Agatha Christie's Marple

Season 1 Episode 4

A Murder Is Announced

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 02, 2005 on ITV

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
35 votes
  • A good retelling of a complex story, but with room for improvement!

    I did like this episode. I think I'd become used to the liberties taken with the original stories by now, though why they had Miss Marple stay with Hinch & Murgatroyd instead of at the vicarage I don't know. As previous reviews have stated, the changes in characters and relationships didn't really add very much to the story at all, and were quite tiresome at times.

    I really am not one of these people who wants to keep everything in the past - I like modernisation - I have no problem with updating things that can be updated, but this is almost like a Dr Who episode where they set everything back in the past, but with modern ideas and temperaments here and there, which jar with the era they're trying to convey (much like when Kate Winslet gave a guy the finger in Titanic - it just wouldn't have happened like that).

    Overall though, pretty good. I also enjoyed seeing Elaine Paige (yes, there's an 'i' in it webmaster!) as a dowdy spinster type. I know she always wanted to be a 'serious' actress, but got caught in musicals. Strange though, the only two things I've seen her act in without any singing, she's played very similar roles to the Dora Bunner she gives here. Though apparently her perfomance in Piaf was terrific and gave her the chance to swear like a trouper (though if you do have the original soundtrack, the cover says less 'Little Sparrow and more 'How to hold your head on in a strong wind'...) Sorry, digressing...

    Pretty good, though why people can't stop tampering with things that don't improve on the story I don't know.
  • Good as always!

    "A Murder Is Announced" is another fine production with the very talented Geraldine McEwan as our favourite old lady, Miss Jane Marple. The cast is perfect with Zoë Wanamaker really shining with a fantastic performance. The mystery is challenging and manages to keep us away from the truth most of the time. The conclusion is quite exciting. Loved the twist.
    A good episode from a great show. My congratulations to all involved.
  • Good, but could have been beter.

    I do have to say, this is a very good episode. Unfortunately, some bad scripting let it down.

    Firstly, the story seems a bit rushed. This is probably due to the fact that it went from a three hour movie in the Joan Hickson series to a 90 minute McEwan episode. Also, due to excessive character cutting, some delightful subplots were lost and new, stale ones put in place.

    The worst of the changes I found was the axing of Laura Easterbrook and having Sadie Swettenham have an affair with Colonel Easterbrook. In my mind, this just confused things and didn't really add anything to the story.

    We did find out more about Hinch and Murgatroyd, due to Miss Marple staying with them. Speaking of Murgatroyd, her death was probably one of the most powerful and emotionally moving deaths captured in a Christie. It was almost like killing a child, and the director captured this to the "t", including shots of her bedroom slippers and juvenile attire.

    Zoe Wanamaker was particularly good as Letitia Blacklock, Cherie Lunghi, Christian Coulson, Frances Barber, Claire Skinner, Matthew Goode, Robert Pugh and Keeley Hawes likewise. I thought Catherine Tate was pretty bad. That accent was pathetic. Sienna Guillory, despite being drop dead gorgeous and mysterious, was not really the Julia from the novel. Julia in the novel was an intellectual, dry girl, whereas Sienna was playing a glamorous airhead.

    Location wise, I thought the house chosen for Little Paddocks was a bit too big, but one has to make allowances for Christie was very particular about what Little Paddocks was like and it would be impossible for the producers to find everything they needed in one house. I do think that they missed the sense of claustrophobia that I thought Little Paddocks had.

    On the whole, it's a good episode. Could have been better, but not a total wash-up.