Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 5, Episode 3

The Blue Geranium (27 Jun. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 367 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

A cruel, superstitious woman dies of apparent fright after her fate is foretold by a medium. Miss Marple, however, is convinced of foul play when another death occurs.

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(screenplay), (short story)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Mary Pritchard
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George Pritchard
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Philippa Pritchard
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Hester
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Caroline
Ian East ...
John the gardener
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Detective Somerset (as Kevin R. McNally)
Richard Betts ...
Clerk of the Court
Derek Hutchinson ...
Concierge
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...
Eddie Seward
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Dermot
...
Lewis Pritchard
...
Jonathan Frayn
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Storyline

While visiting her friend Dermot in Little Ambrose, Miss Marple is drawn into investigating the death of Eddie Seward, whom she'd met on the bus and who is found having apparently drowned in the river.Within a few days however, there is a second suspicious death, that of Mary Pritchard who seems to have died from fright. She was disliked by many and had recently caused a scene when her husband George was inaugurated as the Captain of the local golf club. Even Dermot disliked her as did her sister Philippa, who was once engaged to George, whom she described as the love of her life. Phillipa ended up marrying George's brother, Lewis Pritchard, and they are constantly having money problems. A third death - this time one of George Pritchard's former mistresses - convinces Inspector Somerset that George, who conveniently confesses, is the murderer. Miss Marple thinks otherwise and sets out to prove it. Written by garykmcd

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murder mystery | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama

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27 June 2010 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original story can be found in 'The 13 Problems', a collection of short stories told at Miss Marple's home by her companions and solved by Miss Marple on the spot. See more »

Goofs

When Goerge and Jerry are outside arguing about George always supporting Jerry, a long shot shows a car pull up from the left. When the camera cuts back to George, the car is in the background facing the other direction. It then returns to its original position in the next shot. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, a first-rate adaptation of a great short story
30 December 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Marple series has its ups and downs, whereas there have been some clunkers such as At Bertram's Hotel, there have also been some nice surprises such as this, The Blue Geranium. The short story is a great one, very cleverly written with interesting characters and a final solution that would shock and surprise you. This adaptation was just brilliant, it stuck to the story's tone, the story was still clever and interesting and the characters were still wonderful.

First off, I loved the adaptation's tone. I loved the idea that Miss Marple finds she's wrong, I loved the baffling and clever idea of the pink geranium on the wall turning to blue and while there were some entertaining and touching moments- the scene on the bus is beautifully staged- I loved even better the sinister and heart-racing ones too(something that I feel were missing in some of the previous adaptations) especially the beginning which was very atmospheric.

Also, this is faithful to the story, not completely 100% but it actually feels like Agatha Christie. Just for the record, I don't rate harshly on an adaptations when they change any details, but when it goes off the boil with the spirit I am not quite so kind. No fear of that really though, because this adaptation not only works as an adaptation but also on its own terms too.

Those who haven't read the story may find the puzzle of the geranium baffling initially. But I liked that, I liked it that this puzzle made you think deep properly without worrying about a changed detail, an odd camera angle or a stilted line from the script. The final solution is like the story, very clever. In the adaptation, it does get explained very quickly with each explanation going like bang, bang, bang, but what I liked about the writers doing it that way is that while it was quick there was something quite tense about that scene, and I can't quite put my finger on what made it so tense.

On its own terms, the adaptation works marvellously. It goes briskly, yet all is explained very well, the script is first-rate, actually the script was quite possibly the best it's been in a while now, and the direction is adept. The production values are superb, with the photography skillful and the scenery and costumes charming. The music is both haunting and beautiful. The cast is typically strong- Julia McKenzie once again is a splendid Miss Marple and out of the strong supporting cast Sharon Small really stood out in a chilling, fearless yet also touching performance as Mary, and Toby Stephens was brilliant as George.

All in all, a wonderful adaptation that worked amazingly well even on its own terms. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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