Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 4, Episode 3

They Do It with Mirrors (19 Jul. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 485 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

A reformatory for delinquent boys run by Miss Marple's philanthropic friend becomes the scene of arson and poisoning, and ultimately murder.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Emma Griffiths Malin ...
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Jordan Long ...
Whitstable Ernest
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Alexei Sayle ...
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Johnny Restarick
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Storyline

Miss Marple is requested to help her old friend Carrie-Louise, the loving wife of benign philanthropist Lewis Serrocold. Carrie-Louise is slowly poisoned by an unknown hand,and her husband and her sister Ruth want absolutely to save her from this dark menace. Written by igorlongo

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murder mystery

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Crime | Drama

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19 July 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jane arrives at the train station, the next train is announced as the 4:50 from Paddington. Both another famous Jane Marple mystery and the birth place of Joan Collins. See more »

Goofs

The charred accounts letter has the year 1953, however in the intro, a morris minor convertible has a registration plate with year suffix letter E - which was 1 January 1967 - 31 July 1967. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A murder is announced...
16 July 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I only remember Agatha Christie's novel vaguely. What I do remember about "They Do It With Mirrors", however, is that it was one of Dame Agatha's weakest novels. I was able, nonetheless, to spot a few changes to the plot, some minor, while others were major. However, this time around, changes only served to strengthen a somewhat flimsy plot for television, making it more cinematic, and overall, improving and endearing it.

The acting in this episode was absolutely first-rate. Julia McKenzie proves once more that she is a fantastic Miss Marple. Her charm, generally speaking, is just endearing. McKenzie needs to come across as extremely shrewd in this film, more than she has in other outings in the role. She not only handles this aspect well, but she still manages to conceal this with a seemingly harmless charm.

The entire supporting cast was extremely strong. Everyone fit their roles perfectly, and had fantastic chemistry with each other. Watch in particular for Emma Malin as Gina, in an extremely strong performance. I don't want to reveal too much, but her character always feels true. Another fantastic surprise is Brian Cox as Lewis Serrocold. In Christie's novel, something was missing from Lewis' character, which I can't quite put my finger on. Whatever the problem was, I don't detect a trace of it in Cox's magnificent performance.

Once more, this film felt little like a made-for-TV movie. The direction was stellar. Andy Wilson is the director, whose previous Agatha Christie credits include David Suchet's fabulous "Death on the Nile" and Geraldine McEwan's "4:50 From Paddington". Once more, he proves himself to be a capable director, and cleverly builds suspense, even during a (somewhat pointless) "car-bike-and-pedestrian" chase.

Paul Rutman adapted "They Do it With Mirrors", and his writing was generally strong. The liberties he took with the plot served mainly to strengthen the cinematic adaptation. There is, however, one chase sequence (that I already mentioned) that feels rather pointless. Its purpose is never explained (or, if it was, merely in passing; I didn't catch any explanation), but I'm sure it made the producers' eyes light up.

So, to sum up, "They Do It With Mirrors" may have very well been the best film of Series 4. There is a certain emotional connection I felt with the characters that was absent from the novel itself, and that's a good thing. The direction was once more fantastic, as was Dominik Scherrer's music. The cast this time around was particularly strong. All these elements work together to create an extremely fine adaptation, and an enjoyable film to boot.


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