IMDb > "Agatha Christie's Marple" Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (2009)

"Agatha Christie's Marple" Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (2009)

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Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 4: Episode 4 -- A dying man's last workds turn young Bobby Attfield into an amateur detective. With the help of two assistants, beautiful socialite Frankie Derwent and family friend Jane Marple, he sets out to solve the riddle they pose. When someone tries to kill Bobby, it only strengthens his resolve. A trail of clues leads the unlikely trio to Castle Savage and its strange inhabitants, the discovery of yet another murder, and the lingering question: why didn't the ask Evans?


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Agatha Christie (based on the novel by)
Patrick Barlow (screenplay)
View company contact information for Why Didn't They Ask Evans? on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
2 March 2009 (Season 4, Episode 4)
The cryptic final words of a dying man lead Miss Marple and two young adventurers to a dysfunctional family harboring dark secrets. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Why didn't they leave "Evans" alone? See more (25 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Julia McKenzie ... Miss Marple

Sean Biggerstaff ... Bobby Attfield
David Buchanan ... John Carstairs

Siwan Morris ... Florrie
Helen Lederer ... Marjorie Attfield

Georgia Moffett ... Frankie Derwent

Samantha Bond ... Sylvia Savage

Richard Briers ... Wilson

Freddie Fox ... Tom Savage

Rik Mayall ... Alec Nicholson

Hannah Murray ... Dorothy Savage

Rafe Spall ... Roger Bassington

Natalie Dormer ... Moira Nicholson

Warren Clarke ... Commander Peters

Mark Williams ... Claude Evans
Basher Savage ... Young George Savage
Sarah Ridgeway ... Young Sylvia
Rupert Savage ... Young Jack Savage
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron King ... Butler (uncredited)
Chris Mansfield ... Wilson the Butler - Younger (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Nicholas Renton 
Writing credits
Agatha Christie (based on the novel by)

Patrick Barlow (screenplay)

Produced by
Michele Buck .... executive producer
Phil Clymer .... executive producer: for Chorion
Rebecca Eaton .... executive producer: for WGBH
Matthew Hamilton .... line producer
Gabriel Silver .... co-producer
Karen Thrussell .... producer
Damien Timmer .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dominik Scherrer 
Cinematography by
Gavin Finney (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Kevin Lester 
Casting by
Susie Parriss 
Production Design by
Jeff Tessler 
Art Direction by
Miranda Cull 
Costume Design by
Andrea Galer 
Makeup Department
Alison Elliott .... makeup designer
Julie Kendrick .... makeup artist
Natalie Reid .... makeup artist
Production Management
Kate Stannard .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sean Clayton .... second assistant director
Paul Judges .... first assistant director
Alex Kaye-Besley .... third assistant director
Nicholas Hopkins .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Art Department
Tim Bonstow .... props buyer
Fred Foster .... stand-by construction
Paul Gilpin .... supervising art director
Jim Grindley .... prop master
Andrew Lavin .... stand-by art director
Richard MacMillan .... stand-by props (as Richard Macmillian)
Robert Muskett .... stand-by construction (as Bob Muskett)
Mike Rawlings .... dressing props
Neil Smith .... stand-by props
Mike Syson .... dressing props
Gus Wookey .... construction manager
Naomi Moore .... assistant production buyer (uncredited)
Craig Price .... prop storeman (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Downer .... supervising sound editor
Sarah Morton .... dialogue editor
Ashley Reynolds .... boom operator
Andrew Sissons .... sound recordist
Nigel Squibbs .... dubbing mixer
Naomi Dandridge .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Tom Deane .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Simon Epstein .... foley mixer & editor (uncredited)
Nigel Squibbs .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Graham Longhurst .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Chris Mortimer .... visual effects supervisor
Earle Stuart Callender .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Metin Gungor .... senior matte painter (uncredited)
Iain Read .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Simon Rowe .... visual effects (uncredited)
Yolanda Rubio .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Tom Lucy .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Brierley .... focus puller
Paul Donachie .... camera operator
Ben Gibb .... clapper loader
Woody Gregson .... clapper loader
Jimmy Harris .... best boy
Paul Hatchman .... grip
David Hedges .... focus puller
Gavin Walters .... lighting gaffer
Paul Donachie .... a-camera/steadicam operator (uncredited)
Simon Muir .... assistant grip (uncredited)
Adam Walker .... electrician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Miranda King .... costume supervisor
Gini Lewis .... costume assistant
Nadine Powell .... assistant costume designer
Diana Wyand .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Simon Giblin .... on-line editor
Kevin Horsewood .... telecine colourist
Amar Ingreji .... assistant editor
Music Department
Richard Hammarton .... composer: additional music
Transportation Department
David Grose .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Julie Burnell .... production executive
Natalie Cheary .... publicist
Sue Hills .... script supervisor
Thomas Hirst .... production secretary
Faiza Hosenie .... production coordinator
Peter Mares .... publicist
Ben Newman .... script editor
Robin Pim .... location manager
Caroline Russell .... production accountant
Joanna Sanders .... assistant production accountant
Patrick Smith .... publicist
Mark Walledge .... assistant location manager
Tracey Waller .... title design
Julie Burnham .... unit nurse (uncredited)
Kelly Mauchlen .... location assistant (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min | USA:82 min
Australia:PG | UK:12 (video rating) (2010)

