Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Dame Joan Hickson is not the first actress to play Miss Jane Marple on television, but because she was the first to do so on a somewhat regular basis, she is the official portrayal of Miss Marple in Earth Prime-Time.  If you're interested in where all of the others are situated, you can click here and here.

Once Dame Joan retired from the role, Geraldine McEwan was cast in the part to be followed by Julia MacKenzie when she retired.  And with each of those major Recastaways, the new adaptations were moved off to other TV dimensions (each to a Toobworld where two incarnations of another three-time Recastaway were waiting for both of them.)

But I thought it best to find some other splainin for other recastaways in the first series with Joan Hickson rather than splintering her full collection into other dimensions.

A case in point would be Miss Marple's nephew, Raymond West.

From Wikipedia:

Miss Marple never married and her closest living relatives are her nephews and nieces. Her nephew, the well-known author Raymond West and his wife Joan (initially Joyce) crop up most commonly in her stories. 

Raymond West is a fictional character who appears in several of Agatha Christie's novels featuring Jane Marple. He is a well known author and Marple's nephew. He is not interested in Marple's cases. But in some novels (like "A Caribbean Mystery" and "At Bertram's Hotel") he supports Marple financially. His wife Joan (née Lemprière), an artist, is also sympathetic to Marple.

In "The Thirteen Problems", his future wife's name was given as Joyce, not Joan. Raymond's mother was one of three girls, with Marple being the eldest and his mother having another sister. This other sister had a daughter, Raymond's cousin Mabel Denham, who was accused of murdering her husband, Geoffrey ("The Thirteen Problems").

Raymond and Joan had two sons.

And that's the way it is in BookWorld.

With the TV adaptations, Joan West only appears in one of the three episodes which feature Raymond West.  So there would have been no problem with that first name - Joyce or Joan - which Dame Agatha created.  (If I were in the "Splainin To Do" business with regards to BookWorld, I would just say Joyce was a previous fiancee and for whatever reason, they were no longer together and so Raymond eventually married Joan.)

Her husband Raymond is another kettle of fish.....

In the Joan Hickson series of "Marple" episodes, he was played by two different actors:

Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder (1987) 
Played by David McAlister

Miss Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (1989) 
Played by T.R. Bowen

Miss Marple: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (1992) 
Played by T.R. Bowen 

Even though McAlister was the original Raymond West, and Toobworld Central usually dictates that the first is the official version, T.R. Bowen played the role more, even if by only one episode.  I'm determined to keep all of these episodes in Earth Prime-Time, so I'm not about to jettison either the first one or the last two into some alternate TV dimension.  Another splainin will have to be found.

There have always been options for Recastaways when it comes to splainins - quantum leaping, android and alien replacements, magic, and plastic surgery.  Even though plastic surgery is the more believable splainin for a show rooted in a mundane believability, as you can see there doesn't seem to be a valid basis for plastic surgery; the change in bone structure alone would have been too radical.  

And while those other three splainins are too far out, I'm going to go with an even more outrageous as to how Raymond West was transformed.

It was all due to that cosmic reboot of the TV timeline as seen in the first season finale of 'Primeval'.  

In Episode Six of the series, Helen Cutter stepped through an anomaly and did something in the remote past to have changed Earth Prime-Time, including with the way people looked.  Some people and events were wiped out of existence including President Henry Ford McNeil and the Chicago Cubs/Boston Red Sox World Series from the early 1970s.  ('Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' and 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' respectively.)  And as we have seen in 'Journeyman', a change in the timeline could cause a different person being born - in his new timeline, Dan Vasser lost his son Zack who was replaced by a daughter, Caroline.  It's all about which of those plucky little swimmers reaches the egg first.

And that's what happened in the case of Raymond West.  In the new timeline, Miss Marple's sister and her husband Mr. West, altered their love-making by just enough so that it was a different sperm that fertilized the egg.  He was still born a boy and given the same name Mr, & Mrs. West would have already decided upon, no matter the TV dimension.  But he no longer looked as he once did in the original timeline.

And that, Inspector, is Merrydew's solution.......  

(Ooops.  Mixing up the Multiversals.....!)

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