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Kate_Stine
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Christie or Sayer? / Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

Hi everyone,

 

Glad to be here with so many true Agatha Christie fans!

 

Oline left a question for me which I'll answer here and also on the thread with KATE STINE in the title. (And that's where I'll post all other answers.)

 

Oline's question: When we look back at Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, who do you think best captured their society in their novels? I tend to think Christie remains more accessible to today's readers. What is your opinion, Kate?

 

That's an interesting question with no simple answer. I've always thought of Christie as a "universal" writer. While you can learn a lot about English society in the 20th century from reading Christie's books, her main concern was human nature which doesn't change all that much from era to era.

 

Sayers, on the other hand, offers very intricate pictures of English class structure and social institutions.

 

Although Sayers is a wonderful writer, I do think Christie better captured English society simply because she understood people better. 

 

 

But what do other readers think? Christie or Sayers? (Remember, please go to the thread with KATE STINE in the title.)

 

Kate 

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dulcinea3
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


becke_davis wrote:

So what did the rest of you think of the new Miss Marple? I liked Julia McKenzie a lot -- she's a little younger and more energetic than Joan Hickson's Miss Marple, but I think it works.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_McKenzie 

 

I love Geraldine McEwan as an actress (especially in the series "Mulberry") but I couldn't get into her portrayal of Miss Marple. I was really very happy with tonight's episode -- I liked it better than the one that was made several years ago.

 

Fantastic cast in tonight's episode! I recognized the detective from the British series MI5, which I think was called "Spooks" in England.

 

http://www.popmatters.com/tv/reviews/m/mi-5.shtml 

 

How many of you recognized the elderly cook at the pretty shopgirl, Miss Brown, from Are You Being Served? Wendy Richard died of breast cancer in February of this year -- this was her last role.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Richard

 

 http://pages.prodigy.net/glc/wrhp/html/home.htm


 

I enjoyed the episode very much.  It was very true to the novel, which was a nice change from some recent Miss Marple series.  I still enjoy the ones that are not so true, but at the same time it irritates me on some level.  Julia McKenzie seems to make a good Miss Marple.  I also like Geraldine McEwan very much, also for the delightful series 'Mulberry', and the miniseries 'Mapp and Lucia' (with Prunella Scales, who was in last night's episode).  I think the problem with her Miss Marple series was more with the writing than with her acting.

 

It was an excellent cast, too.  I'm sure I know Rupert Graves from other things.  And Matthew Mcfadyen (the Inspector) was recently seen as Arthur Clennam in Little Dorrit on Masterpiece Classic.  It was a bit of a jolt to see Wendy Richard's name in the cast, because I knew that she had passed away in February.  I knew that these were made last year, but it hadn't been at the forefront of my mind.  I was looking for her, and Mrs. Crump's face was not shown clearly in the first few scenes she was in, but I did recognize her by her voice.  Coincidentally, I had just watched an episode of Are You Being Served? the previous night (it was my favorite episode where Mrs. Slocum sets up her apartment on the fifth floor of the store, bittersweet remembrance of Mollie Sugden), so it was interesting to see the difference between the young Miss Brahms and the elderly Mrs. Crump.  I believe Wendy Richard has been in Eastenders for years, but I have never seen that series.  And Prunella Scales as Mrs. Mackenzie is another old favorite - the exasperating Sybil from Fawlty Towers.

 

The only bit that I really disliked was the scene with Crump, drunk in bed, singing the nursery rhyme.  First of all, he was disgusting.  I also felt that, inquisitive as she may be, Miss Marple would never be so improper as to open the door and walk into a man's bedroom while he was lying drunk in the bed and start up a conversation with him.  And it also seemed to indicate that Crump was as smart as Miss Marple and had made all the connections between the murders and the nursery rhyme, which I found highly unlikely.

 

Other than that, I thought it was great!

 

Now, next week's mystery did not originally feature Miss Marple, so we'll see how they do with that.

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dulcinea3
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


TiggerBear wrote:

Ryan_G wrote:

I know that this has nothing to do with the show we just watched but your posting about Wendy Richard passing away reminded me that I had just read that Mollie Sugden passed away a few days agoShe played Mrs. Slocombe on Are You Being ServedShe was the whole reason I watched the show growing up

 


TiggerBear wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

 

How many of you recognized the elderly cook at the pretty shopgirl, Miss Brown, from Are You Being Served? Wendy Richard died of breast cancer in February of this year -- this was her last role.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Richard

 

 http://pages.prodigy.net/glc/wrhp/html/home.htm


What terrible news.


 


Yeah I heard about that myself. Is it me, or are celebrity's dieing like flies?


Yes.  The news about Mollie Sugden came on the same day as that about Karl Malden and Harve Presnell.

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becke_davis
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

Was it Miss Brahms and not Brown? Sorry about that.

 

Oh, wasn't that butler awful? Those eyebrows -- please tell me they weren't real! That scene was unexpected, and a bit of a jolt. I assumed it was included to show us that intrepid Miss Marple would not be put off, even in the face of such crudity, but I wouldn't say it was necessary to the story. Unless the screenwriter thought the viewers would be too dense to pick up on the nursery rhyme, and put it in for our benefit. 

