Miss Marple with Julia McKenzie
Yet more drama brilliance to look forward to in 2013 on both sides of the pond. ITV, the home of Downton Abbey and Poirot, has announced three classic Agatha Christie story adaptations are in the works. Acclaimed actress, Julia McKenzie, will reprise her role as Miss Marple along with Robert Webb, Montserrat Lombard, Daniel Rigby, Hermione Norris, MyAnna Buring, Warren Brown and Antony Sher in supporting roles. The three adaptations will be “A Caribbean Mystery”, “Endless Night” and “The Seven Dials Mystery” and are currently in production for a 2013 broadcast with the likelihood of making it to the States around the same time as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series.
In A Caribbean Mystery, we find Miss Marple far from St Mary Mead, staying in a luxurious hotel on the tropical island of St Honore. When fellow guest Major Palgrave dies rather suspiciously, shortly after arrival, Miss Marple must find his killer. A Caribbean Mystery has been adapted twice for television. First in 1983 with Helen Hayes as Miss Marple and then again in 1989 with Joan Hickson in the title role.
Charlie Higson (The Fast Show) has adapted the Miss Marple adventure and will also have a cameo role as an unassuming American ornithologist, James Bond. It’s only fitting that, given last Friday was Global James Bond Day, we learn that in real life, Bond was an expert on the birds of the Caribbean and had his name appropriated by writer Ian Fleming for his famous fictional spy.
Julia McKenzie took over the role in 2009 from longtime Miss Marple favorite, Geraldine McEwan, with A Pocketful of Rye. With so many brilliant Miss Marple portrayals behind her, McKenzie talks here about her thoughts what she will be bringing to the table and how she attempted to make the character her own, with the utmost respect for wonderful past performances from the likes of Joan Hickson and Geraldine McEwan.
There’s a brilliant drama battle going on in the UK as we speak. On the BBC side, there’s the obvious greatness of Call the Midwife and Sherlock along with Upstairs Downstairs, Great Expectations, Birdsong, The Paradise, Case Histories, and the upcoming War of the Roses and Ripper Street. In the ITV corner, there’s Downton Abbey, Whitechapel, DCI Banks, Endeavour and the final installments of Poirot with David Suchet.
The great thing about this battle is that, in the end, you, the telly watcher, are going to be the winner hands down when the dust settles. Cheers.