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.
A wealthy woman holds a party at her Devon estate for family and friends, including old schoolmate Miss Marple. When a solicitor and the hostess herself are both murdered, Miss Marple tries to find a clever killer with a devious plan.
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.
Miss Jane Marple is asked to help Gwenda, a wealthy young woman who has bought a house on the English coast, only to experience disturbing visions. Thanks to Miss Marple's investigations, Gwenda discovers that, instead of spending all her life in India, she had lived in the house as a child. The visions are actually flashes of memory - and she realizes she witnessed the murder of a beautiful woman named "Helen". Written by
During one of the flashbacks of the Funnybones performances, Edith plays a famous tune called "Sabre Dance" on the xylophone. However this would be impossible since the song was not composed until the 1940's and the flashbacks are said to be in 1934. See more »
This series continues working hard to be the 'weird' version of Miss Marple. The producers and writers do everything they can to be perversely (and I choose the word advisedly) different from previous versions. Admittedly the earlier Joan Hickson version of this story was not that great and the heroine had a very insipid husband. He's been abolished here, along with her New Zealand upbringing. Instead, a new character, Mr Hornbeam, has been brought in, who is a definite asset and well acted.
The plot has really been through the wringer and has been made confusing and hard to follow. Somebody seems to have thought they could out-Christie Christie. But Christie is always clear. Here the exact relationships in the Funnybones troupe are not easy to grasp and the cascade of complex plot information in the long 'all the cast in the library' scene at the end is very hard to understand and digest.
Also, there are lots of seemingly casual phone calls to India. This was far from easy in those days, when overseas calls had to be prebooked and waited for and the line quality was often poor. When a lot of care has been taken over period accuracy it is a shame to see this anachronism.
And why is Julian Wadham (the heroine's father) in the shadows playing her fiancé -- at least I think it's him? This is very misleading. Couldn't they afford another actor?
It's quite fun to watch, but I still wonder what the producers are thinking of.
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