Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
Really great actors, really, really awful scripts
on 6 July 2006
Sleeping Murder seems to apply best as a description to what the scriptwriters did to the characters and plot of the original book. Obviously considering Christie mysteries too mannerly, they introduced an acting troupe where the members are sleeping around, including the heroine's mother, who is turned from a step-sister to a full sibling so that attempted incest can be introduced as well, just in case the the writers hadn't spiced things up enough; by the time the heroine breaks off her engagement with her fiance at the end, it's a rather mild denouement, but at least consistent.
By the Pricking of My Thumbs was even more off the mark. Miss Marple is introduced into a plot where she is totally unneccessary; Tommy and Tuppence, in the meantime, have gone from an intelligent and happily married couple to a depressed and alcoholic wife and a bumbling, insensitive and beaurocratic husband. The clergyman, of course, is an alcoholic as well, messing around with a local woman, and Rose, the ingenue, is pregnant well out of wedlock, naturally.
All of this is a real shame, since the acting is top-notch. I think the producers would have been better served to come up with a new elderly-woman detective with altogether new plots, rather than trying to hang on by a thread to what Christie had done so well. Ironically, their efforts to make the series so politically correct and post-modern friendly means they completely missed the originality they were so desperately seeking. They would have done much better with a "Miss Marple's nephew" spin-off---he would have fit more appropriately the characterization of the worldly investigator they tried to shove onto his aunt.