Thursday, February 4, 2010

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Done Me Proud

So, they're finally adapting a short story for the Miss Marple series on PBS and ITV.

Since Season 2, the producers of Marple, which then starred Geraldine McEwan but now stars Julia McKenzie, saw fit to drop Agatha Christie's septuagenarian super-sleuth into novels she had never appeared in. Since there are only twelve novels featuring Miss Marple, and only four episodes per season, I assume they did this to keep the series running for more than three seasons. Throughout, of course, fans have been crying foul, since there are a great number of short stories that have never been adapted for film or television.

Which makes sense, of course. For one thing, since Miss Marple is not the sleuth of the novel, she often takes a backseat to the original leads, suddenly appearing at the end to enlighten everyone. And since the writers are so keen to make their own stories up anyway (Why Didn't They Ask Evans, The Sittaford Mystery, Murder is Easy, At Bertram's Hotel), wouldn't making a 90-minute adaptation of a short story be more appealing anyway? You're given the basic blueprints for expansion! And they did it for years with the Poirot series starring David Suchet, to great effect.

Well, there I was, watching Spice World, and I was wondering what the lady who plays Deborah, Richard E Grant's assistant in the film, was up to. So I looked her up on the IMDb, discovering both her name (Claire Rushbrook) and the title for an upcoming project: Marple: The Blue Geranium.

Which is hella exciting. "The Blue Geranium" is from the short story collection The Tuesday Club Murders, released in the UK as The Thirteen Problems (our title's better). It happens to be my favorite one. You see, there are no such thing as blue geraniums, and there's a psychic and a sick wife and sudden death which gets Miss Marple all suspicious, and OH SO MUCH FUN!

So yes, I guess since they only have two novels left to adapt, so the producers realized they needed to find a way to keep the show going. Hopefully, this means more short story adaptations, and fewer insertions of Miss Marple in stories she doesn't belong in! Hopefully....

Marple: The Blue Geranium stars Julia McKenzie, Toby Stephens (Die Another Day), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), Claudie Blakley (Gosford Park, Bright Star), Joanna Page (Love Actually), Claire Rushbrook and Donald Sinden (Mogambo).

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