‘4.50 From Paddington’ (1987) (TV)

‘4.50 FROM PADDINGTON’ (1987)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Train Murder with Joan Hickson’s Marple

The ninth story of the ‘Miss Marple’ series starring Joan Hickson is ‘4.50 From Paddington’. This is presented as a 1 hour 50 minute TV movie and is based on the original 1957 book by Agatha Christie.

‘4.50 From Paddington’ was shown on the 25th December 1987 as a Christmas Special. It was intriguing to watch this BBC version of ‘4.50 From Paddington’ as I’ve seen two versions of it already.

I’ve seen the ITV version starring Geraldine McEwan and the ‘Murder, She Said’ film starring Margaret Rutherford based on ‘4.50 From Paddington’. Those are different adaptations of the novel.

Whilst the ITV version is more faithful as an adaptation to the book compared to ‘Murder, She Said’, I am convinced the BBC version is closer as an adaptation of the original book than the ITV version is.

I could tell there were some varying differences between the BBC and ITV versions. This included certain characters that behaved very differently in each version such as two Crackenthorpe brothers.

There’s also the difference in how the murderer got revealed at the end. In the ITV version, the reveal was done on the train. In the BBC version, it was done inside Rutherford Hall. Amazing, I noticed this.

Just so you know what the story’s about, a friend of Miss Marple’s named Mrs. McGillicuddy sees a murder take place inside one railway carriage that runs parallel to her own from Paddington station.

Mrs. McGillicuddy tells Miss Marple about the murder as the police don’t believe her. Miss Marple soon engages the services of a young woman who goes undercover as a housekeeper to investigate.

Whilst the investigations take place and the dead body is found dumped on the Rutherford Hall estate, it transpires the secrets of seemingly innocent family get revealed. But who is the murderer?

Once again, Joan Hickson excels as Miss Marple. Even though she is sometimes in the background whilst her young friend Lucy Eyelesbarrow investigates, her presence feels commanding throughout.

This TV movie also features…(sighs)…David Horovitch as Detective Inspector Slack. And he’s still a misery guts investigating this case as he doesn’t want Miss Marple around. Why can’t he lighten up?

For those who don’t remember, Slack was in ‘The Body In The Library’ and ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’ in this series. This is Slack’s third appearance in ‘Miss Marple’. There’s two more to follow.

Actually on a side note, Inspector Craddock was the police investigator in the book. Craddock’s not in the BBC and ITV versions, but is in ‘Murder, She Said’. Wow! That film got that aspect faithfully right! 😀

Maurice Denham guest stars as Luther Crackenthorpe of Rutherford Hall. I’ve seen Maurice Denham in the ‘Doctor Who’ tale ‘The Twin Dilemma’ with Colin Baker. His performance here is mesmerising.

There’s Joanna David as Emma, Luther Crackenthorpe’s daughter. I found Joanna David lovely in this and I have seen her before in a ‘Monarch of the Glen’ episode and in the 1995 ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

There’s Jean Boht as Madame Joilet. Madame Joilet was the director of the Ballet Maritski in Paris who knew the girl that got murdered in this story. Jean Boht’s known for the BBC TV comedy ‘Bread’.

The drama also features Jill Meager as Lucy Eyelesbarrow and David Beames as Bryan Eastley. Bryan seems romantically interested in Lucy Eyelesbarrow. Whether she returned those feelings is unclear.

There’s also John Hallam as Cedric Crackenthorpe. I’ve seen him before in the BBC version of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ and also the ‘Doctor Who’ tale ‘Ghost Light’.

There’s also Bernard Brown as Harold Crackenthorpe and Robert East as Alfred Crackenthorpe. According to my Mum, the ITV versions of Cedric and Harold differ to the ones seen in the BBC film.

Andrew Burt stars as Dr. John Quimper in this version. I’ve seen Andrew Burt in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Terminus’. He’s done a ‘Blake’s 7’ episode and also appeared in ‘Campion’ with Peter Davison.

Just on a side note, Joan Hickson has done two versions of ‘4.50 From Paddington’ – the Margaret Rutherford film and the BBC version. It’s intriguing that it all comes full circle with Joan Hickson here.

The 1987 TV adaptation of ‘4.50 From Paddington’ has been great. After seeing three versions of the story, I know how it works out in the end. But it seems likely this version is close to the original book.

‘4.50 From Paddington’ (1987) rating – 9/10


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