IMDb > "Agatha Christie's Marple" The Pale Horse (2010)

"Agatha Christie's Marple" The Pale Horse (2010)

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Agatha Christie's Marple: Season 5: Episode 1 -- Agatha Christie's much-loved heroine is back on the case in this sparkling version of her 1961 novel. This "quintessential Agatha Christie murder mystery" (The Times, U.K.) sees Miss Marple taking on a spooky murder case at an inn run by three modern-day witches.


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Russell Lewis (screenplay)
Agatha Christie (novel)
View company contact information for The Pale Horse on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
21 July 2010 (Season 5, Episode 1)
Miss Marple's friend - a Catholic priest - is battered to death after visiting a woman dying under strange circumstances. Seeking justice, she becomes entangled in a nefarious organization centered around an inn run by purported witches. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Surprisingly dull and cluttered that failed to engage me for many reasons See more (16 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Julia McKenzie ... Miss Marple
Nicholas Parsons ... Father Gorman
Lynda Baron ... Mrs. Coppins

JJ Feild ... Paul Osbourne
Jodie Hay ... Bertie
Jason Merrells ... Dr. Kerrigan

Neil Pearson ... Inspector Lejeune

Jonathan Cake ... Mark Easterbrook

Nigel Planer ... Mr. Venables

Jenny Galloway ... Bella

Susan Lynch ... Sybil Stamfordis

Pauline Collins ... Thyrza Grey
Tom Ward ... Captain Cottam

Sarah Alexander ... Lydia Harsnet

Holly Valance ... Kanga

Amy Manson ... Ginger Corrigan
Mike Shepherd ... Chief Mummer
Holly Willoughby ... Goody Carne
Julia Molony ... Thomasina Tuckerton

Bill Paterson ... Bradley
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Elizabeth Rider ... Mrs Davis

Episode Crew
Directed by
Andy Hay 
Writing credits
Russell Lewis (screenplay)

Agatha Christie (novel)

Produced by
Michele Buck .... executive producer
Mary Durkan .... executive producer: for Chorion
Rebecca Eaton .... executive producer: for WGBH Boston
Matthew Hamilton .... co-producer
Mathew Prichard .... executive producer: for Chorion
Jennie Scanlon .... co-producer
Karen Thrussell .... series producer
Damien Timmer .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dominik Scherrer 
Cinematography by
Peter Greenhalgh (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Matthew Tabern 
Casting by
Susie Parriss 
Production Design by
Jeff Tessler 
Art Direction by
Miranda Cull 
Costume Design by
Sheena Napier 
Makeup Department
Bee Archer .... makeup artist
Pamela Haddock .... hair and make-up designer
Julie Kendrick .... makeup artist
Vickie Lang .... makeup artist
Hannah Proverbs .... makeup artist
Production Management
Kate Stannard .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sean Clayton .... second assistant director
Tussy Facchin .... third assistant director
Paul Judges .... first assistant director
Art Department
Tim Bonstow .... production buyer
Dave Channon .... construction manager
Robert Channon .... charge hand painter
Ron Dawling .... stand-by props (as Ron Dowling)
Fred Foster .... stand-by construction
Paul Gilpin .... supervising art director
Jim Grindley .... property master
Andrew Lavin .... stand-by art director
Richard MacMillan .... stand-by props (as Richard Macmillian)
Robert Muskett .... stand-by construction (as Bob Muskett)
Jay Pales .... dressing props
Mike Rawlings .... dressing props
Mike Syson .... dressing props
Tim Bonstow .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Downer .... supervising sound editor
Marc Hope .... foley editor
Chris McLaughlin .... sound assistant
Sarah Morton .... dialogue editor
Ashley Reynolds .... sound maintenance
Andrew Sissons .... sound recordist
Nigel Squibbs .... re-recording mixer
Simon Epstein .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Tom Lucy .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
John Evans .... clapper loader
Ben Gibb .... focus puller
Jimmy Harris .... best boy
Dermot Hickey .... focus puller
Dean Murray .... clapper loader
Greg Murray .... grip assistant
Steve Murray .... a-camera/steadicam operator
Steve Murray .... camera operator
Jim Philpott .... camera grip
Adam Walker .... electrician
Gavin Walters .... gaffer
Peter Davies .... electrician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Janine Marr .... costume supervisor
Philip O'Connor .... assistant costume designer (as Phil O'Connor)
Steve O'Sullivan .... costume assistant
Sarah Ward .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Simon Giblin .... on-line editor
Kevin Horsewood .... colorist
Vicky Tooms .... assistant editor
Music Department
Martin Thornton .... technical score assistant
Other crew
Meriel Baistow-Clare .... script editor
Sam Baker .... production coordinator
Natasha Bayford .... press officer
Simon Blakey .... production secretary
Julie Burnell .... production executive
Sue Hills .... script supervisor
Rebecca Kemp .... location assistant
Caroline Russell .... production accountant
Joanna Sanders .... assistant production accountant
Patrick Smith .... picture publicist
Mark Walledge .... assistant location manager
Tracey Waller .... title design
Chris White .... location manager
Phil Hunnisett .... runner (uncredited)
Donna Shakesheff .... production runner (uncredited)
Izzi Shearman .... floor runner (uncredited)

Production Companies
  • ITV Studios (A Co-Production of) (as itv STUDIOS)
  • WGBH (A Co-Production of) (as WGBH BOSTON)
  • Agatha Christie (in association with) (as Agatha Christie Ltd {a Chorion Company)
  • Chorion (uncredited)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min

Did You Know?

