Miss Marple: Christies Sleuth Golden Era
While I loved Hercule Poirot from the first time, read Death on the Aisle, my love Miss Marple (Jane Marple) has been a long passion of mine. Agatha Christie's great sleuth came to life for the first time in a 1927 magazine. Her appearance in a full-length novel in the 1930 Murder at the Vicarage which was the first novel I read with Marple. The character would not make its big screen debut until the 1960s with the fantastic Margaret Rutherford. Growing up I had the treat of a family who loved watching PBS. June Hickson’s Marple was a delight growing up with PBS incorporating the 12 mini-series with its Mystery! Series.
I bit the bullet after several friends told me about the Britbox add on for Amazon. Britbox gives you access to all things British on TV and movies. Currently, I am binge-watching the classic series Miss Marple with Hickson and is indeed a treat. What remarkable about this show set in the late ’40s moving into the early 50s, is a visual delight. From the costumes to the set designs, the production value of the show is proof the Brits do it all the way and never half-ass. Downton Abbey is another such show. I am a massive sucker for period dramas set in small English villages like Turville.
The show makes hops across the pond now and then, like Barbados in the episode A Carribean Mystery which features actor Donald Pleasence (Halloween). The series has been the birthplace of many actors careers like Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) and Trudie Styler (wife of Sting) one of her first television appearances. The show also marked the end of many careers. The show just like the novels, catered to personalities of all ages. Christie’s built a lot of her Marple & Poirot mysteries around a lot of elderly characters, and BBC’s Miss Marple series kept true with a lot of the characters age restraints.
I have never watched the 2004 Marple mysteries, and I am toying with watching it finally after the BBC series is over, but I think many weeks of Marple may be too much. I have also been dabbling in a little Father Ted now, and then I plan on delving into Rosemary & Thyme which features Pam Ferris, an actress I love and rarely gets the lead. She played Harry Potter’s Aunt Marge and also Miss Trunchbull in the movie Mathilda. Also helps I can watch more Keeping Up Appearances & Vicar of Dibley. Another series of interest is Midsummer Murders.