Friday, 22 July 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced

The third instalment in BBC1's Miss 
Marple series was first broadcast in the 
winter of 1985, and was repeated on the 
Drama channel last night. 
The producers were mindful of the criticism levelled at Margaret Rutherford's comedic portrayal of Jane Marple in four films in the 1960's, and specified that their version of 
the character remained strictly as written.
Published in 1950, the book (the fourth Marple mystery) was billed as Agatha Christie's fiftieth novel, and was faithfully adapted here by Alan Plater. 
This three-part serial again starred the
79 year old actress Joan Hickson as the definitive Marple (forty years after being recommended for the part by Christie herself), and fourteen Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Samantha Bond (Julia) played Miss Wormwood in The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane and Enemy of the Bane, then voiced Mother Baroque for Big Finish's The Scapegoat (2009)
  • Simon Shepherd (Patrick) starred in the The Serpent Crest stories (AudioGo, all 2011): Tsar Wars (as Boolin), The Broken Crown (as Mr. Bewley), and Aladdin Time (as the Magician)
  • Elaine Ives-Cameron (Hannah) was Martha in The Stones of Blood
  • Ralph Michael (the Colonel) was Balaton in The Pirate Planet
  • Sylvia Sims (Mrs Easterbrook) was Lady Pritchard in Ghost Light
  • Carry On actress Joan Sims (Miss Murgatroyd) was Katryca in The Mysterious Planet
  • Liz Crowther (Myrna) voiced Tessa Waylund for Something Inside (BF, 2003)
  • David Collings (Reverand Harmon) was Vorus in Revenge of the Cybermen, Poul in The Robots of Death, and took the titular role in Mawdryn Undead, then voiced an Unbound Doctor for Full Fathom Five (BF, 2003) and Rosato for The King of Sontar (BF, 2014)
  • production manager Alan Wareing worked on the classic series as a production assistant on The Keeper of Traken and manager on Timelash, then directed The Greatest Show in the GalaxyGhost Light and Survival
  • production designer Raymond Cusick (pictured in 1964) was assigned to The Daleks to bring Terry Nation's creations to life, and designed sets for nine other early serials
  • cinematographer Peter Hall was a film cameraman on The Seeds of DeathThe Space PiratesColony in SpaceTerror of the Zygons and Logopolis
  • Joanna Newbery was AFM on Time and the Rani too
  • series film recordist Malcolm Campbell was sound recordist on The Caves of Androzani and The Twin Dilemma
  • John Taylor was the boom operator on The Five Doctors too
The BBC Radio 4 treatment of A Murder Is Announced was first transmitted in 
five weekly parts in 1999, and featured June Whitfield and four further Doctor 
Who cast links:
  • Graham Crowden (Clithering) was Soldeed in The Horns of Nimon
  • Judy Cornwell (Miss Bunner) was Maddy in Paradise Towers
  • Jenny Funnell (Mitzi) voiced Veronica Buchman for Wirrn Isle (BF, 2012), and Reaver for The King of Sontar
  • Joanna McCallum (Laura) voiced The Bursar for Night Thoughts (BF, 2006)
Another stage production toured the UK last year with Louise Jameson
 in the lead with:
  • Jo Castleton (Letitia) appeared in the spin-off video dramas Auton 2 (1998), Auton 3 (1999), and Zygon (2008), then voiced Lady Sarah for The Marian Conspiracy (BF, 2000) and Sciencetech Vi Kruger for Dark Eyes 2 (BF, 2014)
  • Ben Roddy (Edmund) voiced Operations for The Nowhere Place (BF, 2006)
A national theatrical run in 2013 starred Katy Manning (as Letitia 
Blacklock) with:
  • Gearaldine Newman (Marple) voiced Eliza for The Wishing Beast (BF, 2007) and Lady Sybil for The Doomwood Curse (BF, 2008)
  • Gemma Bissix voiced Aglae for The Fires of Vulcan (BF, 2000)
  • John D Collins was Talor in Arc of Infinity

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