Julia McKenzie plays Miss Marple in the 2-hour television adaptation of “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” for ITV1.
Written by Patrick Barlow, the TV film follows the adventures of Bobby Attfield (Sean Biggerstaff) and aristocrat, Frankie Derwent (Georgia Moffett). When Bobby hears the last words of a dying man, who exclaims “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”, he is determined to investigate the circumstances of the man’s death. A mysterious attempt on Bobby’s life convinces the young man that he is on to an important lead – but the danger also piques the interest of the reckless socialite, Frankie.
Watchful Miss Marple follows the investigation without treading on the toes of the sweethearts-to-be. The clues lead all three to the grand Castle Savage. Inside the grand house, the highly strung inhabitants act out their frustrations through unusual hobbies and misguided affections. From rare orchids to vipers, drugs and psychiatrists – emotions are amplified by the activities at the country home. Miss Marple and Frankie must unravel the enigma of the nameless man’s death before the tensions in the house get too high.
Marple takes something of a back seat in this episode, until the very final scene where she folds her knitting needles and diffuses the murderous situation. What becomes apparent is something that viewers cannot have surmised from the preceding scenes – a thick history of twisted family neglect and betrayal.
Rik Mayall makes a big splash in this episode – see if you can spot him without looking at the cast list below.
The Castle Savage scenes were largely filmed at Losely Park nr Guildford – a 16th century stately home in Surrey belonging to the More-Molyneux family. The main hall inside was filmed at a private house outside of St Albans and the bedroom was built as a set in Pinewood.
Marple “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” airs at 8pm on 15th June 2011 on ITV1 for UK viewers only.
Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple
Sean Biggerstaff as Bobby Attfield
Samantha Bond as Sylvia Savage
Richard Briers as Wilson
Warren Clarke as Commander Peters
Natalie Dormer as Moira Nicholson
Freddie Fox as Tom Savage
Helen Lederer as the Vicar’s Wife, Mrs Attfield
Rik Mayall as Dr Nicholson
Georgia Moffett as Frankie Derwent
Hannah Murray as Dorothy Savage
Rafe Spall as Roger Bassington
Mark Williams as Claud Evans
Director: Nick Renton
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Written by: Patrick Barlow