Agatha Christie's Marple

Series 5 - 1. The Pale Horse

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Surely that can’t be Nicholas “Just a Minute” Parsons, dressed as a priest, creeping through the London fog at the start of another Miss Marple mystery? Yes it is, though he doesn’t last long; he’s coshed on the head and murdered, minutes after taking the final confession of a dying woman who slips him a bit of paper. Without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

ITV played fast and loose with this adaptation from last year as Miss Marple wasn’t in Christie’s original 1961 novel, The Pale Horse. And it’s a barmy story, as mad as a box of frogs and possibly a box of snakes, too.

Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie), a friend of the deceased cleric, decides to join the hunt for the killer and arrives at the Pale Horse Inn, which holds the key to the mystery.
Everyone goes out of their way to attract suspicion, including the pub’s owner (played by the splendid Pauline Collins) and its ragbag of weirdo guests, the usual Christie bunch of shifty toffs, scholars and lower-middle-class domestics. What follows is a weird mishmash of murder and Aleister Crowley-lite witchcraft.

About this programme

1/4. The sleuth investigates the murder of her old friend Father Gorman, using a list of names sent by the priest moments before his death to bring the guilty party to justice. Following a trail of clues to London, Marple is drawn to the Pale Horse Inn - where she discovers a sinister world of occult practices. Drama, starring Julia McKenzie in the title role, with Lynda Baron, Pauline Collins, Nicholas Parsons and Neil Pearson.

Cast and crew


Miss Marple
Julia McKenzie
Father Gorman
Nicholas Parsons
Mrs Coppins
Lynda Baron
Mrs Davis
Elizabeth Rider
Paul Osbourne
JJ Feild
Jodie Hay
Dr Kerrigan
Jason Merrells
Inspector Lejeune
Neil Pearson
Mark Easterbrook
Jonathan Cake
Mr Venables
Nigel Planer
Jenny Galloway
Sybil Stamfordis
Susan Lynch
Thyrza Grey
Pauline Collins
Captain Cottam
Tom Ward
Lydia Harsnet
Sarah Alexander
Holly Valance
Ginger Corrigan
Amy Manson
Chief Mummer
Mike Shepherd
Goody Carne
Holly Willoughby
Thomasina Tuckerton
Julia Molony
Bill Paterson


Andy Hay
Executive Producer
Rebecca Eaton
Executive Producer
Mathew Prichard
Executive Producer
Mary Durkan
Executive Producer
Michele Buck
Executive Producer
Damien Timmer
Matthew Hamilton
Jennie Scanlon
Series Producer
Karen Thrussell
Russell Lewis