Agatha Christie-Marple-Murder at the Vicarage (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 93:34 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Charles Palmer

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geraldine McEwan
John Owens
Jana Carpenter
Tim McInnerny
Siobhan Hayes
Rachael Stirling
Julian Morris
Mark Gatiss
Robert Powell
Jane Asher
Janet McTeer
Derek Jacobi
Angela Pleasence
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 Yes
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.

    For something different to the first two I have reviewed Murder at the Vicarage is set in Miss Marple's home town of St Mary Mead and includes some history of Miss Marple's personal life. Also this one does not begin with the murder, in this case it does not occur until half way through the show. However, I don't think it will give away too much to say that the victim is Colonel Prothero (Derek Jacobi), a local judge, owner of a fine house and church warden. He is universally reviled by most members of the community including his wife and daughter. This makes Miss Marple's job even more difficult that usual because no-one is really all that sad when he is killed.

    The other characters who become involved are:

    An enjoyable Agatha Christie mystery well presented by a quality cast. This one has more suspects than the others which adds to the intrigue. 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 good. The grain was worse in this than the other two I have reviewed so far especially in darker scenes such as at 71:00.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefact was some aliasing such as on the wall at 10:05, a vest at 11:30 and a dress at 63:55.

    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 clear and easy to understand and 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. The music sounds very warm and full and adds significantly to the mood of the show.

    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?)
Friday, June 03, 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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