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The Case of the Middle-Aged Wife is the first episode in the television series The Agatha Christie Hour. The episode was transmitted on September 7, 1982. The adaptor was Freda Kelsall and the director was Michael Simpson. The episode was an adaptation of the original story of the same name from the collection Parker Pyne Investigates.


Maria Packington is deeply unhappy when her husband begins to take an interest a pretty young typist in his office. She approaches Parker Pyne for help. This film adaptation is highly faithful to the original story but with some additional characters.

Comparison with original story[]

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The film adaptation is highly faithful to the original story with only a few changes and some additional characters. The conversations in the original story are all faithfully carried.

The arguments between George and Maria over Nancy are only mentioned in the story but these are dramatised. Also dramatised are conversations between George and Nancy, mostly where she hints she needs money for various household problems like a broken door lock, or that she has nothing suitable to wear.

Miss Lemon is given a larger role in the show than in the original story--she gets some of the lines originally allocated to Parker Pyne and she makes calls to supervise Claude when he is executing "Schedule A".

There is an additional character of Eric who is the boyfriend of Nancy (she has the surname Purvis in the show). In the story, Nancy has some brothers who run up various expenses and George has been giving Nancy money for this. It was not suggested that this was a scam. In the show, Nancy's story of staying with her brother is fake. She is shown in bed with Eric and they actively conspire how to milk more money out of George with various tales of hardship.

The characters of Edna and Miss Draper are added.

Instead of the Lesser Archangel and the Red Admiral nightclub, the scene of action here is always the Aphrodite. Parker Pyne influences George to go to the Aphrodite with Nancy by asking the manager Mr Cornelius to send an invitation to George to join the club as part of a membership drive. There Parker Pyne has arranged for Claude to be dancing with Maria.



Gwen Watford as Maria Packington