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A Caribbean Mystery is a BBC TV adaptation starring Joan Hickson was shown in 1989 version as part of the series Miss Marple. Donald Pleasence co-starred as Jason Rafiel. It was the second adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. Directed by Christopher Petit with screenplay by T. R. Bowen, the episode was the 10th in the series and first aired on 25 December 1989.

This episode was broadcast after Nemesis, even though the novel was published (and the events take place) before Nemesis. "Nemesis" makes mention of characters and events in "A Caribbean Mystery".

Synopsis

While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.

Comparison with Original Story

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

The setting is changed from St. Honore to Barbados and there are some minor changes to the characters but otherwise the adaptation is quite faithful to the original story:

  • Minor characters such as the Prescotts and Señora de Caspearo are removed.
  • The backstories of some other characters are adjusted but not in any way which affects the main premise. Edward Hillington and Greg Dyson here are actually both entomologists and work jointly on expeditions, most recently at St. Kitts and Nevis.
  • Likewise, Major Palgrave was an ex-military man but here he entered the colonial police after leaving the military. He had just done a stint in the St. Kitts and Nevis police. His photo of the murderer comes from his time in the police.

Cast

Mentioned

  • Mary Dyson
  • Sandersons

Filming locations

A Caribbean Mystery was shot on location at the Coral Reef Hotel in Barbados, where Christie had stayed in her visit to the country, and which had been the inspiration for the setting of the novel. Owners Budge and Cynthia O'Hara, who still owned the hotel 30 years later, were the inspirations for the characters in the novel and were able to share a treasure trove of Christie memorabilia with the cast.

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