‘A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY’ (1989)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Caribbean Murder with Joan Hickson’s Marple
The tenth story of the ‘Miss Marple’ series starring Joan Hickson is ‘A Caribbean Mystery’. This is presented as a 1 hour 44 minute TV movie and is based on the original 1964 book by Agatha Christie.
‘A Caribbean Mystery’ was shown on the 25th of December 1989, two years after ‘4.50 From Paddington’ was made. I have seen the ITV version of but don’t remember much about it at present.
I do know it had Alistair Mackenzie from ‘Monarch of the Glen’ in it. It was interesting to watch the BBC version of the story and pick up certain details that I can remember seeing from the ITV version.
Once again, the BBC version is likely to be closer to the original book than the ITV version. But let me reiterate a point I made in my review for ‘Nemesis’. In that and this story, there’s a certain character.
Jason Rafiel was in ‘Nemesis’, but had died at the beginning. Yet here in ‘A Caribbean Mystery’, he’s still alive. In book order, ‘A Caribbean Mystery’ was published first before ‘Nemesis’ had come along.
Thus this had led to some viewer confusion when watching ‘Nemesis’ and ‘A Caribbean Mystery’ in chronological order in the BBC TV series. How can Jason Rafiel be alive when he’s dead in ‘Nemesis’?
What’s more, the character is played by a different actor. In ‘Nemesis’, he was played by Frank Gatliff. In ‘A Caribbean Mystery’, he’s played by Donald Pleasence. It might be a different character.
Yet Miss Marple actually says the word ‘nemesis’ in the BBC production. Whether you want to suspend your disbelief or not, it’s entirely up to you. But it does get rather confusing in this instance.
I’ve seen Donald Pleasance before as he was in ‘The Barchester Chronicles’. It was fun to see him in an Agatha Christie drama and he’s different compared to how he was in ‘The Barchester Chronicles’.
‘A Caribbean Mystery’ has Miss Marple on holiday in Barbados on behalf of her nephew. She meets this dotty major who tells her tall tales about a certain murder. Soon the major ended up murdered.
As the story progresses, Miss Marple uncovers a trail that dispels the notion of Barbados’ wild beauty and reveals a manipulative, ruthless killer. Can Miss Marple prevent more deaths happening?
Joan Hickson again excels as Miss Marple in this TV production. I enjoyed how she interacts with Donald Pleasance’s Jason Rafiel. It is intriguing how she confesses feeling stupid during this mystery.
The guest cast also includes Sue Lloyd as Lucky Dyson and Robert Swan as Greg Dyson. Sue Lloyd is an actress and model who’s been in the BBC soap opera ‘Crossroads’ and the ITC series ‘The Baron’.
There’s also Frank Middlemass as Major Palgrave who gets killed early on in the story. I’ve seen Frank Middlemass in the BBC 1985 TV production of ‘Oliver Twist’. Shame he didn’t last long in this.
It’s funny when Miss Marple tolerates Major Palgrave’s dottiness and didn’t really take him seriously at first. It’s interesting Miss Marple reflects on this when she didn’t listen to him before he was murdered.
There’s also Sophie Ward as Molly Kendal and Adrian Lukis as Tim Kendal. Sophie Ward is well-known for playing Elizabeth Hardy, the love interest of Sherlock Holmes in ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’.
I’ve seen Adrian Lukis before in the 1995 BBC TV adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. He’s also done ‘Doctor Who’ audios by Big Finish with Peter Davison including ‘Cobwebs’ and ‘The Children of Seth’.
There’s also Michael Feast as Edward Hillingdon and Sheila Ruskin as Evelyn Hillingdon. I’ve seen Sheila Ruskin before as she played Kassia in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Keeper of Traken’. Amazing!
And there’s Joseph Mydell, who I’ve seen in ‘Jeeves & Wooster’, as Inspector Weston. I liked it when Inspector Weston hears of Miss Marple’s presence and he soon recruits her to help out this mystery.
There’s also Valerie Buchanan as Victoria and Isabella Lucas as her Aunty Johnson. It’s interesting how Miss Marple interacts with black people on Barbados and it’s sad when Victoria gets killed here.
The 1989 TV adaptation of ‘A Caribbean Mystery’ has been very good. I enjoyed how the mystery resolves herself and I do like how Miss Marple does get to solve this mystery despite mistakes made.
‘A Caribbean Mystery’ (1989) rating – 8/10
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