There's nothing like a good murder when you're ill, and the last few days have passed most agreeably with the new Marples starring Geraldine McEwan and Lots of Famous People.
Now, don't get me wrong. These aren't *good* television. They are shoddy. Oh, everything looks lovely, but the overall tone is Grown-Up Pantomime. Gone is any sense of menace, or creeping evil. Instead:
DASHING YOUNG MAN: Lord, but I'm a rotter! (drinks whisky)
BRIGHT YOUNG GIRL: Goodness me, I'm fashionable but heartless (smokes cigarette)
FRANCES DE LA TOUR: I'm too famous for this cameo, you know.
MOUSY GIRL: I'm so dowdy.
KEITH ALLEN: Fuck me, I'm playing the copper. I'll whisper menacingly.
STEVEN BERKOFF: And I'm the creepy lawyer. Yum. Yum.
MARPLE: Dodder, dodder, twinkle, twinkle. Smug.
DASHING YOUNG MAN: Miss Marple, why don't I put on a cardigan and do some investigating?
BRIGHT YOUNG GIRL: And I'll change into something very tight-waisted and smoke erotically.
MARPLE: I'll just sit in the corner knitting. I know everything. I won't stop anyone being killed, though.
FAMOUS CORPSE: Look at me! I'm very famous! And I'm just playing a dead body! How brilliant is that! See me not breathing.
JOANNA LUMLEY: I'm playing Marple's best friend. I promise not to steal a single scene. Whoops, apart from that one. Oopsie, and that one. Silly me. Look at all the simply lovely hats I'm wearing.
ROBERT HARDY: I'm still alive. And still doing Winston Churchill cameos.
[ Strangely old-fashioned scene change ]
MARPLE: Well, the murder was committed by someone very famous.
MOUSY GIRL: Goodness! I'll let down my hair and become beautiful.
BRIGHT YOUNG GIRL: How lovely. Let's be lesbians!
DASHING YOUNG MAN: Brilliant! And I'm no longer a rotter.
MARPLE: I'd like to smugly hint at a secret sadness by staring at my picture of Marc Warren in a moustache.