Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Agatha Christie's Marple Series 3|
Actor: Agatha Christie's Marple
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
As seen on the PBS Mystery! series Though they might be fooled by her delicate exterior, criminals underestimate Agatha Christie's mild-mannered spinster sleuth at their peril! In the expert care of acclaimed actress Geral... more »
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Period settings, period costumes--Postmodern characters
Price Grisham | Essex, MA United States | 08/13/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Now, I have to say right off, that, even though I appreciated Geraldine McEwen's portrayal much more, the scriptwriters had her saying the most hilariously inane things--unfortunately the viewer is tempted to laugh in all the wrong places, despite her excellent performance. No one on the production staff seemed the least bit concerned with historical or literary accuracy. It makes you sigh for what could have been.
Also ironic is the appearance of perhaps an anti-clergy slant, since Miss Marple was the daughter of an Anglican vicar. Earlier we saw at least one alcoholic rector, and now we have presented to us a), a society matron in the book Nemesis changed into a murderously obsessed nun for television; and b), a character changed from the kind, gentle Canon Pennyfather in the novel of At Bertram's Hotel to a crazed Nazi war criminal masquerading as an Anglican priest.
Nor is the QUIET, efficiently run establishment of understated elegance in the novel anywhere to be seen; it is a place of utter chaos invaded by an American jazz band (which Miss Marple seems to relish; she's almost snapping her finger to the beat--"Yeah man"). Yikes! By changing and inventing all the characters for the TV series while keeping some basic thread of the original plot, the viewer gets the worst of both worlds: Everything but the ending is now a surprise.
Which brings us to the most hilarious bit of all: In Bertram's Hotel, when Miss Marple asks Jane, the chambermaid, if she and the chief inspector are going to get married after discovering romance, the young woman says, "Oh no, we're just going to live together; that's how it's done these days" (remember, this is 1952); and even more roll-on-the-floor funny is Miss Marple's reply: "That's not what I would have done at your age, but I probably would now."
Oh yes. Little ladylike Miss Marple shacking up with the (not even very handsome) chief inspector. Good lord--where will the scriptwriters go from there? That's the REAL mystery."
All "look," no substance
Suzanne B. Kelly | Palo Alto, CA USA | 10/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since season 1, I have enjoyed the cinematography of this new Jane Marple series, and the production design. The colors are eye-popping, the costumes over-the-top, the acting arch and stylized (I wonder if Ken Russell, who had a key role in an episode of Season 1, had anything to do with that). I bought Season 2 and 3 as soon as they came out on DVD, and I have to say that Season 3 has turned out to be a laughable disappointment.
The production values are still here, the series continues to provide an extra paycheck for unemployed British acting greats, but the writing has wandered away from the Christie novels and ended up in a soap opera somewhere. The dialogue is stilted and unbelievable, Miss Marple behaves more and more out of character, and the plots are changed out of all recognition, and not for the better.
In some misguided attempt to make the stories more "modern" and "interesting," the writers dream up the most ludicrous stereotyped characters - murderous nuns (yes, there's a nasty anti-religious theme through this Season), Nazis on the lam, drunken novelists, an oily-haired gigolo - and have them commit bizarre actions, such as switch bodies so that characters thought to be dead aren't really dead at all, or commit suicide with a piece of statuary. Or better yet, stage a shootout in olde London town! If it weren't so disappointing, it would be funny.
In Season 4, I suggest a new episode - Miss Marple investigates the murder of a fine series of Agatha Christie mysteries, perpetrated by a gang of postmodern hacks."
The Murder of Miss Marple
Red Rivere | Home on the Range | 10/22/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I continue to be amazed by the silly changes they have made in these book "adaptations" in order to make Miss Marple "relevant." I'm no worshipper of the old Hickson series and would have been happy to see new versions, but these new ones are just dumbed-down and insulting to Christie. Some of the newer Poirots have been quite good, but even with sexing up most of them have remained sufficiently true to the text (a major exception being the egregious Cards on the Table adaptation). The Marples, on the other hand, have just been one disaster after another, beginning with the ongoing destruction of Miss Marple's character. Whoever the woman is in these films she is not Miss Marple. Christie's grandson should be ashamed of himself for allowing this to continue. But, that aside, the adaptations just aren't very good. Nemesis and Bertram's Hotel are by no means perfect books, but the changes in the films make them look idiotic. They just seem to be doing changes for the sake of making changes at this point. With the others, I find introducing Miss Marple into books where she does not belong upsets the structure. But obviously the adaptors don't care about such things. Awful."
Two and a half stars...
egreetham | Massachusetts | 10/14/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Geraldine McEwen is a wonderful actress, but the current BBC production doesn't serve her well. Everything is wonderful except the scripts, which are often ludicrous. With such wonderful material as the Marple novels, why do the screen writers deviate from them so gratuitously, often turning the plots into gibberish? Try the Joan Hickson Marple films. With no disrespect to Ms. McEwen, Ms. Hickson was the perfect Jane, and the plots of these Christie stories were not nearly so badly mauled."