Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 4, Episode 4

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (26 Jul. 2009)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 672 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 4 critic

The cryptic final words of a dying man lead Miss Marple and two young adventurers to a dysfunctional family harboring dark secrets.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Title: Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (26 Jul 2009)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Buchanan ...
Helen Lederer ...
Marjorie Attfield
Tom Savage
Dorothy Savage
Commander Peters
Claude Evans


While visiting her friend Marjorie Attfield, Miss Marple learns that her son Bobby had recently found a body, identified as a Mr. Pritchard, on the cliff side. He's received a letter asking him to appear at the enquiry but it seems to be a wild goose chase meant to keep him away from the real enquiry taking place elsewhere. Now accompanied by a friend, Frankie Derwent, they trace the dead man to nearby Castle Savage, home to a dysfunctional family with great deal of money. The family patriarch, Jack Savage, had died not long ago and the dead man had some connection to the Savages. But what is the key to solving the mystery of Pritchard's last words to Bobby as he lay dying: "Why didn't they ask Evans?". Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

26 July 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


[first lines]
John Carstairs: Why didn't they ask...
Bobby Attfield: Sorry?
John Carstairs: Why... didn't they... ask... Evans?
Bobby Attfield: Evans? Ask him what?
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Version of Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (1980) See more »


When You and I Were Seventeen
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User Reviews

Why didn't they ask Cassie?
25 March 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I'm not proud. I rented this 90-minute drama so I could catch up with the actress Hannah Murray, who played the lovely Cassie from Skins, a girl any bloke could fall in love with! She hasn't been in much since.

As if anticipating said sad sackness, Ms Murray has had something of a reverse makeover and no longer has the blonde flower child look. Her hair is black or dark brunette, pinned up on her head, and she has horn-rimmed spectacles. Murray has a touch of the jolie-laird about her, here's she's more laird. She plays a noisy, assertive, sometimes charming and maybe perverse daughter of an aristocratic family with a secret to hide. If you've seen Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, there's a character similar in it.

Murray isn't in it until the half hour mark, but just about holds her own with the others, her diction is a bit garbled though - is it too late to straighten those teeth? One senses that, unlike Skins, her heart isn't really in it and unlike the other actors she doesn't know how to hit her marks and turn in a damage-limitation performance in a drama that clearly is going to be a bit naff. Her brand of charisma isn't required in a part where she is required to seem innocent/suspect by turns, but not much more.

There's an all-star cast: Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny), Rik Mayall, Richard Briers, Ralf Little from The Fast Show, Doctor Who's Georgia Moffet,Warren Clarke, even the teacher in the first two series of Skins shows up too (Siwan Morris). But it all has a touch of amateur dramatics about it and only the two former comedians pull it off. Bond, when she isn't turning into her former boss Judi Dench, has a tough time of it.

There's a certain charm about the young couple investigating a crime, even if having Marple tag along is a bit contrived (she wasn't in the Christie story at all). Generally it just doesn't work because it's not credible; in no way can you believe a family would take Ms Moffett into their bosom and let her stay for a few days, this sort of story would have been more credible in a 1940s-50s adaptation, but this is shot through with a modern sassiness. Ms Moffett is polished but just doesn't have the charm to make it likely, in fact Ms Murray might have been more persuasive, having that blend of flakiness and sneakiness to see her through. It gets more ludicrous as it goes on, with dead-hand exposition and characters turning up just to deliver information so the viewers can get from A-B, but as for Why Didn't They Ask Evans, I couldn't tell you much if I wanted to, the explanation is so long-winded and convoluted. The final scene, where a murder is held off just so Marple can finish her exposition for the viewers in fairness has some intentioned comedy but is beyond farce.

As for McKenzie's Marple, she's not so bad but has a touch of the Mrs Doubtfire about her. She has a hawkish way about her, if she asked you what you had for tea, you'd be reluctant to tell her. As least Margaret Rutherford had a bumbling manner that disarmed the opposition.

5 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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