If you look closely at the names of the crew in the closing credits (after the cast of characters), you will see certain names have a red letter in them. The letters spell out GOODY CARNE, the name of the "witch" in the execution reenactment scene.See more »
[first lines]
Mrs Davis:August, qu'est-ce que tu bois? Shaw, Harmondsworth. God forgive me! Wickedness!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Remake of The Pale Horse (1997) (TV)See more »


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9 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Surprisingly dull and cluttered that failed to engage me for many reasons, 7 September 2010
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

I wasn't going to bother reviewing this film until I came onto IMDb to see what others had thought of it and found only one review. This one review essentially says "how awful is this going to be", which is a sentiment that the same user put on the title message board some months before she actually saw the film. Unsurprisingly she came out with the same opinion she went in with and, while this doesn't mean she is "wrong", it certainly makes me question what the film had to do to make her think otherwise since many of the criticisms she has of the film she had already made when the film was in post-production. Anyway, reviewing a review is a bit more meta than I intended it to be, so on to the film itself.

As any fan of Christie will tell you (well "shout" more than "tell"), ITV's Marple series is a travesty that should be dealt with before we get onto sorting out the many political and natural disasters in our world. The Pale Horse will do nothing to temper this cry since it is another book which doesn't feature Miss Marple and has been rewritten to do so. Not having read the book I cannot comment on this but I can sort of understand why anyone who loves this book would hate such a "butchered" version of it. On the other hand though, as long as it produces an enjoyable mystery drama for a Sunday (or on this occasion, Bank Holiday Monday) evening then I will be happy enough and will leave the "travesty" cries to others.

Sadly the truth is closer to the existing review than I would have liked because generally this isn't up to much. The central plot is a bit of nonsense and could easily have been played up for fun in the way that ITV did with The Moving Finger but surprisingly the colour and supernatural nature of the plot is actually delivered in a rather dull fashion. There doesn't seem to be a spark to it and there is an earnestness to it that nothing here justifies. The effect is to make it hard to care about what is going on – which is a bit of a problem in a film where you do need to pay attention so that, even if you don't totally follow it, at least you have fun being led round the streets during the telling. It is made worse by having quite a lot going on in what is a reasonably simple plot (once you get to the solution) – or if not a lot going on then certainly a lot of people milling around.

McKenzie does alright in the most part but personally I still cannot get over the fact that her Marple looks for all the world like Jim Broadbent doing panto. She is solid enough though and I think her delivery does deserve a strong film around her. Parsons makes a small appearance in a cast cluttered with UK TV "faces" such as Planer, Valance, Collins, Alexander and others. Some (Collins) are quite fun while others (Valance) just seem like unnecessary clutter. Generally though, there are too many faces making too little of an impression in a story that I was struggling to really care about. While some may focus their complaints on the film's merits as a version of the book, I personally find the problem with it to be that the version they did deliver was not particularly good – whether it is the same as the book or not is secondary to me and, had it worked, I wouldn't have cared.

Another thing worth noting is not really the film's fault, but I'll still mention it – adverts. I rarely watch "live" television. I'll record stuff to watch later or (mostly) I watch whole seasons from box-sets at a pace I decide. So watching this as it was broadcast was quite a thing because it was so fragmented by adverts. It is bad enough that 30 minutes of the 2 hours is adverts, but they are so frequent as well that it only served to hurt the film more. I realise that on commercial television these are needed to pay for things, but it did serve to remind me why I generally try and avoid stuff live.

I guess in some ways one should feel sorry for ITV. It has had this Marple series for some time now and, while I presume its Sunday night comfort-viewing slot gets viewers, I cannot think of many that I have really loved – "solid" is generally the best it gets and some of them are awful. This is in my mind because this Marple film came on shortly after the BBC finished its very well received (by critics and viewers) updating of Sherlock Holmes – a show that was engaging, fun, entertaining and accessible. Those worried about the future of ITV must only have more to think about when they contrast Sherlock with this rather dry, dull and cluttered film here.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Agatha Christie's Marple" (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why is Miss Marple in this story? - she wasn't in the book Lizzie_V
Did I miss something? (SPOILER) newtownduch
Why did Miss Marple say the friend was... (spoilers) aghinem
Not being shown on PBS Masterpiece Mystery or apart of AcronMedia Set 5 astroshee
Holly Vallance on This Morning 24th August 2010 djosephh
See more »


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