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The "New" Miss Marple
Posted: July 16th, 2007, 1:45 pm
For those of you who watch PBS "Mystery," what do you think of the new Miss Marple episodes.
This is the third year for the new Miss Marple series. Geraldine McEwan (?) plays the amateur sleuth. Last night's episode, "Toward Zero," was the first one of the new Marples that I've liked.
I like the Joan Hickson "Miss Marples" from the 1980s best. They hold up very well.
Even though I liked "Toward Zero," it seems like Miss Marple simply fades into the woodwork. I liked the suspects and the police, but Miss Marple hardly seemed to have any screen time and when she was on camera she seemed far less interesting than anyone on screen, let alone Joan Hickson.
Posted: July 16th, 2007, 4:42 pm
Mike, I tried to watch Geraldine McEwan's Miss Marple last night, but found that I had the same reaction: If only they could bring back Joan Hickson. Not only was she inquisitive without being domineering, intelligent without being a knowitall, and interesting as she figured out the crimes, but Ms. Hickson bore a resemblance to my late grandmother, so of course I'd rather see her in the role. McEwan's other roles on film usually seem to have her cast as someone's slightly malevolent relative, so I think my perception of her acting has been colored by those earlier parts.
However, I think that David Suchet is a fascinating Hercule Poirot. His character has never been better drawn in dramatized form.
Did anyone like Michael Kitchen in the new installment of Foyle's War on Mystery on PBS until last week? Even though Kitchen underplays his character, he doesn't fade into the wallpaper somehow but remains intriguing as he figures out the events that surround his little rural town of Hastings in southeastern England circa WWII.
Posted: July 16th, 2007, 9:01 pm
Mike and Moira,
I love Geraldine McEwan; she's really a brilliant actress and has been mostly on the English and American stages and on British TV.
She is agood friend of Kenneth Branagh and was in his "Henry V" and played the evil nun in "The Magdalene Girls" - brilliant.....
She was also in the brilliant TV show, "Mulberry", where death come to claim her but she's not quite ready yet, thank you!!
I do like her in the Miss Marple role and we have seen them all here in Canada. She does grow on you!
I don't think she is the same Miss Marple as Joan Hickson, just as Joan wasn't the same as Margaret Rutherford.
I've heard that she recently and in the past has turned down a knighthood from the Queen. So, no Dame Geraldine, I guess.
She recently celebrated her 75 birthday.
Posted: July 17th, 2007, 1:07 pm
I think I liked these most recent/last "Foyle's War" episodes the best. The earlier ones seemed to be to be part mystery/part history lesson. These last four seemed to be mysteries first and foremost, with satisfying stories.
I wonder what Mystery will do next year now that Jericho and Foyle are finished. (I think I read somewhere that there were only four episodes of Jericho.) I wish they had shown some of the "Inspector Lewis" mysteries this season.
Foyle's War isn't over yet!
Posted: July 17th, 2007, 2:46 pm
Mike, I stumbled into a message forum thru pbs.org, and the posters there are as knowledgeable about "Mystery"
as all of you are about classic films and stars. (I think several of our posters participate over there, also).
Anyway, there is one more season (according to the boards) of Foyle's War
. I almost cried at the ending of the last episode 2 weeks ago...Michael Kitchen is one of my "fellas", he seems to push all the right buttons for me
and I was really upset that the series might be ending. Wish they would do more than a paltry 4 episodes.
Loved him in "Enchanted April"
and most everything else he's been in. I think he's really come into his own in Christopher Foyle. His is a very subtle, close-to-the-chest, don' give anything away type performance, and you really have to watch his face to see what's going on. Love it!
Geraldine McEwan is charming, and exasperating, and always on top of things as Miss Marple. I think the reason she figures out the resolution of the crime is that no one pays attention to her, and she overhears all kinds of conversations.
You might want to check out the message boards at pbs.org.
Posted: July 24th, 2007, 12:52 pm
Do I like the new Miss Marple? No.
I watched about thirty minutes of this weeks episode and (stealing an idea from John, George, Paul and Ringo)...I call the most recent Mystery show Marple's Misery Tour. I want to see Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. More accurately...I want to see a Rutherfordian Marple. I was told (by my wife) McEwan's Miss Marple is closer to the Agatha Christie description of Miss Marple. I have never read any of the Miss Marple books. So, I don't know if McEwan looks like Christie's Miss Marple, but I don't care. I want a Rutherford type for Miss Marple. Besides, Margaret Rutherford is a very good example of my "BBBB" club. The Big Bossy British Broads appeared in just about every British movie from 1945 to 1965 and then...what happened? Twiggy? I don't know, but my BBBB's pretty much disappeared from movies and television. Oh, you have the occasional Hyacinth Bucket, but I want more Buckets. So, it is time to bring the BBBBs back, starting with any future Miss Marples.
Posted: July 25th, 2007, 11:17 am
I "like" the new Miss Marple's, but I'm not crazy about them. At times I have to force myself to maintain focus on the plot, this is rarely the case for any Mystery entry. I have watched the current Foyle's War and truly enjoyed them. I had never seen it before and the approach of police work during the crisis of a war is very interesting. It is low-key but very interesting. I certainly never had to worry about my focus as the story seemed to whiz by and I was sorry to see it finish.
Posted: July 25th, 2007, 11:33 am
"Nemesis," the second Miss Marple shown this season, laid an egg. At about 30 minutes into the thing, I was starting to get bored. There was one scene in which the characters walked through a manor house, and there was a long tracking shot that did nothing to explain the characters or build suspense. It just showed off the house, as if that were the purpose for the story.
Posted: August 20th, 2007, 3:30 pm
I watched "Ordeal by Innocence" last night. It was so-so. I just don't find the new Miss Marple interesting. I liked the scientist who helped her investigate last night, because he was interesting.
The case itself was a bit different from the usual. Also the violence was handled in a "horror movie" way, it seemed, far more visceral than the ususal Agatha Christie adaptation.
Perhaps part of the problem is that these are too short. The Joan Hickson ones were about 2 hours each or longer. These do not fill even 90 minutes, which may be why they seem cartoonish and the characters don't really convince. Does anyone know if they have been trimmed for PBS?