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Agatha Christie's Marple: Complete Series [Blu-ray] [Region Free] [US Import]
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Marple series 5 is something of a mixed bag. Starring Julia McKenzie in the title role, this boxset brings together all four stories from the show’s fifth series, and they vary in quality, from the very good to the not-quite-so-strong. Overall? It’s still a good mix.
Each is adapted from the Agatha Christie story of its name, although there are gradations of faithfulness to those stories. There’s also varying quality at work here, with some of the tales faring notably better than others.
The highlight of this particular set of Marple? That’d probably be either The Mirror Crack’d or The Blue Geranium. But even when the show is off colour, as happens once or twice throughout series five, then there’s at least something in there to enjoy. There’s a bevy of guest stars to keep your interest, and a strong central performance from McKenzie to keep everything anchored.
It’s not vintage Marple, maybe, yet this series five set does have some diverting yarns, and enough in it to warrant a look. You might, though, want to check out the Joan Hickson era of Miss Marple, though, if you want to see Agatha Christie’s work in a slightly better light… --Jon Foster --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
'The Pale Horse' is a travesty of the original story, and not a patch on the adaptation with Colin Buchanan, Hermione Norris and Ruth Madoc. People who want a genuine thrill with suspense, pathos and atmosphere should try to track down that earlier version. Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse [DVD]
'The Secret of Chimneys' was even worse, possibly the worst Marple adaptation I've ever seen. It is a shame that the writer appeared not to realise that this story has a sequel of sorts, with several characters returning in 'The Seven Dials Mystery'. Novel: The Seven Dials Mystery (Agatha Christie Signature Edition) DVD: Agatha Christie's The Seven Dials Mystery [DVD] But the new plot made a nonsense of this. Stock Christie cliches are lazily shoe-horned into a nonsensical plot that has none of the wit and humour of the original 1920s-set story: The Secret of Chimneys (Agatha Christie Signature Edition) Worst of all, the killer's identity is changed. Surely heresy, by anyone's standard.
As a result I was hardly looking forward to 'The Mirror Crack'd' but it was an unexpected delight. Lindsay Duncan was perfectly cast as Marina. The story was faithful to the novel without being slavish. There was just the right mix of camp fun and tragedy.Read more ›
My favourite from the set is "The Pale Horse", which should by rights be a travesty, not originally being not a Miss Marple story. It's been messed about with rather a lot, characters changed, somebody off "Neighbours" inserted into it. However the creepy feeling of the book is perfectly captured, and the twist at the end very well done.
"The Blue Geranium" is perhaps the masterpiece of the set, brilliantly extending one of the never before dramatised Miss Marple short stories. By necessity these need extra elements adding, so there's less to upset the purists. There are lots of short stories to go at, I hope they will carry on with these rather than inserting Miss Marple into other stories. (This story did annoy me however when Miss Marple referred to a "train station" - in British English, especially in the 50s it's "railway station" - the producers and script editors really should take more care with this sort of thing.)
"The Secret of Chimneys" has particularly pleasing location work and is an enjoyable romp, but again with a lot alteration to the story. In particular the character of Bundle is left aside to become an almost minor character, one of a couple of stories in which she's the sleuth and the main character. Even worse she's played by Dervla Kerwan, who would have been splendid in the star role.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had my doubts about Julia McKenzie taking on the roll after Joan Hickson & Geraldine McEwan but after watching this box set they were allayed and will buy any other series of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. Alan Hughes
Miss Marple rocks....and the costumes and historical ref are pretty damn great tooPublished 16 months ago by Ms. E. Marks