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?
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "What's My Line" (1951)See more »
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565See more »


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22 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Why didn't they leave "Evans" alone?, 13 July 2009
Author: tml_pohlak_13 from Canada

Agatha Christie's original novel was a light read, and above all, fun. Its plot was great as it was— a light romantic comedy/thriller, with enough plot to make it absolutely perfect for translation onto the screen. Unfortunately, Patrick Barlow, the screenwriter, decided he could out-Christie Christie. He can't.

I'm not a completely conservative Christie fan. If a book won't translate well to the screen, then some changes may be in order. I support that. But here, the plot changes don't work in the least— they subtract from the plot instead of adding. We now have a rather strange assortment of guests, a rather weird family history (which makes the odious move to constantly emphasize mysterious happenings in China), and a convoluted plot that leaves the audience spinning. Either way, it feels out-of-place in the fifties; the story belongs in the thirties. Besides, the climax is unrealistic— I would be amused to attend the trial that resulted.

Agatha Christie's novel was a fun read: not as compelling as, say, "And Then There Were None", but one where the characters rang true and the reader *wanted* to know the solution. The film feels strange— none of the characters feel like characters. They feel like dreadful cardboard caricatures who solely exist to scream or act suspiciously, ringing false. The only worthwhile characters are Bobby and Frankie, as well as Miss Marple.

Where acting is concerned, we have a case of a few strong cast members wading through weak material. Julia Mackenzie is absolutely stellar as Miss Marple: she is shrewd, but conceals this with a "harmless old lady" charm. Watch as she talks to a doctor, trying to get more information about a photograph. She transitions perfectly from the photograph to discussing a flower, then right back to the photograph. She puts on a perfect act that would fool mostly any murderer, and indeed, Mackenzie turns out to be the best actor of the piece. In fact, it is solely due to Mackenzie that the ridiculous climax turns out amusing-to-watch.

Two more actors stand out: Sean Biggerstaff (Bobby—Attfield? Would it have killed the producers to use "Jones"?) and Georgia Moffett (Frankie Derwent). The two have some veritable chemistry between them, and play their roles perfectly.

And now, I must mention the film's weakest actors. The first is Samantha Bond as Sylvia Savage. She exists solely to stare blankly, exclaim "Shut up!" every once in a while, and be a pathetic nuisance to all those around. Freddie Fox as Tom Savage is a particularly poor actor. His idea of acting suspiciously/mysteriously involves perpetually crouching in shadows while caressing a snake. Then, we have Commander Peters, played by Warren Clarke, who either has a serious anger management problem or has gone quite deaf—his role involves screaming, shouting, and a touch of yelling. And last, but not least, we have "Dottie", played by Hannah Murray. She remains a gawky, two-dimensional caricature wearing glasses, whose sole purpose is to loudly disclose embarrassing secrets at the dinner table. (Personally, I much prefer Aunt Cora from "After the Funeral".) By the end, I was hoping she "knew too much", and the killer would make her the next victim.

One last word: this barely felt like a TV movie. The direction was wonderful! And while we're at it, let's mention the music: although these films range in quality from "poor" to "excellent", Dominik Scherrer's music is consistently brilliant. If a CD of his compositions for this series is ever released, I'll be at the front of the line.

So, let's review, shall we? "Why Didn't They Ask Evans" has been altered beyond recognition for its TV adaptation. The acting is often poor, although the leads are phenomenal. The direction is top-notch, as is the music. But overall, "Evans" fails, due to the plot changes that only detract from it.

So the question I want answered is this: why didn't they leave "Evans" alone?

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