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dulcinea3
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


becke_davis wrote:

Was it Miss Brahms and not Brown? Sorry about that.

 

Oh, wasn't that butler awful? Those eyebrows -- please tell me they weren't real! That scene was unexpected, and a bit of a jolt. I assumed it was included to show us that intrepid Miss Marple would not be put off, even in the face of such crudity, but I wouldn't say it was necessary to the story. Unless the screenwriter thought the viewers would be too dense to pick up on the nursery rhyme, and put it in for our benefit. 


 

It would have been just as much to our benefit, and much more pleasant, if they had simply had Miss Marple recite the rhyme to Inspector Neele, like she did in the novel! :smileywink:

 

One thing that I forgot to mention was that I didn't notice Miss Marple drawing her parallels to people she had known before.  For example, in the novel I'm sure she had some person that Mary Dove reminded her of.  I can't remember whether her comment on Lance's wife always choosing a bad 'un included another parallel to someone she had known in the novel.  I did miss those references, as it is such an important part of how Miss Marple arrives at her solutions, so I'm sorry that the screenwriters didn't think it was worth writing into the script.

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becke_davis
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

I often wonder if these screenwriters could possibly be Christie fans. I doubt it -- although maybe, as fans, we would want to stick to the books so closely we'd end up making a film that was visually uninteresting.
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TiggerBear
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


becke_davis wrote:

Was it Miss Brahms and not Brown? Sorry about that.

 

Oh, wasn't that butler awful? Those eyebrows -- please tell me they weren't real! That scene was unexpected, and a bit of a jolt. I assumed it was included to show us that intrepid Miss Marple would not be put off, even in the face of such crudity, but I wouldn't say it was necessary to the story. Unless the screenwriter thought the viewers would be too dense to pick up on the nursery rhyme, and put it in for our benefit. 


Correct the former not the latter. But Wendy Richard, was all the info I needed to get your gist, you could have also referenced the long time soap "East Enders" as well.

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TiggerBear
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Re: Christie or Sayer? / Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


Kate_Stine wrote:

Hi everyone,

 

Glad to be here with so many true Agatha Christie fans!

 

Oline left a question for me which I'll answer here and also on the thread with KATE STINE in the title. (And that's where I'll post all other answers.)

 

Oline's question: When we look back at Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, who do you think best captured their society in their novels? I tend to think Christie remains more accessible to today's readers. What is your opinion, Kate?

 

That's an interesting question with no simple answer. I've always thought of Christie as a "universal" writer. While you can learn a lot about English society in the 20th century from reading Christie's books, her main concern was human nature which doesn't change all that much from era to era.

 

Sayers, on the other hand, offers very intricate pictures of English class structure and social institutions.

 

Although Sayers is a wonderful writer, I do think Christie better captured English society simply because she understood people better

 

 

But what do other readers think? Christie or Sayers? (Remember, please go to the thread with KATE STINE in the title.)

 

Kate 


Agreed, but more than that Christie was a humanist. Spent more on the human details and concerns than Sayers ever did. Though Sayers captured the feeling of the time more accurately in my opinion.

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pen21
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

I enjoyed Pocket Full of Rye. Julia McKenzie did a great job as Miss Marple. It is always hard to change the actresses and maintain what we all view as Miss Marple. But I also have had an image of what Miss Marple should look like since junior high. So I have a high standard of what I think the actress should be like. And Julia McKenzie did great.

I agree that the butler scene did not fit in at all.

Other than that it is OK that it is not exactly like the book.

pen21

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georgesmiley
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

Well, I watched "A Pocketful of Rye". I was very disappointed. In one's life there are certain things definitives. For me Joan Hickson WAS Miss Marple, Jeremy Brett WAS Sherlock Holmes Saly, Julia Mackenzie falls into the "Good Effort" category. I will stick to reruns starring the wonderful Joan but I know that a whole new generation will be drawn to Ms. Mackenzie and one day she might be their definitive Miss Marple. Oh. and there is only one Morse, Frost, Wexford and Foyle too!!!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


georgesmiley wrote:

Well, I watched "A Pocketful of Rye". I was very disappointed. In one's life there are certain things definitives. For me Joan Hickson WAS Miss Marple, Jeremy Brett WAS Sherlock Holmes Saly, Julia Mackenzie falls into the "Good Effort" category. I will stick to reruns starring the wonderful Joan but I know that a whole new generation will be drawn to Ms. Mackenzie and one day she might be their definitive Miss Marple. Oh. and there is only one Morse, Frost, Wexford and Foyle too!!!

 


Oh -- you're right about Foyle. I can't imagine anyone but Michael Kitchen in that role.

 

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TiggerBear
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


becke_davis wrote:

Was it Miss Brahms and not Brown? Sorry about that.

 

Oh, wasn't that butler awful? Those eyebrows -- please tell me they weren't real! That scene was unexpected, and a bit of a jolt. I assumed it was included to show us that intrepid Miss Marple would not be put off, even in the face of such crudity, but I wouldn't say it was necessary to the story. Unless the screenwriter thought the viewers would be too dense to pick up on the nursery rhyme, and put it in for our benefit. 


