Monday, 19 December 2016

Doctor Who Vs. MGM's Miss Marple Films

Dame Margaret Rutherford OBE (1892-1972)
portrayed Agatha Christie's indomitable sleuth,
Jane Marple in four features for MGM, between
1961 and 1964 (plus an uncredited cameo in 
The Alphabet Murders in 1965). George Pollock 
directed the quartet of films, which all co-starred Charles Tingwell (as Inspector Craddock) and Rutherford's husband, Stringer Davies (whom 
she married in 1945) as a comic foil akin to 
Nigel Bruce's Dr. Watson.
Murder She Said, the first and finest of the series,
was the only one based on an actual Marple mystery,
4.50 From Paddington (published in 1957 and known in America as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!). Guest star Joan Hickson went on to play Miss Marple for the BBC's acclaimed adaptation twenty-three years later. The works of another
Christie creation, Hercule Poirot, actually inspired the next two films. Murder 
At The Gallop was based on After The Funeral (US: Funerals Are Fatal, 1953), and Murder Most Foul (which even referenced The Mousetrap and The Ninth 
Life, a fictional Christie work) was adapted from Mrs. McGinty's Dead (US:
Blood Will Tell, 1952). 
Christie dedicated her 1963 novel, The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side,
to Rutherford, who later won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award
for The VIPs. An original screenplay was then provided for Murder Ahoy
but a  proposed fifth installment (based on The Body In The Library) was 
never filmed.
The third feature was shown again on the Drama channel yesterday, and
all four films featured twenty-one future Doctor Who cast connections:

Murder, She Said (1961)
  • Gerald Cross (Albert here; Dimchurch in Murder Ahoy) provided the voice of the Megara for The Stones of Blood
  • Barbara Leake (Helen) was Mrs. Farrell in Terror of the Autons
  • Richard Briers (Binster) was the Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers
  • Peter Butterworth (Ticket Collector) played the Meddling Monk in The Time Meddler and The Daleks' Master Plan
  • Aileen Lewis (Passenger) was an Extra in (episode 6 of) The Silurians
Murder At The Gallop (1963)
  • Duncan Lamont (Hillman) was Dan Galloway in Death to the Daleks
  • Kevin Stoney (Dr. Markwell) was Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan, Tobias Vaughn in The Invasion, and Tyrum in Revenge of the Cybermen
  • Roger Avon (Photographer) was Saphadin in The Crusade, Daxtar in The Daleks' Master Plan: The Traitors, and Wells in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD
Murder Most Foul (1964)
  • Ron Moody (Cosgood) voiced the Duke of Wellington for Big Finish's Other Lives (2005)
  • Ralph Michael (Summers) was Balaton in The Pirate Planet
  • Windsor Davies (Sgt. Brick here; Dragbot in The Alphabet Murders) was Toby in The Evil of the Daleks
  • Neil Stacy (Arthur) voiced Major Haggard for The Emerald Tiger (BF, 2012)
  • James Bolam (Hanson) voiced Sir Archibald Flint for The Spectre of Lanyon Moor (BF, 2000)
  • Maurice Good (Rowton) was Phineas Clanton in The Gunfighters
  • Sydney Arnold (Vicar) was Cedric Perkins in The Highlanders
  • Eric Francis (Stage Manager) was the First Elder in The Sensorites
  • Arthur Howell (Constable) was a Confederate Horseman in (episode 3 of) The War Games 
Murder Ahoy! (1964)
  • William Mervyn (Breeze-Connington) was Sir Charles Summer in The War Machines
  • Nicholas Parsons (Dr. Crump) was Reverend Wainwright in The Curse of Fenric
  • Roy Holder (Petty Officer) was Krelper in The Caves of Androzani
  • Ivor Salter (Sergeant) was the Morok Commander in The Space Museum, Odysseus in The Myth Makers, and Sergeant Markham in Black Orchid
The Alphabet Murders (based on The ABC Murders, 1936) starred Tony Randall 
as Poirot, and Doctor Who guest actors Maurice Denham, Clive Morton, Cyril Luckham, Patrick Newell, Sheila Reid and Julian Glover

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