Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 4, Episode 1

A Pocket Full of Rye (5 Jul. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 602 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

A detestable businessman is murdered while at work, and a handful of rye is found in his pockets. Soon after, members of his household fall victim to a killer intent on recreating scenes from a popular nursery rhyme.


(as Charles Palmer)


(novel), (screenplay)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rose Heiney ...
Rex Fortescue (as Ken Cranham)
Thea Collings ...
Professor Bernsdorrf (as Edward Tudor Pole)
Ralf Little ...
Ken Campbell ...


When Rex Fortescue dies while sitting at his desk in the City, it's determined that he was in fact poisoned. He was married to a much younger wife, who now stands to inherit. His son Percival, a partner in the family firm, was a disappointment to him and a daughter, Elaine, hasn't amounted to much. Another son, Lance, had a falling out with his father many years before and relocated to East Africa. He suddenly appears soon after his father's death claiming that they had reconciled and been invited by him to return to England with an offer to rejoin the firm. Miss Marple takes a particular interest in the case when her former maid Gladys, now working in the Fortescue household, is also murdered. She soon learns that the elder Fortescue had received veiled threats for some time and that they might have something to do with a long ago business deal that made his initial fortune. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

5 July 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The last TV project for both Ken Campbell and Wendy Richard. Campbell died during post production; Richard passed away nearly a year after filming was completed. See more »


When Lancelot returns home for the first time he is met at the door by Mary Dove whom he greets as 'Miss Dove', however, later during tea with his family he asks who the woman who answered the door was alluding that he had never met her before. See more »


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User Reviews

Best to date...but could have been better.
13 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

The producers of "Marple" for some quirky reason that only they know of, came to their senses with this adaptation. Was the only reason this happened because it was Julia McKenzie's first outing as Miss Marple? I can't imagine that they finally realised that Dame Agatha knew best after all.

This was a faithful and a reasonably good adaptation of her novel, and after severely denigrating most of the other episodes of "Marple" stated (falsely in my opinion) to have been based on Agatha Christie's works, it's a pleasure for me to actually commend at least one of them. One can only wonder why Agatha Christie's other works (including the later "adaptations" starring Julia McKenzie) weren't treated with the same respect?

One query, and I'm by no means a prude...why was a totally irreverent and irrelevant 10 second panting sex scene included? Definitely not a Christie idea. Have such crude scenes become an essential factor in the modern era of film-making?

For that silly scene I must deduct a point, another point deducted for a somewhat stodgy over-all production, and yet one more deducted as I'm of the opinion that Julia McKenzie is a little too young and a tad too forceful for the role. Otherwise I would have awarded ten points. This episode and "A Murder is Announced" are by far the best of the episodes in the entire series, because only in those two, was the genius of Agatha Christie not abused.

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