Agatha Christie-Marple-The Body in the Library (2004)

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Released 7-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 93:54 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Andy Wilson

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geraldine McEwan
Ian Richardson
Tara Fitzgerald
Jamie Theakston
Giles Oldershaw
Florence Hoath
Joanna Lumley
James Fox
Simon Callow
Ben Miller
Emma Cooke
Robin Soans
Bruce Mackinnon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Dominik Scherrer

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Agatha Christie created two of the most enduring characters in crime fiction, Hercule Poirot & Miss Jane Marple. Both of these characters have recently been brought to life again in a series of four Granada Television telemovies each. The Poirot ones arrived first and were followed by these ones featuring Miss Marple. Both series were shown on ABC television here in Australia and both have been released as a series of DVDs by Roadshow.

    As you would expect from Agatha Christie, all four of these new Miss Marple (played here by the wonderful Geraldine McEwan) stories are full of murder, twists, lies, red herrings and deceptions. It is impossible to describe the plot in detail without giving away the story and spoiling the twists. Accordingly, for each movie I will describe the crime and the main characters involved.

    The Body in the Library starts with the finding of a body in the library of Gossington Hall, the country home of a friend of Miss Marple, Dolly Bantry (Joanna Lumley) and her slightly dotty husband Colonel Arthur Bantry (James Fox). The story is set in the early 1950s.No-one in the house seems to know the young blonde girl or how she came to be dead in their library. Dolly calls Miss Marple in to investigate.

    The other characters who become involved are:

    An enjoyable Agatha Christie mystery well presented by a quality cast. It has a good twist at the end. Recommended for fans of this style of mystery.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good but not quite as good as you might expect for such a recent production.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although certainly not crisp. The sharpness was also affected by light grain throughout. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was very good.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefacts were some small bits of edge enhancement and some very occasional specks.

    There are no subtitles which is disappointing.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand, however, some lines were difficult to make out. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Dominik Scherrer is very good indeed, surprisingly so for a television production. It adds significantly to the mood of the show. The music sounds very warm and full.

    The surround speakers were used quite extensively for music when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

    The subwoofer was used to add bass to the music but this was more a function of my amp's bass management than anything else.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu was very simple only allowing for scene selection. Music plays over a still from the show.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The set of four movies are available as a box set in Region 1 which includes the following special features:

    As the local releases include no extras, this is obviously a better solution.


    A fun and intriguing murder mystery featuring the famous Miss Marple played wonderfully by Geraldine McEwan.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has no extras..

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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