Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 1, Episode 2

Agatha Christie's Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage (19 Dec. 2004)
"The Murder at the Vicarage" (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 963 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 2 critic

No one seems surprised when Colonel Lucius Protheroe, the most disliked person in St. Mary Mead, is found murdered in the local vicarage. Red herrings abound, especially when his widow and her lover both confess to the murder.


(as Charles Palmer)


(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Agatha Christie's Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage (19 Dec 2004)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jana Carpenter ...
May Ainsworth
Siobhan Hayes ...
Angela Pleasence ...


Colonel Lucius Protheroe is probably the least-liked individual in St Mary Mead. All resent his superior and demanding attitude. So, when he is found dead in the vicarage study, there is no end of suspects. His wife Ann was having an affair with a local artist, Lawrence Redding. His daughter Lettice bridled under his strict rule. There is also the vicar and his assistant, whom Protheroe suspected of stealing church funds. Finally, there is the mysterious Mrs. Lester with whom he clearly had some previous connection. Jane Marple, recuperating at home from a sprained ankle, had a bird's eye view of all the comings and goings at the vicarage around the time of the murder and she gladly assists Inspector Slack in solving the crime. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

19 December 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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. See more »


In the beginning of the film, when Miss Marple is ready to go to church, you can see a calendar on the table showing August 1951. On the calendar, the month begins with a Tuesday. In fact, the 1st of August 1951 was a Wednesday. See more »


Lawrence Redding: And how would you do it, Miss Marple?
Miss Jane Marple: I never speak lightly of murder, Mr. Redding. I hate to tempt fate.
See more »


Version of Mord im Pfarrhaus (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Uninspired version of the Christie story...
8 January 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

There are serious flaws in this particular episode of the Agatha Christie series starring GERALDINE McEWAN. First of all, the revisions in an effort to update the story with today's more frank dialog and boldness, fails utterly to bring new life to the film. The village itself looks like a bright picture postcard, no suggestion of menace, just a sugary confection that is further given a dose of sugar by McEwan herself, who plays Jane Marple as the sweetest, coziest, and most simpering individual who ever gossiped over a teacup.

She just happens to be situated in a convenient spot from which to view the comings and goings of a series of people who are among the suspects in the murder of a much hated colonel (DEREK JACOBY in a poor performance). All of this makes me yearn for the '80s version with Joan Hickson as a more realistic and more dimensional Miss Marple and in a village that didn't look like the setting for an MGM vintage musical.

The performances of the suspects are rather shallow, perhaps because of the script which really gives nobody a chance to delve into characterizations that might bring the story to life. It's a dull affair, especially the first hour which plods along at an awfully slow pace until the colonel gets his comeuppance.

Another problem is the introduction of characters which were not in the original story as red herrings. A truly uninspired version of a good Christie story that deserves better treatment and in no way compares to the '86 version with Joan Hickson. Very disappointing.

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