Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 5, Episode 4

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (23 May 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
7.2
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A troubled Hollywood actress and her director husband move to St. Mary Mead, but their arrival becomes clouded in tragedy when an ardent fan is fatally poisoned during a garden fête.

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Title: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (23 May 2010)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Gene Goodman ...
Isabella Parriss ...
Marie Thérèse
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French Officer (as Jonathan Coyne)
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Nigel Harman ...
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Hailey Preston
Caroline Quentin ...
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Vincent Hogg
Hannah Waddingham ...
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Michele Dotrice ...
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Storyline

Hollywood star Marina Gregg leaves Los Angeles for the picturesque countryside of St Mary Mead. Having taken up residence at Gossington Hall with her dashing young English husband, film director Jason Rudd, his secretary, Ella Blunt and Marina's exclusive personal assistant, Hailey Preston, it's not long before she becomes lady of the manor. When the glamorous couple decide to throw a benefit for the St John Ambulance, the grounds are abuzz with curious locals including previous owner of Gossington Hall, Dolly Bantry. But when a local fan, Heather Badcock consumes a poisoned daiquiri, Marina finds herself starring in a real-life mystery - supported by Miss Marple and Inspector Hewitt, who suspect that the lethal cocktail was intended for someone else. But who? If it was meant for Marina, then why? Written by shanty_sleuth

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Crime | Drama

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23 May 2010 (USA)  »

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Version of The Mirror Crack'd (1980) See more »

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Another Murder Cannot Hide
24 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A showing of a recent version of the film "Marie Antoinette," directed by Jason Rudd (Nigel Harman), and starring Marina Gregg (Lindsay Duncan) with Marie Thérèse (Isabella Parriss) and Louis Charles (Gene Goodman) as her children, preceding a "British Cinematone News" reel, announcing that famous actress Marina Gregg and her (fifth) husband, Director Jason Rudd, have purchased an estate in St. Mary Mead.

House lights activate to guide the audience along the aisles, while Miss Jane Marple (Julia McKenzie, in her fifth turn in the role) and neighbor Dolly Bantry (Joanna Lumley) enter the lobby to discuss the report that these two celebrities (Marina and Jason, who have met on the set of "Marie Antoinette" and have since married) plan to relocate to their community, and to Goston Hall, which Dolly has owned with late husband, Arthur.

Marina Gregg and young groom, Jason Rudd, indeed, arrive to welcome neighbors Dolly and Miss Marple for tea, but Miss Marple turns her ankle and becomes advised by Doctor Haydock (Neil Stuke) not to attend Marina and Jason's garden party for charity, to which she and Dolly have been invited.

Cherry Baker (Olivia Darnley) tends to Miss Marple's care and socializes with Primrose Dixon (Lois Jones), an employee of Marina and Jason's, who serves as a maid at their gathering, and reports information to Miss Marple through a curious Cherry.

Doctor Haydock attends the reception, meeting hosts and their employees and guests who are welcomed upstairs. Employees include Ella Blunt (Victoria Smurfit), Jason Rudd's Secretary, and Hailey Preston (Brennan Brown), Marina's Personal Assistant.

Guests include Counselor and Mrs. Hubbard (Michele Dotrice) and Heather Badcock (Caroline Quentin), Secretary of Association (who has assisted Jane Marple in her recovery), and Dolly Bantry, who snoops around her former residence with Mrs. Hubbard.

Margot Bence (Charlotte Riley) sneaks into the gathering to photograph the event and is spotted around corners and staircases with her active camera. She operates a studio, which Dolly and Miss Marple patronize when additional snooping call a bit later on.

Vincent Hogg (Martin Jarvis), entertainment columnist arrives with Lola Brewster (Hannah Waddingham) to crash the reception. Vincent has been one of Marina's former husbands, while Lola has been involved with Jason in the past.

But when a victim passes out and perishes after consuming narcotic-laced alcohol, Scotland Yard Inspector Hewitt (Hugh Bonneville) and Sergeant Tiddler (Samuel Barnett) arrive to investigate this overdose of anti-depressants and consider the possibility of murder, which seems to have been intended for a different victim.

As the authorities visit Miss Marple, who has been learning of various accounts of events transpiring at the manor, she, also, begins to conclude various scenarios, as Marina prepares for her next role as "Queen Nefertiti," under Jason's direction, opposite Gay actor Casey Croft (Will Young), about whom Marina complains for touching her. Maisie Cooper (Anna Anderson) participates in the second film play-within-a-play in a supporting role.

Along with Jason and his employees Ella Blunt, Primrose Dixon and Hailey Preston on hand at the studio, as well as the visiting Lola Brewster, Vincent Hogg, Margot Bence, Dolly Bantry and Miss Marple herself, many observe a temperamental Marina's reacting harshly to a substance which has been slipped into her coffee server.

But back at the scene of the first crime, a second body is discovered, as a result of cyanide poisoning.

And now, as Inspector Hewitt and Sergeant Tiddler continue to question witnesses and possible suspects, Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple attempts to solve the murders from a distance, after hearing first-hand accounts, and her re-thinking of a clue from "The Lady of Shilot," involving the line, "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side."

Has any of this to do with adoptive children Margot and Angus, or handicapped birth son, Bobby? Will an injured Miss Marple be able to confront her suspect before a possible third murder transpires?

The cast is rounded out by Julie Salter as Banquet Guest, Jonathan Coyne as French Officer, Simon John Wilson as Press Reporter, Don Gallagher as Man in Livery, and Darren Petrucci in an unidentified role (possibly as ring-leader in the "Marie Antoinette" segment).


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