Marple – Series Four (2008 – 2009/Acorn DVD)
Picture: B- Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B-
three impressive seasons with Geraldine McEwan, the surprisingly successful and
high-quality revival of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple switches actresses. Just as I had grown to like McEwan in what
was a series of fine performances, Julia McKenzie succeeds her for Series Four of Marple and I was amazed how good she was and as good as any actress
I have seen in the role.
classic novels adapted this time (with original year of book release) include:
A Pocket Full Of Rye (1953, adapted by Kevin Elyot) – A
rich man named Rex Fortescue is found dead at his desk and the only clue is
what the title refers to, so Marple shows up and tries to figure out just how
he was done in. Ken Campbell and Windy
Richard co-star in this impressive debut for McKenzie.
Murder Is Easy (aka Easy To Kill, 1939,
adapted by Stephen Churchett) – The book actually does not feature Marple, but
many believe it is, so the makers took the book and added her thoroughly in as
she joins the one-shot appearance of Detective Luke Fitzwilliam in trying to
find out about a murder connected to a train Marple takes.
Why Didn’t They Ask
Evans? (aka Boomerang
Clue, 1934, adapted by Patrick Barlow) – This too is a Christie book
that does not feature Marple, but the writers have once again found a clever
way to add her in, changing the original detective duo slightly as a man’s
dying words become the only clue to his murder.
Not bad, but purists might be put off.
They Do It With
Mirrors (aka Murder
With Mirrors, 1952, adapted by Paul Rutman) – In the best episode of
the four seasons and shades of the big feature film adaptations that began in
1976, Marple is called in to help and old friend Carrie Louise (Penelope
Wilton) and simple trouble turns into much worse. Good thing Carrie-Louise’s sister Ruth Van
Rydock (Joan Collins) asked her out of worry something worse would happen. Ian Ogilvy (Return Of The Saint) and Brian Cox round out the best TV cast for
one of these TV Mystery adaptations in many years.
hope McKenzie is going to stay on with the show for a while because at this
rate, this could be classic.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is very good with little motion blur,
color richness and even depth that is some of the best on TV today. The makers are serious about making this look
first class and they deliver. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo is very well-recorded and clean without being harsh, which
is less common for TV of any kind of late than you might think. Extras are sadly few and including text bios
of Christie and McKenzie, text cast bios and photo gallery.
- Nicholas Sheffo