Agatha Christie's Marple

The Pale Horse

Series 5 - Episode 1 The Pale Horse

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Review

A new version of Agatha Christie’s mystery The Pale Horse, written by Sarah Phelps, is due on BBC1 in 2020, with stars Rufus Sewell and Bertie Carvel, but here’s ITV’s 2010 adaptation, with Miss Marple. Though she wasn’t in the original 1961 novel. 

Surely that can’t be Nicholas “Just a Minute” Parsons, dressed as a priest, creeping through the London fog? 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. 

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.

Summary

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 & Crew

Miss Marple Julia McKenzie
Father Gorman Nicholas Parsons
Mrs Coppins Lynda Baron
Mrs Davis Elizabeth Rider
Paul Osbourne JJ Feild
Bertie Jodie Hay
Dr Kerrigan Jason Merrells
Inspector Lejeune Neil Pearson
Mark Easterbrook Jonathan Cake
Mr Venables Nigel Planer
Bella Jenny Galloway
Sybil Stamfordis Susan Lynch
Thyrza Grey Pauline Collins
Captain Cottam Tom Ward
Lydia Harsnet Sarah Alexander
Kanga Holly Valance
Ginger Corrigan Amy Manson
Chief Mummer Mike Shepherd
Goody Carne Holly Willoughby
Thomasina Tuckerton Julia Molony
Bradley Bill Paterson
Director Andy Hay
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton
Executive Producer Mathew Prichard
Executive Producer Mary Durkan
Executive Producer Michele Buck
Executive Producer Damien Timmer
Producer Matthew Hamilton
Producer Jennie Scanlon
Series Producer Karen Thrussell
Writer Russell Lewis
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Drama