Thursday, January 24, 2008


Geraldine McEwan announced that she would be retiring from the role of Miss Jane Marple, whom she has portrayed on ITV since 2003 in 12 TV movies. The network and Chorion (which owns the rights to the character created by Agatha Christie) will now look for a new actress to carry on the role.

Ms. McEwan was not the first actress to play the role on Television; that honor would go to Gracie Fields in a 1951 episode of 'The Goodyear Playhouse'. As "A Murder Is Announced" was a one-shot, I'm making the judgement call that it should be relegated to some alternate TV dimension, even though it was the first version of the character.
The Miss Marple for the main Toobworld should be that of Joan Hickson, who did a series of adaptations beginning in the 1980s. Many consider her version to be the definitive portrayal, and Dame Agatha herself once expressed hope that Ms. Hickson would one day play her "dear Miss Marple".

In the 1980s, Helen Hayes also portrayed Miss Marple in two TV movies. I'm thinking that these would fit in nicely in the alternate dimension of Earth Prime-Time/MOTW. That's the universe of the Movies of the Week which have a different line of succession for the President of the United States than is generally accepted in the many Toobworlds.

Ms. McEwan's performances as Miss Marple (which seem to number the same as Ms. Hickson's - a dozen in all) can take their place in the mirror universe which is sometime called the Evil Toobworld. Nothing says that the counterparts to established characters had to be evil themselves, merely the world in which they lived.

As for Gracie Fields' single outing as Miss Marple, I always have a soft spot for populating the alternate dimension of 'The West Wing' with other shows, so I may as well keep that tradition going.....

Whoever lands the role of Miss Jane Marple for the next series of mysteries on ITV, they will be inhabiting still another alternate dimension of Toobworld.

Toby OB

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