The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are summoned by a newspaper notice to the house of Letitia Blacklock, anticipating an evening of murder games. But things become all too real when an intruder is shot dead.
The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place the following Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. A group gathers and at that precise moment, the lights go out and a young hotel employee, Rudi Schertz, is shot. The police assume he had placed the ad and planned it as a robbery, but for Miss Marple it's not that obvious. She believes that the killer was likely one of the people in the room. When two of those present the evening of the murder are subsequently killed, it is left to Miss Marple to unravel a complex series of relationships and false identities, all centered around Randall Goedler a wealthy industrialist who had died 10 years earlier. Written by
Seven of the supporting cast of this episode 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 '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'. See more »
One of the things I really like about Agatha Christie is the scrupulously fair way she presents you with all the clues necessary to solve the mystery, but manages to do so in such a way that you usually overlook them.
There's little chance of doing so in this dramatisation - significant plot elements have been rearranged, and are forced on you with sledgehammer over-emphasis. Sublety, a hallmark of Christie's work, is totally missing here.
On the plus side, Geraldine McEwan seems to be coming to terms with her characterisation of Miss Marple. We see flashes of the shrewd observer beneath the fluffy exterior. And the guest cast is full of recognisable faces, so at least there is some mystery left - you can't simply spot the culprit by studying the cast list.
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