Monday, May 09, 2005

Miss Jane Marple

"Mystery" has a solid entry with the new version of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. If you're a stickler for adhering to the novel, the best interpretation is still Joan Hickson's. But Geraldine McEwan does an excellent job in this new series, although there may perhaps be as much McEwan as Christie in the end product. This isn't necessarily bad, but for the dedicated Christie fan Miss McEwan may be insufficiently fluffy. It seems to me that Miss Hickson keeps the razor sharp intelligence hidden behind the sweet, little, old lady demeanor rather more than Miss McEwan. (Or is it just me? It's difficult to forget Miss McEwan's imperious Mrs Proudie or grandly devious Lucia.)

In any event, there are still two more books that have been filmed and are yet to be shown. There are worse ways to spend a late Sunday evening if you're a Christie fan. The schedule can be found here.

[And did you know that the preservation of the traditional Roman Rite Mass in England and Wales all throughout the worst times for the old Rite was due at least in some part to Agatha Christie? The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales devised a petition to the Holy Father to continue the old rite. It was signed primarily by prominent people in British life including, not only the Anglican bishops of Exeter and Ripon but by Agatha Christie. The story goes that when John Cardinal Heenan presented the petition to Pope Paul VI, he was reading quietly through the list of signatories and then suddenly said, "Ah, Agatha Christie!" and signed his approval. It has since been known, informally, in traditional circles as the Agatha Christie Indult. The full story is given here.]