When troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna relocate to the quiet little village of Lymstock in order to allow Jerry to recuperate from injuries received in what he claims is a motorcycle accident, they are expecting nothing more than country sleepiness and tedium. Much to their surprise, however, they find themselves embroiled in the middle of scandal and secrets; someone is sending vicious poison-pen letters to the residents. A local dignitary has already taken his own life over the letters, and it's not long before local gossip Mona Symmington also commits suicide after receiving a letter. But when the letter-writer apparently resorts to murder, Jerry finds his curiosity stoked despite himself, and he's not the only one; Miss Jane Marple is also in Lymstock, and she's decided that it's long past time someone got to the bottom of this unpleasant business.Written by
Frances de la Tour and James D'Arcy pre piously worked together in the 1997 mini-series "The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling". See more »
During the shots of the large initial cap letters being cut out for the poison pen letters, portions of lower case letters are included with the red capital letters. When the poison pen letters are shown later, there are only the red capital letters without any partial lower case. See more »
Mr. Burton what about you?
I'm going away.
To do what?
Do you know I haven't a clue? I expect I'll find something.
Perhaps what you're looking for is right here under your nose.
She doesn't want me Miss Marple.
[referring to Megan]
Faint heart Mr. Burton. I once let someone go. He had... commitments you see... a war to fight. But I've often wondered if under other circumstances I would'e done the same. It seems to me Mr. Burton that, we should count ourselves blessed if we are allowed just one ...
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This is definitely a rarity in ITV1's Marple series - it appears to have been adapted by someone who has not only read the novel, but also understood it.
There were minor changes made to the story, but they were nowhere near the wholesale destruction of plot and character visited upon other entries in the series, notably Sleeping Murder (rendered thoroughly nonsensical by the addition of the end of the pier show).
Geraldine McEwan was as good as ever, and the cast for this one seemed to be treating it relatively seriously, with the exception of Ken Russell, whose turn as the vicar proved that he's even worse as an actor than he is as a director.
The production suffered from the series' standard malaise of treating the characters as if they were all cardboard stereotypes, thus making it difficult for the audience to care for them, but most of the time the cast managed to rise above this and seem reasonably believable. If ITV1 can produce more of this standard, then a third series could be watchable - particularly if they adapt stories which actually feature Miss Marple, as opposed to what we've got coming in the next couple of weeks...
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