Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 4, Episode 2

Murder Is Easy (12 Jul. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
7.0
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Reviews: 28 user | 4 critic

A village is plagued by a spate of seemingly accidental deaths, but Miss Marple is convinced a more sinister hand is involved when a villager on her way to Scotland Yard is conveniently dispatched.

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Title: Murder Is Easy (12 Jul 2009)

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While traveling on a train to London, Miss Marple is told by a woman she has never met, Lavinia Pinkerton, that she is certain there have been two murders in her village of Wychwood. When Lavinia dies in what is purported to be an accident - she fell, or was pushed, down the escalator in a tube station - Miss Marple decides to visit Wychwood and see what she can find. As Miss Marple is apt to say, one English village is like another and Wychwood has its secrets like any other. The first woman to die was Florie Gibbs who, despite being experienced in such things, supposedly ate poison mushrooms she picked herself. The second was the local vicar who failed to wear his mask when using poison near his beehives. The third is a young woman who, it is said, accidentally drank hat dye instead of her cough medicine. Miss Marple finds a clue that points to a motive with origins many years before and a secret someone will do anything, including murder, to keep hidden. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama

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12 July 2009 (USA)  »

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Goofs

According to the gravestone Miss Pinkerton died in 1955, but the MG being driven by Bridget Conway had the number 2326EL which was issued in 1959. See more »

Connections

Version of Murder Is Easy (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The novel is butchered to turn it into a Miss Marple mystery...
12 July 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Miss Marple was not featured in the Agatha Christie novel on which this is based. But that didn't stop the writer from turning this into a Miss Marple mystery and throwing away most of the original plot points to come up with a completely different story and motives. In doing so, they've come up with an elaborate subplot that defeats the purpose of the entire story behind the murders.

The 1982 version of MURDER IS EASY stayed faithful to the novel in most respects except that it updated the story to include the use of computers to try to solve the case. It featured guest star performances from Helen Hayes and Olivia de Havilland, but gave too much time to Bill Bixby and Lesley-Anne Down. At least it kept the reason for the murders which made far more sense than the ones offered here.

The writer has given all of the characters different backgrounds, different motivations, different relationships and while the murderer's identity remains the same, her reasons and explanations are startlingly different from those in the original story. She is poorly played by Shirley Henderson with a speech impediment that makes it necessary to use the caption feature to catch her dialog. Layers of complex motives have been added to make the story a confusing mess.

JULIA McKENZIE gives a nice characterization of Miss Marple and it's not her fault that the script puts her at the center of detective work in a most unlikely way. The other performers in the British cast are all fine but their roles are never true to the novel.

My least favorite so far of the new Miss Marple series. The revelation of the killer was done in a very different confrontation scene in the book (used in the earlier TV version) rather than the dull and dry exposition offered here with all of the suspects gathered for the reveal. Lavinia Pinkerton's demise on an escalator is just one of the silly touches (and name changes) that loses credibility when you think about it.

Absolute rubbish! Dame Agatha would certainly not approve of this complex rewrite of one of her best stories.


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