The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are summoned by a newspaper notice to the house of Letitia Blacklock, anticipating a murder game. But things become too real when someone is shot dead.



(novel), (screenplay)

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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elaine Paige ...
Rudi Schertz (as Christian Pedersen)
Richard Dixon ...


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 garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

2 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Eight 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 '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. See more »


When Bunny goes up to her room, there is a shot of a pill bottle label. It's spelled "Asprin" when the correct spelling should be "Aspirin". See more »


Amy Murgatroyd: What do you think it means?
Lizzie Hinchcliffe: It means going round to Letitia Blacklock's and having bad sherry - that's what it means - and then having to pretend to murder one of the neighbours.
Amy Murgatroyd: And will the lights suddenly go out?
Lizzie Hinchcliffe: Well, that's usually the form.
Amy Murgatroyd: And will there be screaming?
Lizzie Hinchcliffe: Well, if you've got anything to do with it, yes, I expect so.
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(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Harry Akst
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung by Al Bowlly
[heard while newspaper boy riding bicycle]
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User Reviews

Please! No! Stop doing this!
18 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On the bright side, this was the best of the initial four of Agatha Christie's Marple. However, as it is an outstanding book, and among the finest Miss Marple mysteries, even ITV would have had to put some effort into ruining it. But they still had a decent go at ruining it anyway!

Please watch the Joan Hickson version. It's glorious. Beautifully written, with every character entirely believable and Miss Marple on great form. Miss Marple, as seen here, is not as nature intended. On ITV, she's even "Marple" in the title! Disrespectful!

This attempts to get through too much in too little time. Miss Hinchcliffe and Miss Murgatroyd, as they are in the book (and the BBC Hickson Version) are indeed a lesbian couple. There's no need for kissing and holding hands, and comments about Miss Hinchcliffe "assuming a manly stance". This film really doesn't do subtlety. Elaine Paige is far too young to be Miss Bunner. Miss Marple's own sexual history is one step too far into sordidness. Geraldine McEwan is very good as a "version" of Miss Marple, but she can only be as good as her material. The material here is wasted. Zoe Wanamaker is as reliable as ever. (Ursula Howells was magnificent as Miss Blacklock in the Hickson Version).

Mitzi The Cook is as aggravating here as she was in the book. The Hickson Version diverges from the original text quite severely, by making Mitzi a "proper" character, and a Holocaust Survivor, not just a "comedy foreigner". In amongst all the other aggravations, she fits in perfectly.

The best of a bad bunch.

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