Sunday, April 05, 2009

For the Love of Marple (and Poirot)

I do love dear Miss Marple. She has aged so well that I find her just as endearing in my forties as I found her in my teens, and Agatha Christie's stories translate quite nicely to the screen.

Perhaps this is why the Marple series on PBS continues to thrive, through three incarnations of Miss Marple. Recently I was given the opportunity to view the Geraldine McEwan Marple Season Three videos which Acorn is releasing in its new catalog. I had avoided the new Marple movies, fearing that I wouldn't like new versions because of my loyalty to Joan Hickson, the first Marple for PBS. However, I must say that Geraldine McEwan won my heart almost instantly with her quiet presence and her winsome expressions.

The episodes themselves are visually arresting, really lush and beautiful--even when I had to watch one on my laptop it seemed to jump out at me and draw me into the action. The casting is also quite good, and I am, once again, a fan of this series and its beautiful English settings.

Acorn sent me a pack of 9 Poirot episodes as well. While I never loved the Poirot books as much as I did the Marples, I do find David Suchet quite charming as Monsieur Poirot, and in these episodes, too, I found wonderful casting and the kind of scenery that makes one long for the English countryside.

Katie at Acorn was kind enough to give me a few more to give away, so I'm sharing this info on my blog. If you want to be in a drawing for a Marple or Poirot DVD pack (the Marple box contains 4 90-minute episodes, the Poirot 9 60-minute episodes), send an e-mail to and I'll put your name in the drawing. I'll have my son pick four winners on Friday, so get your response in before then. Please put MARPLE/POIROT DRAWING in the subject line so that I don't accidentally delete your mail.

And now I shall take a break from my daily chores and watch another DVD. :)


Martin Edwards said...

I thought Geraldine was a pretty interesting Marple, though some of the screenplays hammed it up a bit too much for my taste - notably The Sittaford Mystery (the book doesn't even feature the great lady and is a thousand times bettter than the tv version.)

Julia Buckley said...

These four episodes were quite enjoyable; my favorite was NEMESIS, but I think it was first and foremost because of the English countryside. I also enjoyed TOWARDS ZERO, which starred a too-infrequently-seen Greg Wise.

Paul Lamb said...

I always liked Marple better than Poirot because her mysteries seemed to be more grounded in human relationships. Poirot's always seemed to have a hook to them: a missing button, a train timetable, etc.

Julia Buckley said...

I agree, Paul. Miss Marple often took a back seat and allowed the characters to emerge. Poirot, perhaps because of his fussy egotism, was always front and center.