6.7/10
964
41 user 1 critic

The Sittaford Mystery 

The death of the presumptive future Prime Minister is predicted during a séance in a snowbound country hotel, and he is found stabbed to death in his room the next morning.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Clive Trevelyan
Robert Hickson ...
Arthur Hopkins
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James Pearson
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Charles Burnaby
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Reporter
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Emily Trefusis
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Ahmed Ghali
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John Enderby
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Miss Elizabeth Percehouse
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Stanley Kirkwood
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Dr. Ambrose Burt
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Martin Zimmerman
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Storyline

When Clive Trevelyan - Member of Parliament, war hero and heir apparent to Prime Minister Winston Churchill- is killed, Miss Marple sets about to solve the case. Trevelyan has made his fortune many years before in Egypt having secretly uncovered a lost tomb. He is killed during a major snowstorm when there are no police available. There are several possible suspects including Trevelyan's ward, James Pearson and his fiancée Emily Trefusis; his political agent, John Enderby; a journalist Charles Burnaby; a visiting American Martin Zimmerman; and several other apparently disinterested parties. A convict has also escaped from Dartmoor prison. Miss Marple concludes that Trevalyan's murder is related to his days in Egypt and sets about to identify the murderer. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

30 April 2006 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Timothy Dalton (Clive Trevelyan) previously played Agatha Christie's first husband Colonel Archibald Christie in Agatha (1979). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Miss Marple explains the murder's solution, just after 'Charles' falls into the ground, the feet of a crew member can be seen at the left bottom of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Kirkwood: [Referring to the dead body] Shall we shift him into the garage while the guests are having dinner?
Dr. Ambrose Burt: e should pack snow around the body... to prevent leakage.
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Crazy Credits

Following the credits, there is an in memoriam title card for Michael Attwell who played Archie Stone. Attwell died in 2006, the year this film was released. See more »

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User Reviews

An inconsistent mystery that failed to engage me at all
1 May 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Heavy snow is falling in the Dartmoor area of England and the guests of a small hotel find themselves being snowed in. News of an escaped prisoner loose on the moors dampens their spirits but to fill the time they decide to have a séance – even though one of their number, Clive Trevelyan, already has a connection with the other side. Meanwhile, at Sittaford House, Miss Marple discovers a death threat against Trevelyan and his loyal friend Enderby sets out to warn him despite the weather. When the séance predicts his death, things look bleak for Tevelyan, who finds himself surrounded by shadowy guests on all sides.

Several reviewers have already commented on the lack of respect shown to the source material but I would just say that those who have seen even one of ITV's "Marple" (not Miss Marple) series have no right to be surprised by this because it is a common factor across the whole lot of them. Accepting this, I wasn't looking for respect, just an entertaining mystery film – albeit the desecration of Christie's grave is rather a high price to pay for a Sunday night in. An hour goes by before we get a murder, which wouldn't be a problem if it used this time to do anything useful but instead it fails to build up back-story or characters. The slightly comic tone is forced and false while the actual mystery aspect is surprising dull – isn't the point of ITV revisionist approach to make it more energetic and accessible than the stiffer BBC version? As ever McEwan is all at sea with her character and does nothing interesting with Miss Marple. She is a dithery old thing but isn't able to bring out the sharp mind behind the physical appearance. The support cast ahs the usual famous names but, as usual, they aren't given much of value to do. Dalton is a strange find but he, Kaye and Smith are better than this. The performances are mostly a bit clunky even if everyone seems to be trying hard. The direction is colourful but the total delivery is badly inconsistent; comic music is played during unfunny moments and the visual trickery undermines the development of the story. To be honest I was bored and didn't ever really get into the story; I was hoping that the total rewrite of the original story would somehow produce something good but by the end of it I was left wondering what Churchett was thinking when he scrapped most of Christie's original novel.

Overall a bright and pointless mystery film that never decides what it wants to do and fails to do anything as a result. The presentation is bright but the mystery failed to engage me and I had lost interest long before it got anywhere near the solution. The cast can do nothing with the material and generally it just flops its way to the end without any great class or distinction. Others will say it is poor because of how it compares to the original material, personally I think it is poor even if you meet it on its own terms.


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