THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE (2004)

Director: Charles Palmer

Written by: Stephen Churchett based on the novel by Agatha Christie.

Starring: Geraldine McEwan, Derek Jacobi, Miriam Morgolyes, Janet McTeer, Jason Flemyng, Tim McInnerny, Rachael Stirling, Stephen Tompkinson, and others...

Genre: Village murder mystery based on Agatha Christie's novel of the same name.

Available on DVD
Originally shown in the UK. Now being shown as 2 one-hour episodes on PBS Mystery!
Check local listings for time and channel.

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Oh, dear! I do not like the new Miss Marple...

Apparently, everyone else in the world loves her.

Geraldine McEwan's portrayal of the amateur sleuth Miss Marple, leaves me wanting to rewatch the older version, featuring Joan Hickson.

According to a report in CNN's online Entertainment section entitled "She's Not Your Mother's Miss Marple," 14 April, 2005 (London, England -- AP), the new series "...makes changes and takes risks," with the permission of the Christie estate. I have no problem with the changes and the risk taking, except that I find the actress, Geraldine McEwan's Miss Marple irritating beyond distraction. I just think she's all wrong for the part. (It's not that I don't like McEwan, I loved her performance in the British series "Mulberry" which was shown on PBS a few years ago.)

Kudos to the production team for their high quality on everything else. The settings are wonderful. Very atmospheric. And there is an interesting mix of actors and actresses to fill out the remainder of the cast.

Most fans will already be fully aware of the storyline in "The Murder at the Vicarage," but for those who may be new to Agatha Christie and the Miss Marple series, the basic idea is that the Vicar in Miss Marple's village voices aloud what many feel. Someone would be doing the village and the world a favor by killing Colonel Protheroe. The next thing you know, somone has gone and done the deed. Colonel Protheroe is dead. As is usual in the Agatha Christie stories, there is a plethora of suspects and nearly everyone you meet has a motive.

Despite my objections to McEwan, I am certain many fans will embrace her and new fans will find her more than acceptable in the role of Miss Marple than previous actresses who have portrayed the woman.

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