I've recently discovered the BBC's Miss Marple series from the Agatha Christie novels.
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Pop some popcorn and spend an evening or a Friday night watching a real 'who-done-it' with Miss Marple. One of the things that led me to choose this particular series of Agatha Christie's mysteries, such as the episode called "Murder at the Vicarge" is because of the lineup of actors appearing in it:
Stephen Tomkinson (Ballykissangel), Herbert Lom (The Pink Panther), Jane Asher (Paul McCartney's old girlfriend), Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), Joanna Lumley, Simon Callow, Tara Fitzgerald, Ian Richardson, Keeley Hawes, and John Hannah.
The mysteries are set in an English village and looks so completely charming, quite a bit like the beautiful Cotswolds. The village here is called "St. Mary Mead". Lots of adorable cottages surrounded by flowers and foliage. The characters have colorful personalities and many of them are somewhat mysterious in behavior too. These particular episodes are set around the year 1951 and the dresses and furniture are all perfectly fitting with the era down to the last detail.
What's clever is that Miss Marple is viewed as a harmless, little old lady (perfectly played by veteran British actress, Geraldine McEwan) by the detectives that come in to solve each difficult case. But it is Miss Marple who sees the clues and helps to put the pieces together. Miss Marple's personality is sweet and unassuming, but charming too. She appears to be a wise, grandmotherly type. In one scene, she even gets a detective to hold onto her yarn, so she can roll it up, as she explains to him some clues she's observed in a case. She also hints as to a past lost love in a couple of the episodes I have seen.
Some of the scenes take place in the train station set to look like it's the 1950s. Everything about it says 1950's, down to the train station, room decor and the characters' clothing. The music that accompanies these episodes is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock, edge of your seat, kind of suspenseful-sounding music.
One of my favorite episodes of this group was the one called "4:50 from Paddington". Jenny Agutter ("Logan's Run" ) and David Warner ("Time After Time" ) appeared in this episode. The pretty young niece of Miss Marple assists her aunt by poking around in a spooky mausoleum at night when a dead body appears. Every story has numerous characters and there are many twists and turns of the plots that keep you guessing throughout up until Miss Marple has her chance to explain how it all happened, often leaving the detectives speechless.
Agatha Christie's books remain popular to this day and it's easy to see why. Who doesn't love a good mystery? This series plays exquisite attention to detail, both in the intricate story and the detailed setting.
Each of the episodes is approximately 90 minutes in length.
This series has been aired on PBS. They were first released in 2005.
This review qualifies as a Lean 'n Mean entry at 522 words.
~thanks for reading my review~