was Tony Mack in 'The Hungry Earth', and Claire Skinner and Alexander Armstrong were Madge and Reg Arwell in the 2011 Christmas special, 'The Widow and the Wardrobe', and Keeley Hawes was Ms Delphox in 'Time Heist' in 2014.
  • The title of the film (and the novel it's based on) is, like that of many other works by Agatha Christie, a quotation of a piece of poetry. "The Moving Finger" are the first words of a well known work by the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam.
  • Miss Marple does not appear in Agatha Christie's original novel, which was an adventure featuring her other sleuths, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. In order to make the story part of the Marple series, the time period was moved from post-war to sometime near the end of the war. This conveniently places Tommy still in the military intelligence service abroad, and his part of the story was re-written for Miss Marple.
  • Although the date of is not made clear, it appears to be set in the Post-War late 40s or early 50s. The movie version of Jane Eyre (1943) that it refers to was made during the war in 1944, so although the poster art from the film appears similar to the Robert Stevenson film, it doesn't mention either Joan Fontaine or Orson Welles, who starred in the film. The part of Jane's friend, who dies in the film, was originally played by Elizabeth Taylor, although she dies from pneumonia, not leukemia, as stated in "By the Pricking of My Thumbs."
  • When Mrs. Lancaster (June Whitfield) says "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing", she is misquoting Alexander Pope in his Essay on Criticism (1709): "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring."
  • Although the exact date of the setting of the episode is not given the scenes at the film presentation clearly show signs that celebrate the Festival of Britain which took place in 1951.
  • With regard to when the drama was set, there is a scene where one of the characters, (Tuppence, if memory serves), goes through some envelopes, one of which bears a Queen Elizabeth II postage stamp. As the Queen did not ascend the throne until 1952, and the design changed in 1954, the year has to be between those two dates, 1952-54.
  • For the fifth time in twenty-five years, Robert Hardy once again plays Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
  • This film is based on the first Agatha Christie's novel to incorporate the supernatural/occult as part of the plot-line.
  • The original 1931 novel has Emily Trefusis as the chief investigator and does not feature Miss Marple at all.
  • Timothy Dalton (Clive Trevelyan) previously played Agatha Christie's first husband Colonel Archibald Christie in Agatha.
  • A man registers as Mr. Smith-Jones "with a hyphen". This is a reference to the British comedy show "Smith & Jones" which features Mel Smith who plays John Enderby in this episode and Griff Rhys Jones who played Dr. David Quimper in the episode "4.50 from Paddington".
  • In the opening minutes, as Miss Marple stares in wonderment at the lobby of Bertram's Hotel, the manager is on the phone and says, "Uh, no, I'm afraid Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today." The line is from the 1934 Cole Porter song "Miss Otis Regrets" performed by many artists including Ella Fitzgerald and 'Nat 'King' Cole', and more recently by Bette Midler on the final episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
  • Moria Armstrong suggested Cheryl Campbell for a key role but the producers had never heard of her.
  • The original 1958 novel has Dr Calgary as the chief investigator and does not feature Miss Marple at all.
  • When Cambridge scientist Dr. Arthur Calgary says he has recently returned from the Arctic, Mickey Argyle asks whether he was on the presumably fictional Hayes Birley Expedition. This may have been named for Isaac Israel Hayes who led northern expeditions the 1850s and 1860s, and Cambridge researcher Brian Birley Roberts who did the same in the 1930s.
  • Tom Baker later revealed on his DVD commentary for "The Robots of Death" that he was surprised there had been no rehearsal for the actors when he made this guest appearance on Miss Marple.
  • The original 1944 novel has Superintendent Battle as the chief investigator and does not feature Miss Marple at all.
  • Cameo appearance by the famous tennis player Greg Rusedski. He plays Merrick, who beats Neville Strange at Wimbledon a few minutes in.
  • Actor Herbert Lom provides the voice of Jason Rafiel in the audio message to Miss Marple; he had previously appeared on camera as Professor Dufosse in "Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage."
  • This was Herbert Lom's final acting project before he died on September 27, 2012.
  • Prunella Scales plays Mrs. Mackenzie in this version while her husband Timothy West had previously appeared in the BBC adaptation Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye (1985) (TV) as Rex Fortescue.
  • The last TV project for both Ken Campbell and Wendy Richard. Campbell died during post production; Richard passed away nearly a year after filming was completed.

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