One can have nothing but praise for Julia McKenzie’s intelligent, subtly acted incarnation of Agatha Christie’s immortal spinster heroine, and the high gloss of this series of productions is immensely pleasing. What is puzzling is the variable direction given to the prestigious supporting casts who are often encouraged to act in a massively larger-than-life, end-of-the-pier fashion (in marked contrast to Julia McKenzie’s nicely understated performance) — the casting of several comedians is perhaps a key indicator of the fact that the producers feel they were not able to take Marple seriously these days. Julia McKenzie, thankfully, does just that, and there is a great deal of pleasure to be gleaned from her contribution to this series.

Marple Series Four

Various directors/ITV Studios

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