Agatha Christie's Marple

Season 2 Episode 4

The Sittaford Mystery

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 2006 on ITV
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Episode Summary


Heavy snow is falling in Dartmoor and the shadowy guests in the local hotel decide to take part in a seance in order to amuse themselves. But the evening takes on a more sinister edge when the table-turning suggests that Clive Trevelyan, an eminent politician, is in danger. Meanwhile, at Sittaford House, Miss Marple discovers that poisoned Turkish Delight has been sent to Trevelyan. John Enderby, Trevelyan's loyal right hand man, is so concerned for his friend's safety that he wants to check on him. Unfortunately, Trevelyan is staying at the hotel - six miles away and, with snow drifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot...


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  • Here we go again - a complete rewrite of a book that never even featured Miss Marple in the first place. They have a good try, but it's all a bit contrived, even more so than the original book!moreless

    OK, this was aired just a few days ago. I was surprised to find Miss Marple anywhere near it, since the original book certainly didn't feature her. It was one of Christie's one-off's with no particular recurring 'hero'.

    The things they did retain were the snow and the inability of people to travel (though it seemed everyone at one point or another was able to tramp through thigh high snow for two hours without so much as a chillblain). But they changed the main point of the ouija board (originally table-turning I think - whatever that is), from being the 'friend' who is afraid once the name of the man going to die is revealed (and who then sets out from the pub to Trevelyan's place) to Trevelyan himself seeing his name revealed. Characters are altered, and names given to other characters.

    SPOILER bit...

    I was waiting for Mel Smith's character to be revealed as the murderer, since in the book it was Trevelyan's friend, Major Barnaby who 'dunnit', but I didn't clock on quicky enough that the journalist had had his name changed to Barnaby. It's all a bit of a mish-mash.

    And it may be more dramatically powerful to have Trevelyan as a high-level politician, but actually it didn't really add very much to the story. As I remember, Trevelyan originally rented out his big house and was very much a misogyist, so having him secretly married to a young ingenue was again baffling.

    I guess most of the story worked, if you just chuck the original story out and wait to be surprised. Not quite sure what all of this bit with Egypt was about - totally new and added nothing, except for a very unlikely love story between Rita Tushingham and Jeffery Kisson, as the 'mysterious eastern servant'. I don't know, in trying to 'fit' Miss Marple into the story, they've lost a lot of the original force of the plot, and again we're faced with some well-played caricatures.

    It's a good attempt, but it's firing on 1 cylinder. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, at least until this plot's buried.moreless
Timothy Dalton

Timothy Dalton

Clive Trevelyan

Guest Star

Zoe Telford

Zoe Telford

Emily Trefusis

Guest Star

Mel Smith

Mel Smith

John Enderby

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions