A Caribbean Mystery is the first episode of the sixth series of Agatha Christie's Marple. It was broadcast on ITV by Granada Television on 16 June 2013. The screenplay was written by Charlie Higson and the episode was directed by Charles Palmer. It was an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.
After a period of ill health, Miss Marple leaves St. Mary Mead for the tropical Caribbean paradise of St Honoré, where an English couple - Tim and Molly Kendall - run a quaint little resort called the Golden Palms. Among the many guests, which include the innocuous Hillingdons, their unseemly American friends the Dysons, and gruff business tycoon Jason Rafiel, is garrulous Major Palgrave, who is friendly to all - much to everyone's chagrin. When Palgrave launches into his infamous storytelling routine one evening, only Miss Marple takes enough interest to listen. Talk quickly turns to murder, and Palgrave coyly asks her if she'd like to see a photograph of a serial killer. But before he can pull it out, he sees something - or someone - and quickly changes the subject. After a night of excessive drink and entertainment, including a voodoo show, Palgrave is found dead in his room the next morning - the cause of death being a heart attack. Sensing his death is no coincidence, Miss Marple takes it upon herself to unravel the secrets of the guests of St. Honoré, intent on finding the one person with a secret worth killing for. But more victims will be claimed, and one suspect will slowly lose their grip on sanity altogether before this Caribbean mystery will be solved.
Comparison with the original story
(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)
Except for a few modifications this adaptation is quite faithful to the original story. As with all adaptations, there are fewer characters but the main ones are retained, sometimes with the backstories slightly altered.
- There are two significant side plots which have only marginal relationships with the main plot:
- Edward Hillingon, here an ornithologist, arranges a lecture with an ornithologist and author James Bond (screenwriter Charlie Higson in a cameo appearance). In the audience is Ian Fleming, who is planning to write a spy novel and is seeking a suitable name for his hero.
- Canon Prescott has a significant and much larger role in this adaptation. See article on Jeremy Prescott for details.
- The theme of voodoo pervades this episode. The hotel puts up a voodoo dance for the guests. A voodoo doll is found near Major Palgrave's body. Mama Zogbe is an additional non-canonical character, a practitioner of the voodoo arts, added to enliven the voodoo theme.
- Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple
- Pippa Bennett-Warner as Victoria
- Charity Wakefield as Molly Kendall
- Robert Webb as Tim Kendall
- Warren Brown as Jackson
- Alastair Mackenzie as Colonel Hillingdon
- Hermione Norris as Evelyn Hillingdon
- Charles Mesure as Greg Dyson
- MyAnna Buring as Lucky Dyson
- Kingsley Ben-Adir as Errol
- Antony Sher as Rafiel
- Montserrat Lombard as Esther Walters
- Oliver Ford Davies as Major Palgrave
- Daniel Rigby as Canon Prescott
- Andrea Dondolo as Mama Zogbe
- Joe Vaz as Sergeant Weston
- Anele Matoti as Inspector Daventry
- Jeremy Crutchley as Ian Fleming
- Charlie Higson as James Bond
Tropes and Themes
Rather than filming in the Caribbean the episode was made in Cape Town, South Africa.