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Agatha Christie's Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage 

The Murder at the Vicarage (original title)
No one seems surprised when Colonel Protheroe 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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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 | Mystery


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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 »


Miss Jane Marple: What is this, Mary?
Mary Hill: Soup.
Miss Jane Marple: Does it have a name?
Mary Hill: Bits-and-bobs-and-odds-and-sods-and-the-meat-ration's-been-cut-again soup.
See more »

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User Reviews

Producers set St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire!!!
23 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Here is correspondence between myself and Granada regarding their placement of St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire. If a real county had to be guessed at it would almost certainly be Hampshire.

From: Stuart Fanning To: Timmer, Damien - Granada

Subject: Miss Marple

Hallo Mr Timmer

I hope you do not mind my emailing you directly regarding the Miss Marple series currently being shown on ITV1. Having just watched the second one: Murder at the Vicarage, I am finding them very enjoyable.

However there was one thing in the episode tonight which I found very surprising. This was the placing of St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire. The address of the Vicarage was shown on screen in a couple of the scenes.

As you will know in the books themselves, Agatha Christie does not place the village in a real life county. However clues in the books would suggest that if you placed St Mary Mead in a real county it would be in Hampshire.

So I am wondering how and why the decision was made to place St Mary Mead in Oxfordshire for this Miss Maple series?


Stuart Fanning

Hello Stuart

Thank you for your enquiry. St Mary Mead is still very much set in a non-specific county. However for shooting purposes we wanted to find a village that was both similar to how Christie had described it, but also one that had not been modernised too much. After a great deal of searching we went for the village we did, and rather than create a mythical county, stuck with where the location actually was.

Hope that clears things up.

Matthew Read - Producer

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