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By the Pricking of My Thumbs 

Miss Marple joins forces with Tommy and Tuppence Beresford to find the murderer of Tommy's Aunt Ada.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Miss Marple
Chloe Pennington ...
Young Hannah
Oliver Jordan ...
Young Ethan
Miriam Karlin ...
Marjorie Moody
June Whitfield ...
Mrs. Lancaster
Aunt Ada
Mr. Eccles
Patrick Barlow ...
Mr. Timothy
Chris Murphy
Jody Halse ...
Amos Perry
Hannah Beresford
Dr. Joshua Waters


Tommy and Tuppence Beresford visit their aunt Ada in a nursing home. Aida cryptically mentions to Tuppence about a murdered child. The next day Ada is found dead in her bed. Causes appear to be natural but Tuppence's suspicions are aroused when a note from Ada mentions that fellow-nursing home dweller Mrs Lancaster is not safe. Coincidentally, Mrs Lancaster has just checked out, accompanied by Mr and Mrs Johnson. While pondering all this at the nursing home, Tuppence runs into someone who is intrigued by her musings - Miss Marple. Together, and aided by a painting, they set off to find the Johnsons and Mrs Lancaster, as they are sure they are key to a mystery and potentially a murder, or two. Written by grantss

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

19 February 2006 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Although the date of is not made clear, it appears to be set in the Post-War late 40s or early 50s. The movie version of Jane Eyre (1943) that it refers to was made during the war in 1944, so although the poster art from the film appears similar to the Robert Stevenson film, it doesn't mention either Joan Fontaine or Orson Welles, who starred in the film. The part of Jane's friend, who dies in the film, was originally played by Elizabeth Taylor, although she dies from pneumonia, not leukemia, as stated in "By the Pricking of My Thumbs." See more »


When Miss Marple and Tuppence visit St Edmund's Church, to be hounded by the vicar, Miss Marple refers to him as the 'Reverend Bligh'. 'Reverend' is a gerundive, an adjective derived from a verb, and can't be used with a surname like that, as Miss Marple would have known. She would have said 'the Reverend Septimus Bligh', or 'the Reverend Mr Bligh'. Also she refers to him, the Bishop and the rector of St Mary Mead as having been ordinands together at the seminary - a training college for Roman Catholic priests. They should have been together at theological college. See more »


Tommy Beresford: [Tuppence asks Tommy to drive so she can continue reading her copy of Macbeth. Tommy chuckles in response] I was in Macbeth at my prep school. "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day."
Tuppence Beresford: [gets in car on passenger side] I heard you were marvelous.
Tommy Beresford: Who from?
Tuppence Beresford: You.
Tommy Beresford: Hmm.
[gets in car and starts engine]
Tommy Beresford: "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
See more »


Version of Mon petit doigt m'a dit... (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

All a bit of a yawn!,
28 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

I had reservations about the combining of Tommy & Tuppence with Miss Marple, and wondered how it would be achieved. It was really rather clever at first. However the transformation of Tuppence Beresford into a bored housewife with a drink problem, is somewhat at odds with the character that Agatha Christie created. If anything Tuppence was always the brighter and more forthright of the married couple, and there was never ever a suggestion by Dame Agatha that such a weakness existed.

The Beresfords visit Tommy's Aunt Ada at the nursing home in which she is living, where they hear of a supposed murder of a child in bygone years. A week or so later Tuppence is told of said Auntie's sudden death and treats the news with suspicion. Then she learns that Ada's friend Mrs Lancaster (June Whitfield, the BBC radio Miss Marple) had suddenly disappeared that same evening. Whilst Tommy is away on MI6 business, Tuppence and Jane Marple (who had also been a-visiting at the home) join forces to solve the mystery.

I read this Tommy and Tuppence tale years ago, but it's storyline has faded from my memory, so I can't tell (apart from the fact that Jane Marple wasn't in the novel) how much this production has veered from the original. Plot-wise, "By the Pricking of my Thumbs" is not a bad whodunit, but the under-played performances from the top stars on display here were sadly lack-lustre. It was only a yawn or two that actually kept me awake. Overall this production is only slightly better than "Sleeping Murder" (which was nothing but utter carnage).

I just cannot understand why there is a pathological insistence, particularly in this series, of wanting to change something purely for the sake of change? Will there next be an attempt to have Poirot solving Marple mysteries, and vice-versa, or will Superintendent Battle solve the lot? And will someone then come up with the idea of the collecting together Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Supt Battle, Parker Pyne, Mr Quinn, Tommy & Tuppence, and calling them "The Seven Scanner Eyes"? Why can't they leave Dame Agatha alone? Would they have the gall to treat Charles Dickens in such a scandalous way? Can I suggest Wilkins Micawber to solve "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"? I don't think that anyone can deny Dame Agatha Christie's place in classical literature, even if most of her works are "only" murder mysteries. (Let's face it, one of the founders of the "whodunits" genre was Wilkie Collins, a contemporary and close friend of Charles Dickens, and even the latter dabbled.) I'm sure Christie worked out her plots in precise detail, which is probably why they've stood the test of time, whereas lesser authors' works have been forgotten. Which is all the more reason why they should not be taken apart and tarted up. Especially by screen writers who couldn't hold a candle to her, and are not fit to hold her pen.

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