Agatha Christie's Marple, Series 4There are few TV programs as iconic as PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, fewer authors as iconic as Agatha Christie, and even fewer more recognizable characters as Christie’s Miss Marple. PBS is currently in the process of showing this set of Marple programs, and in a slightly unusual move it has been decided to release the DVD’s at the same time.

Officially the set of four mysteries goes on sale in your favorite store on August 4, however, I will let you in on a secret, but please don’t tell anyone, OK? They are available online via Acorn media. So if you don’t want to wait for PBS you can get early copies. Just think about the bragging rights you will have around the water cooler 🙂

This series features Julia McKenzie in the role of the very prim and proper Miss Marple, the demure spinster with a mind sharper than a Japanese Katana. Joining Julia are a veritable who’s who of the movie and TV world, Joan Collins (Dynasty), Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice), Jemma Redgrave (Bramwell), Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Suburban Shootout), Rupert Graves (The Forsyte Saga), Helen Baxendale (Friends), Brian Cox, Prunella Scales (Fawlty Towers), Warren Clarke (The Invisibles), Natalie Dormer (The Tudors), Rafe Spall (Wide Sargasso Sea), and Samantha Bond (GoldenEye).

With this amount of talent on hand you know that you are in for some great entertainment. All of the mysteries are engaging, and the producers have kept true to Christie’s style of dropping subtle hints that eventually all come together in the final scene. Set in post world war two England the characters are lavish, the dialog lush and often humorous, and the backdrops always breathtaking. The English aristocracy at its best and worst in the same breath.

This style of cinematic production applied to a TV series is something that you find rarely, and well worth seeking out. I give Marple Series 4 high marks indeed. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie and great drama you will want to add this one to your collection.

You can order your copy of Agatha Christie’s Marple today from Acorn.

Simon Barrett

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