The funny thing is, his voice is familiar. I just can't remeber where I've come across it before.

 

That wasn't startling, I saw some British period piece thing recently where the elder man had 21/2 hair comming out of his ears. Now that was unsettleing.

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Drwatson2000
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.
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becke_davis
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


Drwatson2000 wrote:
The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.
THAT's where I've seen him before -- thank you!
 
As to your comment about Miss Marple being needed (or Poirot, for that matter), Christie actually wrote quite a few mysteries that didn't feature Poirot, Miss Marple OR Tuppence and Tommy. THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD is one that comes to mind, I'll have to check for others. 

 

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TiggerBear
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


Drwatson2000 wrote:
The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.

Ok, thanks. Still doesn't tell me where I've heard his voice before. Never seen the Blue Carbuncle, and the name doesn't ring a bell. (shrug)

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dulcinea3
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!

[ Edited ]

TiggerBear wrote:

Drwatson2000 wrote:
The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.

Ok, thanks. Still doesn't tell me where I've heard his voice before. Never seen the Blue Carbuncle, and the name doesn't ring a bell. (shrug)


 

Maybe a peek at his wikipedia entry will give you a clue.  He seemed familiar to me, too, and after reading it, I think it must have been his appearance as a particularly obnoxious guest on an episode of Fawlty Towers.  From the photo, it looks like his eyebrows were indeed real!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Campbell

 

He also has passed away since acting in this mystery.

Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 07-08-2009 10:08 AM
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dulcinea3
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


becke_davis wrote:

Drwatson2000 wrote:
The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.
THAT's where I've seen him before -- thank you!
As to your comment about Miss Marple being needed (or Poirot, for that matter), Christie actually wrote quite a few mysteries that didn't feature Poirot, Miss Marple OR Tuppence and Tommy. THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD is one that comes to mind, I'll have to check for others. 

 


 

You don't have to look very far.  Both Easy to Kill/Murder is Easy and Why Didn't They Ask Evans/The Boomerang Clue, upcoming in this Marple series, did not feature any of Christie's regular sleuths (unless you count Superintendant Battle).
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Re: Six by Agatha: PBS MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!


dulcinea3 wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:

Drwatson2000 wrote:
The butler played James Ryder in the Jeremy Brett version of the Blue Carbuncle. His name is Ken Campbell. I actually did not mind Pocket full of Rye but I will not watch anything that has Miss Marple shoved into it like "why didn't they ask Evans". Does Christie's relative belive that people will not watch if Marple is not in it. Bobby Jones is a fine character and deseves to be on his own along with Frankie in solving their mystery. they do not need an old woman and various other invented characters to mess up the story line.

Ok, thanks. Still doesn't tell me where I've heard his voice before. Never seen the Blue Carbuncle, and the name doesn't ring a bell. (shrug)


 

Maybe a peek at his wikipedia entry will give you a clue.  He seemed familiar to me, too, and after reading it, I think it must have been his appearance as a particularly obnoxious guest on an episode of Fawlty Towers.  From the photo, it looks like his eyebrows were indeed real!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Campbell

 

He also has passed away since acting in this mystery.

Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 07-08-2009 10:08 AM

BINGO! FawltyTowers. That was it, thank you. Isn't it nice when odd bits finaly lock down in one's brain?

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Murder is Easy/Easy to Kill (***SPOILERS!!!***)

*** SPOILERS BELOW!!!  BEWARE!!! ***

 

 

 

I finished Easy to Kill (Murder is Easy) last night, and am having fun speculating on how they are going to work Miss Marple into the story.  I hope they won't just replace Luke with her, because then we would miss out on the romance aspect.  Somehow, I just can't imagine a love affair between Miss Marple and Bridget!  And we would also lose the motivation for the attempted murder at the end.  I was thinking at first that maybe she would replace Miss Wayneflete, but they can't to that, for obvious reasons.  And Miss Fullerton is killed almost right at the beginning of the story.  I guess they'll just have to add her as another character that's not in the book at all.  Will it all take place in St. Mary Meade, so that she can be a local?  Will she be visiting somebody in Wychwood?

 

Oh, dear, I just read this on wikipedia:

An adaptation, with the inclusion of Miss Marple (played by Julia McKenzie), was adapted for the fourth season of Marple. It deviated significantly from the novel by removing, adding, and changing characters, adding subplots, and changing the murderer's motives. :smileymad:

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becke_davis
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Re: Murder is Easy/Easy to Kill (***SPOILERS!!!***)

Oh dear. I hate it when they do that. Before I read the end of your post, I was thinking they'd make Miss Marple a friend of Miss Fullerton, out to avenge her friend's death. Now I'm nervous about this episode. I really liked the Bill Bixby version, even though I think it also deviated from the plot (I haven't seen it in years). I'll give it a chance, but I'll be disappointed if they go too far off the original plot.

 

Rats, I was hoping the Miss Marple ones would be accurate, like most of the Joan Hickson ones were. I'm thrilled with the new Poirots, at least. I'll watch this to see how it goes, but my fingers will be crossed!