The Moving Finger is the second episode of the second series of Agatha Christie's Marple. It was broadcast on ITV by Granada Television on 12 February 2006. The screenplay was written by Kevin Elyot, and the episode was directed by Tom Shankland. It was an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name although originally Miss Marple only came in halfway through.
When troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna relocate to the quiet little village of Lymstock in order to allow Jerry to recuperate from injuries received in what he claims is a motorcycle accident, they are expecting nothing more than country sleepiness and tedium. Much to their surprise, however, they find themselves embroiled in the middle of scandal and secrets; someone is sending vicious poison-pen letters to the residents. A local dignitary has already taken his own life over the letters, and it's not long before local gossip Mona Symmington also commits suicide after receiving a letter. But when the letter-writer apparently resorts to murder, Jerry finds his curiosity stoked despite himself, and he's not the only one; Miss Jane Marple is also in Lymstock, and she's decided that it's long past time someone got to the bottom of this unpleasant business.
Comparison with the original novel
The adaptation is close to the original novel with only a few differences.
- Jerry Burton does not get injured as the result of an aircrash. Here he was riding a motorcycle and had an accident.
- Near the beginning of the show, Colonel Appleton gets one of the anonymous letters, perhaps one of the first ones. He then shoots himself. This brings Miss Marple to Lymstock for his funeral. Thus, Miss Marple is on scene much earlier than in the original novel.
- Jerry doesn't take Megan to London. Joanna gives Megan a makeover herself.
- Pye has a larger role than in the original. He discloses towards the end of the show that he had a letter from Colonel Appleton wherein he hinted that he is contemplating suicide. This is because Appleton thought that his gay relationship with Pye had been exposed.
- Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple
- James D'Arcy as Jerry Burton
- Ken Russell as Rev Caleb Dane Calthrop
- Frances de la Tour as Mrs. Maud Dane Calthrop
- Thelma Barlow as Emily Barton
- Jessica Hynes (credited as Jessica Stevenson) as Aimee Griffith
- Sean Pertwee as Dr Owen Griffith
- Imogen Stubbs as Mona Symmington
- Harry Enfield as Richard Symmington
- Kelly Brook as Elsie Holland
- John Sessions as Cardew Pye
- Rosalind Knight as Partridge
- Emilia Fox as Joanna Burton
- Ellen Capron as Agnes
- Talulah Riley as Megan Hunter
- Angela Curran as Miss Ginch
- Keith Allen as Inspector Graves
- Stephen Churchett as Coroner