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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete BBC set of all 12 Marple TV movies - with Joan Hickson simply superb as Miss Marple, 3 Jan 2014
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This BBC Miss Marple DVD set starring Joan Hickson replaces the previous 'novel book' Miss Marple Collection: twelve DVD Box BBC set, being the same DVDs repackaged in a more robust box. As mentioned by other reviewers, but worth repeating, if you read Agatha Christie's books Joan Hickson was Miss Marple. Every nuance of her performance is perfect, even down to clearing her throat before answering the phone. The investigating policemen also shine, i.e. Inspector Craddock, superbly played by John Castle, and Inspector ('nutty?') Slack, equally superbly played by David Horovitch really are a joy to watch. In fact most of the clever wry humour of this series derives from the interactions between Miss Marple and the police, as wisely the murderers and victims play it very dark and straight. The complete series is a joy to watch, achieving almost Miss Marple perfection, even down to the theme tune. My personal fave episode is 'Nemesis'. Despite Miss Marple being her favourite character, Agatha Christie only wrote these 12 novels, although there are twenty Miss Marple short stories as well. The 12 feature length adaptations in this collection are: 'The Body in the Library', 'The Moving Finger', 'A Murder Is Announced', 'A Pocketful of Rye', 'The Murder at the Vicarage', 'Sleeping Murder', 'At Bertram's Hotel', 'Nemesis', '4.50 from Paddington', 'A Caribbean Mystery', 'They Do It With Mirrors' and 'The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side'.

Some have commented that these Miss Marple episodes have been edited from that originally broadcast (while many others refute this), but this is probably a confusion with the US sets that were trimmed to fit round the adverts. It seems very unlikely these DVD episodes have been edited, as the BBC has gone to a lot of trouble with this set to present all the episodes serialised and sequenced exactly as they were when first broadcast. The episodes were first shown from 1984 to 1992. We love these DVD sets anyway. All the DVDs are English audio only (mono), with English SDH HoH subtitles, rated PG (age 7+), Regions 2+4 PAL UK locked, 4:3 standard TV and run-time is 1350 minutes. There's no DVD extras though, and the picture quality seems identical to our old BBC DVD 'book' set (i.e. not bad, with picture quality predictably improving as the years pass) - in fact other than the new more stackable DVD box, the DVDs seem to offer nothing more than the previous BBC release. As a present for mum, we thought this DVD set was good value at £38 and ours came direct from the BBC shop saving 50p. This series contrasts well with the more recent Geraldine McEwan's and Julia McKenzie's Agatha Christie's Marple which we also own and enjoyed, although this later ITV series often had major rewrites over the original book plots and even used Agatha Christie stories that weren't Miss Marple ones (not unlike the 1960's Margaret Rutherford films - who herself certainly wasn't Agatha Christie's idea of Miss Marple, but she was great simply as Dame Margaret Rutherford, indeed Agatha Christie dedicated the Marple novel 'The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side' to her).

If I had to chose though, this Joan Hickson's adaptation easily gets my vote every time - she was 78 when she starred in the first episode and was BAFTA nominated twice for her performances. Typical Miss Marple quotes: "She looks just like an ordinary, slightly nosey, old lady, which to some extent is just what she is. Her camouflage is perfect. (But) her reasoning is flawless, her powers of synthesis formidable; and above all she never lets go". "Human nature is much the same everywhere my dears" replied Miss Marple "and of course one has the opportunity of observing it at closer quarters in a small village". "He called me Nemesis, you know" said Miss Marple, "and he wasn't being entirely humorous". Top marks to the BBC and Joan Hickson for persevering and faithfully adapting all twelve Miss Marple books to such a high standard. Back in 1962, UNESCO issued a report stating that Agatha Christie was the most widely read British author, far exceding 2nd place William Shakespeare, and although J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' sold 400 million books and Enid Blyton exceded 600 million books, apparently only the Bible has sold more than Agatha Christie's sales of over two billion copies of her novels. She is now in the Guinesss book of records as the world's bestselling author, with her books published in 44 different languages.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic to treasure!, 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I loved Joan Hickson in this part, so understated yet entertaining. The other actors support well but she steals the scene. I enjoyed 'Nemesis' in particular, great musical score as well. I bought these as I remember watching them on sunday evenings as a child. The more recent Marple's don't do much for me and I was afraid i'd outgrown Miss Marple, however, after watching these, i'm pleased to say the magic is back!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality of Dvd, 7 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Being a staunch Christie enthusiast, I consider the original TV films with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple as being very close to the actual stories as written by AG, so naturally plumped for this Collection. I am very pleased with it but I do think the quality of the film could have been a little bit sharper but they are still enjoyable.. One little niggle is some of the stories are split into two episodes so you have to wait for the soundtrack of music etc to play again before resuming the story.but I'd still recommend this DVD Collection to all those Miss Marple fans out there!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one and only Miss Marple, 5 Dec 2013
By 
B. Knibbs "beechwoods" (Cumberland, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This series was superb in every way and is one of the finest things the BBC ever produced. It could never be done today - there are just not enough authentic actors and impossible to find such unspoiled locations. The cast in every episode are so quintessentially English (excepting, of course, the odd Scot, American and so on) and they sound exactly right for the period. The music is wonderful, the costumes, cars, interiors - everything is perfect.
My only severe criticism is that the BBC have never bothered to try to restore these, or they used inferior materials to film them in the first place - whatever the reason, the picture quality is pretty awful and the sound not great, which is such a pity. These productions are unique treasures and deserve the best attention to make the picture and sound live up to brilliance of all the rest. Let's hope someone will make the effort to save them, as was done when the blu-ray of the BBC Pride and Prejudice was released. Such a huge improvement on their old DVD release.
I still have to give the set five stars as in every other way this Miss Marple is a masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Hickson is by far the best Miss Marple, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Bought this for my wife to replace the video tapes she had worn out and she has watched them over and over again.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoying this!, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I received this dvd a couple of weeks ago and am really enjoying it - love the old fashioned quality about it and the period details. Good fun for us oldies!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for Miss Marple, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Joan Hickson is the best Miss Marple ever. Agatha Christie would love her. CANT WAIT TO WATCH THEM ALL AGAIN
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great viewing, 27 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
for any Miss Marple fan this is a must. No one does it better than Joan Hickson and this is great value entertainment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good price, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
The price off the collection was good and my lady wanted this particular actress who played the part off miss marple and she is well pleased as i saved her money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS SET OF DISCS IS WELL SUBTITLED, 16 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I was pleased to find it as I always liked Joan Hickson's interpretation of the storyline.

Yours faithfully.

D Hodgkinson.
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The Miss Marple Collection [DVD]
The Miss Marple Collection [DVD] by Joan Hickson (DVD - 2012)
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