Saturday, 9 June 2018

Doctor Who Vs. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: The Body in the Library

The Queen of Crime's second Marple
mystery (her thirty-first novel) was 
published in 1942, and was the first 
story adapted for the BBC's acclaimed 
Miss Marple TV series.
After appearing in the stage version
of Christie's Appointment With Death
 in 1945, Joan Hickson (1906-1998)
received a note from the writer that
read "I hope one day you will play 
my dear Miss Marple."
The Body in the Library was first
shown over three consecutive nights 
at Christmas 1984, and introduced 
Hickson in the definitive portrayal of
 Marple (she had starred opposite
Margaret Rutherford's Jane Marple in Murder She Said in 1961).
The Hampshire village of Nether Wallop doubled as the fictional St. Mary
Mead, and the series endured until 1992. The serial was shown again
on the Alibi channel today, and featured fifteen Doctor Who cast and
crew connections:

  • Moray Watson (Bantry) was Sir Robert Muir in Black Orchid
  • Valentine Dyall (Lorrimer) first appeared as the Black Guardian in The Armageddon Factor, then the trilogy of season 20 stories
  • Frederick Jaeger (Colonel Melchett) was Jano (pictured) in The Savages, Sorenson in Planet of Evil, and Professor Marius in The Invisible Enemy
  • Hugh Walters (Prescott) was William Shakespeare in The Chase, Runcible in The Deadly Assassin, Vogel in Revelation of the Daleks, and voiced Roderick Allingham for Big Finish's The Fearmonger (2002)
  • Keith Drinkel (Gaskell) was Roger Scobie in Time Flight, and voiced Henry Hallam for Catch 1782 (2005), and the Cinder for Frostfire (2007)
  • Martyn Read (McLean) was a Security Guard in Silver Nemesis
  • Stephen Churchett (Reeve) was Bill in Attack of the Cybermen
  • Astra Sheridan (Pamela) was a Yellow Kang in Paradise Towers
  • Karen Seacombe (Florrie) was Sandra in The Lodger, and Meg in The Woman Who Lived
  • Arthur Bostrom (Bartlett) voiced Arken for Scaredy Cat (2005)
  • for cinematographer John Walker and film recordist Bill Chesneau, see my blog for A Pocketful of Rye
  • Bernard Ashby was also the editor on Arc of Infinity
  • Austin Ruddy was production designer on The Face of Evil too
  • Jan Wright was also costume designer on The Two Doctors
The cast of the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Body in the Library
 (May 1999) was again led by June Whitfield, with classic era co-stars:
  • Ricahard Todd (Melchett) played Sanders in Kinda
  • Graham Crowden (Clithering) was Soldeed in The Horns of Nimon
  • Jack Watling (Bantry) played Professor Travers in The Abominable SnowmenThe Web of Fear and Downtime

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