Agatha Christie's Marple is a BritishITVtelevision series based on the Miss Marple and other murder mystery novels by Agatha Christie. It is also known as Marple. The title character was played by Geraldine McEwan from the first to third series, until her retirement from the role. She was replaced by Julia McKenzie, from the fourth series onwards. Each episode is known for having many well-known co-stars.
The first six episodes were all adaptations of Miss Marple novels by Christie. Subsequent episodes were derived from Marple novels and short stories together with other works by Agatha Christie that did not originally feature Miss Marple.
Agatha Christie's Marple follows the adventures of Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster living in the quiet little village of St Mary Mead. During her many visits to friends and relatives in other villages (and sometimes when simply being at home), Miss Marple often stumbles upon or hears about mysterious murders, which she helps solve. Although the police are sometimes reluctant to accept Miss Marple's help, her reputation and unparalleled powers of observation eventually win them over.
During her adventures, Miss Marple is aided by close friends, relatives, or other allies that she meets, which include Tommy and Tuppence - protagonists of another series of Christie novels.
The only character to appear in every episode is Miss Marple herself, played by Geraldine McEwan until series 3 and by Julia McKenzie from series 4 onwards.
A few other characters appear in more than one episode, although they are not always played by the same actor. Exceptions are Joanna Lumley, who plays Mrs Dolly Bantry in The Body in the Library and The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, and Stephen Churchett, who appears as the coroner in four episodes.
Dr Haydock appears in three episodes, but is played by three different actors: Robin Soans in The Body in the Library, Robert Powell in The Murder at the Vicarage and Neil Stuke in The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. Jason Rafiel, an old friend of Marple's, was voiced by Herbert Lom (who also made an on-screen appearance as Mr Dufosse in The Murder at the Vicarage) in Nemesis and played by Antony Sher in A Caribbean Mystery.
The series also featured real-life characters: Winston Churchill appeared in The Sittaford Mystery, Noel Coward in 4:50 from Paddington, Louis Armstrong in At Bertram's Hotel, and Ian Fleming and James Bond in A Caribbean Mystery.
Derek Hutchinson (as Concierge) Rebekah Manning (as Susan Carstairs) Ian East (as John the Gardener) Richard Betts (as Clerk of the Court) Benjamin Harcourt (as Peter Pritchard) Thomas Harcourt (as Michael Pritchard) Molly Harcourt (as Susan Pritchard)
Neil Stuke (as Dr Haydock) Will Young (as Casey Croft) Anna Andresen (as Maisie Cooper) Gene Goodman (as Louis Charles) Isabella Parriss (as Marie Thérèse) Jonathan Coyne (as French Officer) Don Gallagher (as Man in Livery)
Series six, which will include an adaptation of A Caribbean Mystery, as well as adaptations of Endless Night and the short story Greenshaw's Folly, will be filmed for the rest of 2012 and the early part of 2013. It was originally announced that an adaptation of The Seven Dials Mystery would be filmed, but it appears it has been shelved in favor of Greenshaw's Folly.
Marple has been aired in the United States and British Columbia, Canada on PBS on Mystery! as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and in the whole of Canada on CBC and in French on Radio-Canada. In Australia, Marple airs as Agatha Christie's Marple or simply Marple on ABC1.
Marple is also being broadcast on ATV World in Hong Kong. In China, the first four seasons of "Marple" are presented on CCTV-8, but 'The Body In the Library' and 'Murder is Easy' haven't been shown due to the involvement of lesbian affair and incest rape separately, 'Why Din't They Ask Evans' has also been hugely edited due to involving War-period China. Marple has been broadcast on the Hallmark Channel in Israel. Marple has been shown in South Korea in EBS, and currently is viewed by many audience from MegaTV. In Southern Africa it was shown on Hallmark Channel on the Satellite service DStv. "Marple" has been broadcast in Italy on the Hallmark Channel and on Rai1. In Norway the series has been airing on state broadcaster NRK1 as "Miss Marple". In Sweden the series airs on TV4, the biggest commercial TV station. In Brazil the series airs on HBO Brasil.
The first series of Marple was released in 2005 in the UK, followed by the second series in 2006. The third series was released in autumn 2007 in the US, but its UK release was delayed because of ITV1's decision to defer airing the final instalment.
Series One was released as four individual DVDs and as a "bundle" in Australia (Region 4) with Series Two released on 1 August 2007. The third series was released individually in April 2008.
Series Four will be released in Region 1 on 4 August 2009 after the conclusion of the broadcast on PBS Mystery!
Series 1 to 4 were released in a 16-DVD-box as "Agatha Christie's Miss Marple - The Collection" in August 2010 in U.K. Region 3.
Series 5 was released in the UK (Region 2) in June 2011