We see Miss Marple's impressive library. It is composed mainly of Pan and Penguin crime paperbacks (including duplicate editions of "Follow the Saint" by Leslie Charteris and Georgette Heyer's "The Foundling"; Edgar Wallace is another of her favourite authors) alongside crossword, quiz and limerick books, Noël Coward's "Pomp and Circumstance" and "Return to Peyton Place" by Grace Metalious. There are also copies of Agatha Christie's "Three Act Tragedy", "Appointment With Death" - and intriguingly, the Miss Marple short story anthology "The Thirteen Problems".
The screenplay was not based on any published Agatha Christie story. It did, however, borrow a few obscure plot details from "They Do It With Mirrors" and there is a delightful moment when Miss Marple pays homage to Christie's long-running play, "The Mousetrap."
The novel central to the plot, J. Plantagenet Corby's "The Doom Box", was devised by the scriptwriters and never really existed. The prop-makers mocked up copies in both hardback (for the Battledore) and paperback (for Miss Marple).
Although the first couple of Rutherford's Marple films did well at the UK box office. the third did not and this fourth and final effort sat on the shelf in the UK for more than a year before finally getting released in October 1965 as the bottom half of a double bill with The Sandpiper.
The good ship Battledore was portrayed on deck by the TS Arethusa, a training ship used by the Royal Navy (known in later years as the Peking). The story of the real ship may have inspired the script in many ways, as the Arethusa was in fact used for many years as a sail training vessel and a "children's home" for wayward boys. However, the aft section of the ship in the film featuring the panoramic stern windows of the captain's cabin was creation (as a matte painting in the wide shots and a set in the closer ones), as the real ship's stern had no resemblance to it. The ship was moved from Britain to the US in 1974 and was docked in New York for many years, but was moved to Hamburg, Germany in 2016.
Some of the film takes place on Trafalgar Day, partly dating the events to October 21st (the anniversary of Lord Horatio Nelson's death onboard HMS Victory), an important date in the British Naval calendar.
For this third outing, David Pursall and Jack Seddon wrote an original screenplay not based on any of Agatha Christie's works. The on-screen credit would read "Original screenplay by David Pursall and Jack Seddon. Based on their interpretation of Agatha Christie's 'Miss Marple'."
Miss Marple's recently-deceased uncle was Rear Admiral Sir Hubert Marple; her grandfather Sir Bertram Marple (Admiral of the Fleet) founded The Cape of Good Hope Youth Reclamation Centre and its training ship the Battledore.