Agatha Christie's Marple (2004–2013)
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The Moving Finger 

Troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna rent a cottage in a seemingly tranquil English village which is plagued by a spate of poison pen letters... and murder.


Tom Shankland


Agatha Christie (based on the novel by), Kevin Elyot (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine McEwan ... Miss Marple
James D'Arcy ... Jerry Burton
Ken Russell ... Rev Caleb Dane Calthrop
Frances de la Tour ... Mrs. Maud Dane Calthrop (as Frances De La Tour)
Thelma Barlow Thelma Barlow ... Emily Barton
Jessica Hynes ... Aimee Griffith (as Jessica Stevenson)
Sean Pertwee ... Dr Owen Griffith
Imogen Stubbs ... Mona Symmington
Harry Enfield ... Richard Symmington
Kelly Brook ... Elsie Holland
John Sessions ... Cardew Pye
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... Partridge
Emilia Fox ... Joanna Burton
Ellen Capron ... Agnes
Talulah Riley ... Megan Hunter


When troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna relocate to the quiet little village of Lymstock in order to allow Jerry to recuperate from injuries received in what he claims is a motorcycle accident, they are expecting nothing more than country sleepiness and tedium. Much to their surprise, however, they find themselves embroiled in the middle of scandal and secrets; someone is sending vicious poison-pen letters to the residents. A local dignitary has already taken his own life over the letters, and it's not long before local gossip Mona Symmington also commits suicide after receiving a letter. But when the letter-writer apparently resorts to murder, Jerry finds his curiosity stoked despite himself, and he's not the only one; Miss Jane Marple is also in Lymstock, and she's decided that it's long past time someone got to the bottom of this unpleasant business. Written by Scotty

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

12 February 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miss Marple - La plume empoisonnée See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


The title of the film (and the novel it's based on) is, like that of many other works by Agatha Christie, a quotation of a piece of poetry. "The Moving Finger" are the first words of a well known work by the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam. See more »


Mrs. Symmington can be seen quite clearly standing next to her husband attending the funeral for the murdered maid Agnes Brown. Mrs. Symmington was murdered and buried before Agnes Brown. In fact, Agnes attended Mrs. Symmington's funeral. See more »


Cardew Pye: I often find the most unlikely people doing the most surprising things. Don't you agree, Miss Marple?
Miss Marple: On the contrary, Mr. Pye, I usually find the most likely people behaving exactly as I would have expected.
See more »


References The Collector (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

A mixed bag
17 February 2006 | by pawebsterSee all my reviews

This was a bit better than most of the ITV Marples so far. The story was coherent and the village setting at Chilham in Kent was charming. James D'Arcy and Emilia Fox were good. They seemed to take their parts seriously - a thing sadly not to be taken for granted in this series.

As usual, however, the producers had to try to muck all it up with weird features and freakish performances.

The 'aren't we clever by being retro' back projection does not come off - it is just naff.

Harry Enfield's performance is a bit like his old stiff-upper-lip-in-old-British-films caricatures - unfortunately. Keith Allen's character is a feeble joke, and Ken Russell is off the scale of pointless nuttiness - and dressed in an outfit left over from some old Victorian melodrama.

Yet again, in another misguided feature of this series, the Mr Pye character isn't allowed just to seem precious and affected, but has to make an explicit speech on gay rights. Yes, really, in an Agatha Christie story set in the early 1950s -- hard as it may be to believe for those who haven't seen it.

On a general note: I've noticed in these films that there tends to be a mix of actors who are taking the proceedings seriously (usually lesser names) and others (well-known names) who just seem to be having a cheap laugh or slumming to make a quick few quid.

The biggest flaw of the series is its lack of respect for Agatha Christie. The makers appear to look down on her stories as low-grade pap that can be used or abused at their whim. Christie and Marple come in handy as famous names to market the films, and the books are a quarry for bits of material that can be bent to fit their own agenda.

Sad, really.

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