The Body in the Library is the first episode of the TV film series Miss Marple starring Joan Hickson. It was broadcast in three parts by the BBC from 26-28 December 1984. The screenplay was written by T.R. Bowen, and the episode was directed by Silvio Narizzano. It is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.
Amateur detective Miss Jane Marple investigates the murder of a young woman whose body is found in the library at Gossington Hall, home of Colonel and Mrs. Arthur Bantry.
Comparison with original novel
(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)
- The character of Superintendent Harper was omitted.
- Bartlett's car was changed from a Minoan 14 to a Vauxhall Coaster. This was found in a quarry like in the original novel. There was no mention of the person who found it. Here, there is a non-canonical character, Malcolm, who finds it.
- The amount of money left to Ruby was changed from £50,000 to £100,000.
- The clue of the hearthrug is also repeated. In the original, Blake had to get rid of it because spangles from the dead girl's dress got on to it but the police recovered it and linked it to Blake. In the adaptation, there were white hairs on the dress which the police then matched with hairs on the upholstery in Blake's car (he had burnt the rug).
- The clue of the wrong dress: just as in the original, Miss Marple felt that the dead girl (who at that time was thought to be Ruby Keene) was wearing the wrong dress. It was too shabby and worn to be used for the supposed purpose of meeting a boyfriend. In this adaptation there is an additional clue when Miss Marple hears Mozart's Susanna's Aria from the Marriage of Figaro. Susanna was dressed as the countess (i.e. the wrong dress).
- Gwen Watford as Mrs. Bantry
- Moray Watson as Colonel Bantry
- Valentine Dyall as Lorrimer
- Frederick Jaeger as Colonel Melchett
- David Horovitch as Detective Inspector Slack
- Andrew Cruickshank as Conway Jefferson
- Jess Conrad as Raymond Starr
- Trudie Styler as Josie Turner
- Anthony Smee as Basil Blake
- Sally Jane Jackson as Ruby Keene
- Joan Hickson as Miss Marple
- Raymond Francis as Sir Henry Clithering
- Ian Brimble as Detective Constable Lake
- Ciaran Madden as Adelaide Jefferson
- John Moffatt as Edwards
- Keith Drinkel as Mark Gaskell
- Hugh Walters as Mr Prescott
- Martin Read as Hugo McLean
- Debbie Arnold as Dinah Lee
- Andrew Downer as Peter Carmody
- Colin Higgins as Malcolm
- John Bardon as PC Palk
- Arthur Bostrom as George Bartlett
- Sidney Livingstone as Mr Brogan
- Karin Foley as Mary
- Sarah Whitlock as WPC
- Anne Rutter as Mrs Palk
- Kathleen Breck as Bridget
- Astra Sheridan as Pamela Reeve
- Karen Seacombe as Florrie Small
- Stephen Churchett as Major Reeve
- John Evans as Inch (uncredited)
- Mike Mungarvan as Detective Sgt (uncredited)
- Esther, Miss Marple's maid (uncredited)