ITV are showing a series of Marple stories, beginning with “The Secret’s of Chimneys” – a story about the history and mystery in an old country house belonging to the Revel family.
A small weekend party is held in honour of an Austrian Count. As affairs of state become entangled with the scandalous history of the house and family, emotions are running high. When a guest is found dying, Marple helps the Chief Inspector to see that personal lives, rather than mineral deals, may be at the heart of the matter.
Julia McKenzie plays a shrewish and gentle Miss Marple, who is never far from her knitting needles. Julia said of her interpretation of the role:
Agatha Christie wrote Jane Marple in two different ways. When she first invented the character she was a more fragile, rather Victorian soul. Then she rewrote her about 10 years later and she came up a bit tweedier and more solid. I’ve really gone for the latter one because of the modern audience. I think, for her age, Miss Marple is quite a modern woman. She’s certainly got a tremendous intelligence and intellect that I have had to work hard at! But, I’ve based most of her on the fact that she’s a woman who’s very much of her period but also modern.
Stunning costumes from the 1920’s bring this production to life and illustrate the changing position of women, who had begun to wear trousers and drive cars. Old money concerns, however, still turn around inheritance and running costs, making the character of “Bundle” a perfect bridge between old and new.
The television film departs significantly from the original plot of the novel, so avid Christie fans are still in store for a surprise when the production goes out on air.
Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Secrets of Chimneys will air on ITV1 at 8pm on 27th December 2010.
Julia McKenzie (The Philadelphia Story, Sweeney Todd, Cranford, Notes on a Scandal) as Miss Marple
Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood, The Street) as Anthony Cade
Michelle Collins (Hotel Babylon, EastEnders) as Tredwell
Stephen Dillane (Macbeth, The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall) as Chief Inspector Battle
Edward Fox (Oliver Twist, Day of the Jackal) as Lord Caterham
Adam Godley (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Cor Blimey!) as George Lomax
Anthony Higgins (Judge John Deed) as Count Ludwig von Stainach
Mathew Horne (Gavin and Stacey, Horne and Cordon) as Bill Eversleigh
Ruth Jones (The Street, Gavin and Stacey) as Miss Blenkinsopp
Dervla Kirwan (Law & Order: UK, Doctor Who) as Lady Bundle Revel
Charlotte Salt (Tudors, Beowulf) as Lady Virginia Revel
Executive Producers Michele Buck, Damien Timmer, Mary Durkun
Chairman Agatha Christie Ltd Mathew Prichard
Director John Strickland
Producer Karen Thrussell
Writer Paul Rutman
Production Designer Jeff Tessler
Line Producer Matthew Hamilton
Costume Designer Sheena Naiper
Casting Director Susie Parriss
Art Directors Paul Gilpin, Miranda Cull