Hi there folks! Happy 2013!
As we wait, ever so impatiently, for updates on the airing of the new series of Agatha Christie’s Marple and Agatha Christie’s Poirot, here is some of the latest information for you wonderful fans the world over:
Filming is underway on the final series of Poirot. Star David Suchet has wrapped on Elephants Can Remember and Curtain, the former featuring the return of Zoë Wanamaker as Mrs. Oliver and a cast including Iain Glen and Greta Scacchi (who previously played Tuppence Beresford in an instalment of Marple). The latter, bringing recurring cast David Yelland as George and Hugh Fraser as Hastings, also features Helen Baxendale, Shaun Dingwall, and Anne Reid.
Suchet has suggested that the episodes won’t air until much, much later in the year – and possibly some running over to 2014. Filming will continue over the next few months on Dead Man’s Folly, The Labours of Hercules, and The Big Four, which – Suchet has confirmed – will feature the return of Philip Jackson as Japp and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon. Reports suggest that “The Lemesurier Inheritance”, the only short story not filmed during the early years of the series, will be incorporated into the plot of Hercules. Given that short story collection is being transformed into one 2-hour film, some elements will obviously be missing, but it’s nice to know that Suchet will have filmed the entire canon – in spirit at least! (Last year, he participated in a reading of the original Poirot play, Black Coffee.)
Meanwhile, filming has wrapped on two of the three Marple stories. Greenshaw’s Folly – an amalgamation of two short stories – will feature a stellar cast including Julia Sawalha and Fiona Shaw. A Caribbean Mystery – the last of the Marple novels to be adapted in this series – stars Anthony Sher, Oliver Ford Davies, and Hermione Norris.
Marple star Julia McKenzie will return to the role in March, filming Endless Night, an adaptation of a non-Marple novel. Since this is the end of McKenzie’s original contract, any future series would need to be renegotiated. However, given that Poirot is about to end, and that the series has now completed all the Marple novels, it’s reasonable to speculate that the series might come to a graceful end at this point too.
So, we have a few months to go until we get to watch any of these gems. All I can recommend is — head back and watch the older ones! See my list of her books, and list of her adaptations, and get caught up on anything you haven’t seen. Go on, don’t just stand there – read the Dame!